US Tamils Should Still Support Obama and Democrats in Tuesday’s Midterm Election

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US Tamils are disappointed in Obama’s human rights record, but they (Tamils for Obama) cite recent events, including the administration’s favorable involvement in the possible partition that is expected to end the long-running Sudanese civil war. President Obama has also sent Samantha Power and David Pressman, two of the administration’s senior foreign policy advisors, to Colombo to confer with Sri Lankans. The US Tamils see these as positive signs that the Obama administration is likely to pay closer attention to Sri Lankan affairs during his next two years in office. The Bush administration, the Tamils say, was never on their side and so they don’t expect the Republicans to be friendly or helpful to them in the future, which they think is another reason to vote for the Democrats.

“US Tamils should vote for the Democrats this year,” a spokesman for Tamils for Obama said. “We have reasons to hope that the Obama administration will take actions that will help Tamils in Sri Lanka if they still have a cooperative Congress. We have no expectation that the Republicans will help us, so we hope they don’t get control of Congress.

“The president has shown us that he is paying close attention to what is going on in the Sudan. He has urged both sides to part peacefully, and said that the US will provide many kinds of help if this peaceful partition is achieved. The Sudan has had a bloody civil war that been going on for decades, with the government perpetrating all kinds of atrocities. The similarity to the situation in Sri Lanka is obvious to us, and we hope that finally paying attention to the Sudan indicates that the Obama administration will pay attention to Ceylon, too.”

The spokesman for American Tamil group also noted that two senior administration foreign policy advisors had recently been in Sri Lanka. “They talked to Sri Lankan foreign policy officials, but they also went to Tamil areas and talked to civilians and Tamil leaders. We are encouraged because this is evidence that the Obama administration is now turning their eyes in the direction of Ceylon.

“We hope and expect that the island of Ceylon and its long-running civil war—we fear that the current quiet is only a pause in the violence—will now get some serious attention from the US. Maybe the administration will encourage a partition in Sri Lanka as they are doing in the Sudan.”

The US Tamils have little hope for help from Congressional Republicans. “The Bush administration saw our resistance to oppression by the Singhalese majority government as a terrorist movement, and they gave their support to Colombo. We have not heard anything that indicates the Republicans have changed their minds, so we continue to support Obama and the Democrats.”

“We cannot hide that we are disappointed in this administration’s human rights record, but we have hope that this will change if the administration still has a Democratic Congress to fall back on. We think that our Tamil friends in Sri Lanka will benefit from the change,” the spokesman concluded.

Tamils for Obama is a politically active association of Tamil Americans. The group believes that the ultimate solution to ethnic strife in Sri Lanka will necessarily include some form of political separation of Sri Lankan Tamils from the government dominated by the majority Singhalese. Tamils for Obama supports peaceful measures that if believes advance this goal of a political solution to Sri Lanka's ethnic problems.

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 40,000 in 2009. The Tamil are a population in Sri Lanka has 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.

http://www.TamilsForObama.com

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