Ilankai Tamil Sangam

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Association of Tamils of Sri Lanka in the USA

Failure of Sinhalese to Share Powers with Tamil Citizens

by Esan Satkunarajah, May 14, 2007

The world must understand over 30 years of dire failures and refusals of the Sinhalese to share power and treat the Tamils as equal stakeholders of the country and continued second-class treatment brought the present violent armed struggle to this country.

His Excellency Richard Boucher
Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs
United States of America

Your Excellency:

Re: Dire Failure of the Sinhalese to share powers with fellow Tamil citizens

Sri Lanka obtained independence in 1948, when the British handed power to the majority Singhalese and left the Tamils' fates in the hands of the Sinhalese. Since then all successive Sinhalese governments have gradually and systematically reduced Tamils to second-class citizens in their own country.

After independence in 1948, the new governments deprived the Tamils of education, jobs, and housing, and Tamil plantation workers of the vote and continued with the suppression of their voices with brutal force.

For a brief introduction on how the legitimate Tamil struggle evolved to the present level after 50 long years of systematic denial of minority rights by the majority Sinhalese, we would like to draw your attentions to the following facts.

The "Sinhala Only Act of 1956" was introduced by the late S.W.R.D. Bandaranayake, the first Pact signed between Tamils and Sinhalese, the 1957 Bandaranayake-Chelvanayagam Pact was abrogated due to a protest march by J.R. Jeyawardana to the Buddhist shrine, the Dalada Maligawa. Then again in 1965, Dudley Senanayake and S.J.V. Chelvanayagam signed a pact popularly known as the D-C Pact, which was never implemented and was abrogated in 1969.

The new Constitution drafted and adopted in 1972 made things worse for the minority Tamils by removing Section 29 of the constitution, which existed to safeguard the minorities of Sri Lanka.

The Indo-Sri Lanka Agreement signed in 1987 came to a natural end in the long, visionless Sri Lankan politics towards the Tamil minorities. The legitimate struggle of Tamils in Sri Lanka is exactly 50 years old, but the Sri Lankan government has now manipulated the "Global War on Terror" to its own advantage and is branding the legitimate struggle of Tamils as terrorism in the International arena, while continuing with its dire human rights abuses against them with no end in sight for the bloody and cruel sufferings of Tamils.

The world must understand over 30 years of dire failures and refusals of the Sinhalese to share power and treat the Tamils as equal stakeholders of the country and continued second-class treatment brought the present violent armed struggle to this country.

The world also must see for themselves the immense suffering and hardships of Tamils in Sri Lanka at the hands of the Sinhalese and help the Tamils to achieve a solution to their long, legitimate struggle by allowing them to have peace with freedom, with the right to look after their own affairs in their own homeland.

We thank you for your kind attention on this matter.

Yours truly,

Esan Satkunarajah
Association for Prevention of State Terrorism (APST)
Web: http://sunriseintheeast.googlepages.com/srilnaka-violator