Tamils to Obama: Dramatic Action is Required in Sri Lanka

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In a letter to the President, Tamils for Obama reminded him of his apparent pledge to use force to intervene in any situation involving genocide in progress. The Tamil American group cited a statement by his new U.N ambassador, and passed along three suggestions on how the Obama administration might respond to the crisis in Sri Lanka. Tamils for Obama also thanked the president for acknowledging the crisis in his White House speech of May 13, 2009.

In a letter to the President, Tamils for Obama reminded him of his apparent pledge to use force to intervene in any situation involving genocide in progress. The Tamil American group cited a statement made in 2001 by his new U.N ambassador, and passed along three suggestions from Tamils in the diaspora on how the Obama administration might respond to the crisis in Sri Lanka.

The ambassador, Susan Rice, who witnessed the genocide of the Tutsi minority in Rwanda in 1994 and "swore to myself that if I ever faced such a crisis again, I would come down on the side of dramatic action, going down in flames if that was required." Tamils for Obama used this quotation along with Obama's own campaign pledges not to tolerate any genocide in progress to urge him to take dramatic action to halt the killing in Sri Lanka.

The Tamil American group also forwarded suggestions offered by international Tamils. These included:

  • Using American diplomatic influence to isolate the Sri Lankan government, cutting off their sources of arms and money
  • Persuading the United Nations or regional allies to act as peace keepers or peace makers while the United States provided logistical support
  • Removing the 'terrorist' stigma from the Tamil Tigers, which has had the effect of conferring moral legitimacy on the Sri Lankan government even as it was carrying out its ethnic cleansing campaign against the Tamils.

The group also mentioned that the appointment of Ms. Rice and Samantha Power to visible and influential positions had encouraged Tamils all over the world, since both women had gained fame as scholars of modern genocide. Both are on the record as favoring forceful methods in forestalling it.

A spokesman for Tamils for Obama thanked the president for his White House speech of May 13, 2009. He said that it was important that president publicly acknowledge the suffering going on in Sri Lanka. The spokesman also noted that news organizations may be listening to Tamil sources, or at least are now saying some of the things that Tamils have been saying for a long time. For instance, a recent article in TIME magazine suggested that the U.S. lean on the U.N. Security Council to follow the U.N.'s "right to intervene" resolution and act to end the massacre in Sri Lanka.
Read the TIME article at:
http://tiny.cc/1BWTG

To read the letter, go to: http://www.tamilsforobama.com/Letters/Letter_Prez_May13_2009.html

Tamils are an ethnic group living mainly in the northeast of Sri Lanka and southern India. They are a minority population in Sri Lanka, and are currently bearing 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.
http://www.TamilsForObama.com

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