Don’t Compromise on the UN’s Sri Lankan War Crimes Investigation, Says Tamils for Obama to TNA

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The Sri Lankan government is clearly worried about the UN Report of the Secretary-General's Panel of Experts on Accountability in Sri Lanka. They will probably agree to almost anything to make this report disappear. Tamils for Obama suggests that whatever the SL government agrees to will probably be ignored (as GOSL has done in the past) as soon as the UN report is buried. Tamils for Obama recommends that the Tamil National Alliance not tie the UN war crimes report to any other issues.

“The UN Report of the Secretary-General's Panel of Experts on Accountability in Sri Lanka was just released in April,” said a spokesman for Tamils for Obama, “and it said a lot of damaging things about Sri Lanka. The report uses the phrase ‘war crimes’ in referring to the government of Sri Lanka’s (GOSL’s) actions and while it never uses the word ‘genocide,’ it makes clear that this is what the experts believe the GOSL was up to. Sri Lanka is doing everything it can to smother the report because this report not only embarrasses them before the whole world but might lead to worst things.

“We foresee a ‘Milosevic moment’ coming,” said the Tamils for Obama spokesman, “and we think that is something the GOSL foresees also. If Milosevic can be arrested and tried for war crimes, why can’t the same thing happen to Rajapaksa and his associates? We think this is what frightens the GOSL.

“The UPFA, the governing force in Sri Lanka, bussed thousands of Sri Lankan Tamils from the northeast to Colombo to beef up the government’s May Day rally. We talked to some Tamils who were on these busses and who told us that they were not willing participants in these demonstrations.

“Having Tamils participate not only increased the number of demonstrators,” the spokesman said, “it also was meant to make it look like the Tamils supported the GOSL and opposed the UN report.”

The Sunday Leader, a Colombo newspaper, headlined its account “Ban Ki-moon’s Report Dominates UPFA May Day Celebrations.” “The Sunday Leader got it right,” the Tamils for Obama spokesman said. “The whole point of the rally, including the bussing in of thousands of Tamils, was to denounce the UN report. The government wants to make it appear that all the people of Sri Lanka disagree with the UN report.

“The GOSL is also gathering signatures on a petition condemning the UN report,” the spokesman went on. “They hope to get a million signatures, and with the power of intimidation we think they will easily get that many, including any number of threatened Tamils. It’s an indication of how eager the GOSL is to cover up this report.

“We have heard that Colombo is asking its powerful friends on the UN Security Council--China and Russia--to block the panel of expert’s report. We don’t know what is going to come of that, but it is plainly another attempt by the GOSL to make the report disappear.

“We expect that the GOSL will use all the pressure it can gather to persuade the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) to speak out against, or at least not to support, the UN report. If history is a guide, it will go something like this: The government will make a deal with the TNA. In exchange for the TNA’s helping them to discredit the UN report, or at least to be quiet about the allegations in the report, the government will promise to support some of the political goals that Tamils and the TNA have been seeking for decades.

“As soon as the UN report is no longer a threat to the GOSL, these promises will be forgotten,” the Tamils for Obama spokesman concluded. “The international community will forget about the deal also. The TNA will have given away the most valuable tool that Tamils have in their struggle. This tool is truth, gathered and set forth by the UN panel of experts. If this tool is abandoned in an exchange for promises that history tells us will not be kept, the TNA will have lost much more than we can possibly gain. We urge the TNA not to compromise on the UN report.”

To read the letter to TNA MPs go to:

To read the letter to TNA MPs in Tamil go to:

To see the entire Report of the Secretary-General's Panel of Experts on Accountability in Sri Lanka 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 government 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.

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