Washington, DC (PRWEB) December 21, 2009
Colombo's long-time oppression of the Tamils is the disease, and the human rights violations that concern the EU are just a symptom, said Tamils for Obama in a letter to the EU's European Commission and the European Parliament's members. Unless the disease is cured--which means establishing a safe place for the Sri Lankan Tamils--the symptom will keep on recurring, the Tamil group said.
A spokesman for Tamils for Obama explained "We used this medical metaphor to try to clarify the situation to the European Union. You don't need to be a doctor to know that unless you can cure the disease, the symptoms are not going to go away, at least not for the long term. The disease here is the Colombo government's oppression of its Sri Lankan Tamil minority, which began almost as soon as the British left in 1948. The human rights violations of the Sri Lankan government are just a visible result of this underlying cause.
The EU's European Commission is currently reconsidering Sri Lanka's status in the EU's GSP Plus program, a tariff abatement that saves the Sri Lankan clothing industry hundreds of millions of dollars a year. The European Commission has decided to suspend Sri Lanka's preferential trade status following a probe criticizing the island's human rights record, Agence France-Presse reported recently.
"Textiles and garments are one of Sri Lanka's biggest export earners, maybe the biggest. So this is something that gets the attention of both Sri Lanka and the European Union," said the Tamils for Obama spokesman. "We want the EU to understand that these human rights violations by Sri Lanka are a recurring symptom. They aren't going to disappear unless some effort is made to treat the disease that causes them, and the disease in this case is Sri Lanka's abuse of its Tamil minority.
"We suggested that a good beginning in curing this disease will be to create a safe home for Sri Lanka's minorities. We told the Europeans that 'no other solution will work for very long. We suggest that the international community should ask Sri Lankan Tamils what they want. A referendum would be a good first step.'
"We also suggested that 'The example of Bosnia, in which European Countries acted to rescue Bosnian Muslims from their Serb oppressors, is instructive,' said the spokesman for Tamils for Obama.
To read the entire letter go to: http://www.Tamilsforobama.com/letters/gspplus-2.html
Tamils are an ethnic group living mainly in the northeast of Sri Lanka and southern India. During the final weeks of the recent civil war, the Sri Lankan government killed about 1,000 Tamil civilians per day, according to the United Nations, and about 30,000 in 2009. Tamils are a minority population in Sri Lanka, and have borne the brunt of a civil war they regard as genocide. One-third of the Tamil population has fled the island and formed a substantial diaspora overseas. Tamils for Obama is comprised of Tamils who have settled in the U.S. or who were born in the U.S.
To contact the group, call at (617) 765- 4394 and speak to, or leave a message for, the Communication Director, Tamils for Obama.