New York, NY (PRWEB) August 24, 2011
Ahead of the reported visit to Colombo of Ambassador Robert Blake, Tamils for Obama urged him to understand the enormous suffering of Tamil civilians over the years. Most recently was the UN-reported killing of 40,000 Tamil civilians near the end of the Sri Lankan civil war, and the widespread and on-going rape of Tamil women by Sri Lankan Army personnel, which also has been reported by the UN.
Robert Blake is US Assistant Secretary of State for South Asian and Central Asian affairs. He was previously US ambassador to Sri Lanka.
“As the representative of the sole remaining super power, Assistant Secretary Blake should not exert undue pressure on the Tamils’ elected representatives,” said a spokesman for Tamils for Obama. “He should remember that Tamils are the victims here, not the perpetrators.
“Assistant Secretary Blake should exert pressure on the Sri Lankan Government and not on the victimized population,” said the spokesman. “We also think he should talk to those Members of Parliament who were elected by the people they represent, not with those MPs who were appointed by political parties. We think appointed MPs have no clue what’s going on on the ground. More importantly, we think that the US, while championing democracy around the world, should not talk to un-elected MPs.”
Since the end of the war in 2009, Tamils have been at the receiving end of government violence and abuse. The Tamil National Alliance MPs have held several rounds of talks to find some solution to the decades-old problem.
“Assistant Secretary Blake should realize that there is a long history of failed talks between elected Tamil MPs and Singhalese leaders over the last fifty years,” the Tamil spokesman said. “An agreement was signed in 1957 between then Prime Minister Bandaranayke and Tamil leader Chelvanayagam. But the majority of the Sinhalese community and Buddhist monks protested the agreement, and a Buddhist monk shot and killed the Prime Minister. That ended the 1957 agreement.
“There were several other agreements over the years,” said the Tamil spokesman, “and everything failed.”
Tamils during the 1977 parliamentary elections overwhelmingly voted to establish a sovereign and independent state in their traditional homeland in the North and East of the island.
“After 1977 many government-inspired large-scale killings of Tamils took place in Sri Lanka,” said the spokesman. “This led to the outbreak of armed resistance.”
“We request Assistant Secretary Blake to find the true desire of Tamils,” the spokesman concluded, “and we think the best way to find out is to hold a UN-supervised referendum.”
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.