Tamils for Obama: Mr. Rogers, if you invest in Sri Lanka, you will share the anger for Sri Lankan behavior

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Tamils for Obama wrote a letter to Jim Rogers, investor and co-founder (with George Soros) of the Quantum Fund, warning him that his apparent plans to invest in Sri Lanka will involve him with an increasingly disreputable business partner as news of Sri Lankan government's mistreatment of its Tamil minority during and since the civil war inevitably filter out. This story names some of the damaging allegations the will probably make investing in Sri Lanka embarrassing.

Jim Rogers, a world-known investor and co-founder (with George Soros) of the Quantum Fund, recently visited Sri Lanka and saw "great, cheap opportunities in Sri Lanka because of dramatic changes in the country after the end of the war." Tamils for Obama, however, sent him a letter warning that as evidence of Sri Lankan behavior during and since the civil war becomes widely known he will find that he has new partners he will wish he never met.

"He is investing his clients' money," explained an officer of the Tamils for Obama organization. "We think that investing in Sri Lanka will get Mr. Rogers, his firm, and his clients involved in situations that will embarass all of them."

Mr. Rogers recently made a quiet 3-day trip to Sri Lanka "which included meetings with top government officials," the Sunday Times Financial Times reported. "He met several government officials during a hitherto-unannounced visit," the Times reported. "'Yes, he was here and told me - during a long conversation - that he is very bullish on Sri Lanka,' said one official, who declined to be named" the Sunday Times FT said.

Another spokesman for Tamils for Obama said "We told him in our letter that investing in Sri Lanka would have unwelcome consequences, consequences he has evidently not considered.

"What we actually wrote," the spokesman said, was "'Don't dive into that pool yet, Mr. Rogers. There are good reasons to avoid Sri Lanka and its bloody-handed government.'"

"We want to warn Mr. Rogers, along with any other well-meaning investment advisors, that the Sri Lankan government's history of brutality against its own Tamil population will become widely known and that as it does it will tarnish everyone sending money there. Public pressure to disinvest in Sri Lanka (as with South Africa from the '60s to '80s) will make investment there into an embarrassment," the spokesman explained.

"In our letter, we cite facts of which Mr. Rogers might have been unaware," the Tamils for Obama spokesman continued. "For instance, we told him about how in the final months of the civil war the Sri Lankan government killed huge numbers of Tamil civilians by shell fire and air attacks, this in the 'safe zone.' According to a U.N. report which The London Times uncovered, around 1,000 civilians were killed every day from late April until May 19, when the war ended. The final civilian death toll for this period was more than 20,000, according to The Times."

Tamils for Obama noted that the Sir Lankan government has made great efforts to keep their activities secret. Since the end of the war, he said, "The Sri Lankan government has held over 300,000 Tamil civilians in internment camps, and shows no sign of letting them go any time soon."

"These 'internment camps' will only become more widely known and reported in the near furure," said the TfO spokesman. "We read two recent articles. One was in the UK's Guardian newspaper, which wrote 'With less than 5% of the 300,000 Tamils released from what the United Nations describes as "internment camps", [frightening stories] such as [one refugee's] have only just begun to be told.' Another story, written by an Indian journalist and carried by Al Jazeera, used the widely-accepted figure of 300,000 inmates and quoted U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki Moon as saying "I have travelled round the world and visited similar places, but these are by far the most appalling scenes I have seen..."

The spokesman added that anyone who wants to read the original can find The Guardian story at http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/sep/13/tamils-camps-sri-lanka and the Al Jazeera article at http://news.google.com/news?hl=en&source=hp&q=300%2C000%20Tamil%20civilians%20in%20internment%20camps&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=N&tab=wn.

"The Sri Lankan armed forces seal the camps so that nobody can get in or get out," the spokesman went on. "The U.N., the Red Cross, the international press, human rights and humanitarian aid organizations, and elected officials are not allowed into the camps. We and everybody else in the world wants the Sri Lankan government to release these civilian prisoners, but they show no sign of releasing the prisoners any time soon. We think that many of these prisoners have been witnesses to Sri Lankan war crimes, and so the government is afraid to let them out where they can talk to reporters and diplomats. Mr. Rogers should be aware of that."

"We also told Mr. Rogers about an Australian MP," this spokesman said. "The Australian MP made a speech in the Australian parliament. He talked about 'a humanitarian disaster' and 'hundreds of thousands of innocent Tamils… living in camps in appalling conditions' and 'horrifying evidence of the worst violations of human rights, including starvation, rape, killings and torture.' These reports are going to pile up until the ghastly story of Sri Lankan atrocities becomes common knowledge, and we want potential investors in Sri Lanka to know what they should expect."

The spokesman said that a video recently surfaced showing Sri Lankan soldiers shooting Tamil prisoners. "This was shown on British TV," the spokesman said. "We referred to it in our letter to Mr. Rogers. He certainly knows that as this kind of thing becomes widely known, the reputation of anybody who is closely associated with the Sri Lankan government will suffer." (To see the video go to: http://link.brightcove.com/services/player/bcpid1184614595?bctid=35256686001)

The spokesman said "Our letter concludes: 'In short, Mr. Rogers, you are about to embrace the most brutal national government since the Khmer Rouge held power in Cambodia. You might be thick-skinned, but the investors you represent will probably be shocked at your choice of partners. No one wants to get involved in a holocaust, especially on the side of the killers. The history of the Sri Lankan government shows that they are capable of such atrocities, and at least until they open up the camps you can't be sure that they are not perpetrating a massacre there right now.'"

To see the entire letter go to: http://www.TamilsforObama.com/Letters/Rogers.html

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 30,000 in 2009. Tamils are a minority population in Sri Lanka, and have 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.

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