New York, NY (PRWEB) November 02, 2011
Four Tamil National Alliance (TNA) MPs—R. Sampanthan, Suresh Premachandran, Mavai Senathirajah, and M.A. Sumanthiran--were invited by the US State Department to visit the US and meet with American legislators and policy makers. They met last week with officials from the DoS, the White House, and Congress. All four of the TNA members attended these meetings.
This was the first time since the end of the Sri Lankan mass killing of Tamils that TNA representatives visited Washington, DC. Tamils for Obama said that State Department officials deserve special thanks for arranging this visit.
In an unusual step, the State Department coordinated all the meetings of the TNA MPs with American policy makers. State Department officials also accompanied the TNA MPs for important meetings. Tamils for Obama noted that the presence of these State Department officials certainly conveyed to the Americans the special respect the State Department considered these meetings should have. TNA MPs met and had lengthy discussions about the current situation in Tamil areas and the need for an international commission of inquiry into Sri Lankan war crimes.
The TNA MPs presented a portrait of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to officials from the Senate (Mrs. Clinton was a member of the Senate before she became Secretary of State). The portrait was painted by a Tamil American artist Shan Sundaram. The Senate officials said that the painting would be handed to Mrs. Clinton along with a card signed by the MPs.
The TNA MPs also met and thanked a senior congressional official who was instrumental in suspending military assistance to Sri Lanka and mandating that the State Department submit a report on war crimes committed against Tamil civilians.
A Tamils for Obama spokesman said “We regard this as an important first step in establishing firm and friendly relations between the US and the Tamils. We also hope that this is a step forward in Tamils’ quest for an international commission of inquiry into Sri Lankan war crimes committed during the civil war. This would also be a measure of justice for Sri Lankan Tamils.”
To read the pres release in Tamil go to:
Tamils for Obama is a politically active group of Tamil Americans. We supported Hillary Clinton and then Barack Obama in the Democratic primary and US general election in 2008. We believe that over 70,000 Tamil civilians were massacred during the last weeks of the Sri Lankan civil war. We have watched the behavior of the Sri Lankan Singhalese victors after the war, and we strongly conclude that Tamils in Sri Lanka will only be safe when this unfortunate island is divided into two states.
To contact the group, call at (617) 765-4394 and speak to, or leave a message for, the Communication Director, Tamils for Obama.