Tamils for Obama to Chidambaram: India will benefit from a Tamil Eelam

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Tamils for Obama, in a letter to Indian Home Minister P. Chidambaram, said that the LTTE is a defeated force and no longer influential in Tamil politics. India need no longer worry about hostility from the defunct organization. Tamils for Obama noted that Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi had proposed an independent Tamil Eelam after the 1983 riots, and expressed their hope that India would resume this effort. The letter then named two ways that Tamil Eelam would benefit India: It would provide a permanent friend in the Indian Ocean, and become a permanent trading partner.

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“We wrote a letter to India’s Home Minister P. Chidambaram,” said a press spokesman for Tamils for Obama, “in which we tried to reassure him that Tamil Eelam would be beneficial to India, and that the LTTE is no longer a threat that should keep him awake at night.”

The letter was in response to a statement by Minister Chidambaram, quoted in ‘The Hindu’ of last July 16, that “The LTTE's objective for a separate homeland (Tamil Eelam) for all Tamils threatens the sovereignty and territorial integrity of India and amounts to cession from the Union and thus falls within the ambit of unlawful activities.” He also said that the LTTE will continue to be outlawed into 2014.

“We started by telling him that we think that outlawing the LTTE is unnecessary and maybe irrelevant, since this organization has been defeated, its leaders killed, and its organization shattered. The LTTE, if it still exists, is only a ghost of its former self. To say that it ‘continues to adopt a strong anti-India posture’ is also outdated. A ghost cannot maintain a threatening posture.

“Indira Gandhi is a good memory for us,” the spokesman continued. “We remember that after the 1983 anti-Tamil riots, which were organized and led by the Sri Lankan government, Indian Prime Minister Gandhi met with TULF (Tamil United Liberation Front) leaders and suggested creating a Tamil homeland in the northeast of Sri Lanka. India assisted the LTTE in many ways, but the LTTE and India did not remain friends, and we regret this.”

The LTTE is no longer a factor in Sri Lankan politics, the spokesman explained, and said “We hope that there can be a new start to friendship between India and the island Tamils. We hope that India will take up the helpful measures that Indira Gandhi favored in 1983.

“Our letter said ‘Please note that while we love and admire our cousins in Tamil Nadu, and we can’t imagine encouraging a separation of Tamil Nadu from the rest of India. We don’t think that any other Tamils anywhere in the world would favor this. We think that the Tamils in Tamil Nadu are doing very well as citizens of India, and we would not like to change that.’

“In our letter we pointed out to Minister Chidambaram that ‘We can see that Tamils in Tamil Nadu are not being persecuted or driven out by Indian armed forces, as Tamils in Sri Lanka are being oppressed by the Sri Lankan government and military. This is an ethnic cleansing project by Colombo—which Indira Gandhi saw in 1983—and so a separate state (in Sri Lanka) is required for human decency and the safety of the Tamils there.’”

The spokesman then said that “An independent state of Tamil Eelam would be beneficial to India. We named two ways this would help India. Here is what we said:
1.    Tamil Eelam would almost certainly be a long-term friend of India, which the Colombo government has not been. Remember that Colombo supported China and Pakistan when these countries were at war with India. Tamil Eelam and its people would be grateful for any help from India in getting their country started. We remember that Tamils in Sri Lanka usually had portraits of Mahatma Gandhi, Nehru, and Indira Gandhi in their homes, which reflected a long-enduring admiration and fondness for India. Politics and policy in Tamil Eelam would almost certainly follow this sentiment. Also, Tamil Eelam would likely be a force supporting India’s control over the ocean India would share with Tamil Eelam.
2.    Tamils in Tamil Eelam would be like Tamils in Tamil Nadu and everywhere: an ambitious, energetic, and innovative commercial people. Great India would inevitably be Tamil Eelam’s major trading partner, and this would enrich both countries.”

The letter ended “We hope that India will use its immense influence and kindness to help the Ceylonese Tamils to establish a safe and peaceful homeland for themselves.”

To see the entire letter, 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.
Email: info(at)TamilsforObama(dot)com

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