US Tamil Group to Sonia Gandhi: Replace Shivshankar Menon

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"As Indian foreign secretary (which he was at the time) Shivshankar Menon proposed one weak measure after another which the GOSL pretended to consider and then brushed aside," said a spokesman for Tamils for Obama, it gave Sri Lankan leaders diplomatic cover while they massacred Tamil civilians. Congress Party leader Sonia Gandhi has said that she is a friend of the Tamils. Tamils for Obama asks Mrs. Gandhi to show her sympathy for the Tamils by removing Mr. Menon.

"Sonia Gandhi says she is a friend of the Tamils, and we think she is telling the truth," said a spokesman for Tamils for Obama. "We think that Shivshankar Menon, who was Indian foreign secretary when the Sri Lankan civil war came to its end and the major massacres of Tamil civilians was going on, has shown that he is no friend of the Tamils. We ask Mrs. Gandhi to get rid of him. We said so in a letter that we just sent to Mrs. Gandhi."

Mrs. Gandhi, following her Commonwealth lecture given in London March 17th, stated "We are with the Tamils and I am very concerned about Sri Lanka." She was replying to a question asked by representatives of Global Tamil Forum (GTF), and we took her statement from GTF's press release.

"We were gratified to read that she said this," the Tamils for Obama spokesman said. "But we wanted to point out that not every Indian politician feels the same way. We especially think that if Shivshankar Menon had wanted to stop the massacre of Tamils near the end of the Sri Lankan civil war, he could have done it. As Indian foreign secretary he certainly had power to do this. Instead, he gave the government of Sri Lanka one pretext after another to continue the bloodshed.

"He showed that he is no peace maker and no friend of the Tamils. We suggested in our letter to Mrs. Gandhi that she use her influence to replace Menon with someone who is not so hostile to the Tamils."

An American diplomatic cable, meant to be secret but published by Wikileaks, reported that the Foreign Secretary (Mr. Menon) told U.S. Embassy Charge d'Affaires Peter Burleigh that the Indian government had advised Sri Lanka against rejecting out of hand UN offers to send an envoy to help resolve the Sri Lankan conflict. Menon "offered a suggestion that the government of Sri Lanka consider offering an amnesty to all but the hard core of the LTTE." There was much discussion but finally no agreement on what the core of the LTTE was. Weeks passed, nothing came of the proposal, and the massacre continued.

"This is the way Mr. Menon operated," the Tamils for Obama spokesman said. "The proposal was a smokescreen. It let the Sri Lankan army go on killing Tamil civilians while the diplomats focused on Mr. Menon's proposal. He did this again and again. Each time, the Sri Lankan government could continue massacring Tamils while pretending to negotiate ways to make the war less horrible.

"Mr. Menon is clever man," said the spokesman. "He knew what he was doing. He was helping to destroy the Tamils while pretending to be a peace maker. This is why we asked Mrs. Gandhi to move him to remove him from the Indian government."

To read the letter go to: http://www.tamilsforobama.com/letters/letter_to_sonia_March242011.html
To read the Tamil version of the press release go to: http://www.tamilsforobama.com/pressrelease/pressrelease_sonia_Tamil_march232011.html

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.

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