Ilankai Tamil Sangam

24th Year on the Web

Association of Tamils of Sri Lanka in the USA

Tamils Have Legitimate Grievances

Letter to the Editor, Boston Globe, November 19, 2007

This is a model for how to write a Letter to the Editor. Short, sweet, simple ideas simply said. -- Ed. Comm.

IN THE name of fighting global terrorism, the US policy in Sri Lanka unfairly supports the Sinhalese majority against the minority Tamils. Europeans, meanwhile, are debating removal of the ban on the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. Most of the Tamils consider the Tamil Tigers as their legitimate representatives.

Sinhala politicians continue to deny rights to the Tamils. The Marxist Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna, a Sinhala coalition partner of the government, issued an ultimatum for its support: abolition of the 2002 cease-fire agreement, dissolution of the all-party group that was developing a plan for power sharing, and an end to negotiations with the Tamil Tigers.

The government's "war for peace" strategy, while displacing half a million Tamils, is altering the demographics of the Tamil areas to ensure that Tamils will never again be able to make a demand for their rights. The Sinhala Army commander stated to Britain's Channel 4 that kidnappings and killings of Tamils would continue until terrorism is defeated.

The international community agrees that Tamils have legitimate grievances. The former US ambassador to Sri Lanka, Jeffrey Lunstead, acknowledged mistakes in not engaging the Tamil Tigers during his term. Senator Hillary Clinton has argued for nuance in how one regards the Tamil Tigers' tactics in fighting for the Tamils' freedom.

We need a coherent US policy that recognizes the Tamil Tigers as representatives of the Tamils, and supports an arms embargo along with UN intervention to allow the Tamils their right to self-determination and to decide their future.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Response to Boston Globe editorial

SL Ambassador's letter also published