Tamil Group highlights the plight of Tamil Women in North-East Sri Lanka on International Women's Day

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USTPAC joined the world community in celebrating the International Women's Day on March 8th, but on a sad note, wishes to highlight the continued suffering of Tamil women in North-East Sri Lanka.

USTPAC joined the world community in celebrating the International Women's Day on March 8th, but on a sad note, wishes to highlight the continued suffering of Tamil women in North-East Sri Lanka.

"It is no secret that in military conflicts, women suffer unspeakable violence and abuse. The young adult girls and women become easy targets and thus are the most victimized members of the society during the armed conflicts. The Tamil women in North-East Sri Lanka have been at the receiving end of the Government of Sri Lanka (GOSL) sponsored state violence for decades," said Dr. Ellyn Shander, speaking for USTPAC.

As detailed in a January 2002 report by World Organization Against Torture, Violence against Women in Sri Lanka, "Tamil women are frequently discriminated against by police and members of the armed forces and that this discrimination most often takes the form of rape and other forms of sexual violence". This violence still continues with impunity; Secretary Clinton highlighted Sri Lanka at the UN last year as a place where "rape has been used as a tactic of war."

The mono-ethnic Sinhala GOSL military forces have been accused of committing war crimes. Last year, as 300,000 Tamils were held in concentration camps, the young adult Tamil women suffered targeted abuse and violence at the hands of the military personnel assigned to guard the camps. According to Dr. Ellyn Shander, Vice President of USTPAC and a doctor who worked closely with Tamil women while she was in Sri Lanka, the whereabouts of many of the young adult girls who were taken away from the camps by the Sinhala government troops are still not known.

"Many Tamil women are burdened with caring for their families with no access to proper shelter and aid" added Dr. Shander. "On this International Women's Day, USTPAC stands in solidarity with women around the world in highlighting the need to protect women against violence. USTPAC urges the world community to force the Government of Sri Lanka to stop the brutal treatment of Tamil women and return them and their families to their homes in their homeland in the North-East of Sri Lanka," appealed Dr Shander.

"As a measure to put pressure on the Government of Sri Lanka," said Dr. Shander, "we appeal to the public to boycott all goods made in Sri Lanka, especially apparels, until human rights of Tamil women are restored and respected."

For more information on the boycott campaign, check http://www.boycottsrilanka.com.
Contact: Dr Ellyn Shander (VP of USTPAC) at (203) 561-0414
http://www.ustpac.org

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Dr Ellyn Shander
USTPAC
203 561 0414
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