Ilankai Tamil Sangam

28th Year on the Web

Association of Tamils of Sri Lanka in the USA

Obama Wins and Tamils are Hopeful for Their Future

They see peace, and speculate about new policies toward Sri Lanka

by Tamils for Obama, November 5, 2008

Tamils for Obama, a PAC of Tamil Americans, supported the Obama-Biden ticket. The group hopes that the 44th president will change U.S. policy toward Sri Lanka. They hope that the genocidal war by the Sri Lankan government against the Tamil community will be ended and that the Tamils will gain some measure of security and self-government (or a Tamil state).

Seattle (PRWEB) November 5, 2008 -- Tamils for Obama, a political action committee of American Tamils, has supported the Obama-Biden ticket ever since Obama became the primary winner. Now, they hope that the Obama administration will deliver on their hopes for peace in Sri Lanka and bring security and self-government (or a Tamil state) to the Sri Lankan Tamils.

The Tamils are a minority population in Sri Lanka, and have been the victims of government oppression ever since Sri Lanka gained independence in 1948. Since 1983, the oppression has taken the form of a genocidal war ( waged by the majority government against the Tamils.

Tamils for Obama is comprised of Tamils who have settled in the U.S., or who were born here.

These Tamils hope the 44th president, Mr. Obama, will take a strong hand in resolving the Sri Lankan genocidal war. The Tamils see a similarity between Serbian oppression of the Muslim minority population in Bosnia and their own situation in Sri Lanka. Since the U.S. and NATO intervened to save the Bosnian Muslims, they hope that the U.S. can be persuaded to force the Sri Lankan government to provide some form of autonomy and local self-rule to Tamils.

Tamils for Obama, and other Tamil groups, think that there are many models of minority populations gaining local self-government or their own homeland. They cite (besides Bosnia) Christians in East Timor, French speakers in Quebec, Slovaks, and Scots and Welsh in the U.K. They also name several American statesmen who might be useful mediators in negotiating local autonomy (or creating a Tamil state), including Bill Clinton, Colin Powell, Richard Holbrooke, George Mitchell, James Baker or Jim Leach.

Because Tamils are on the verge of being destroyed in the Sri Lankan genocidal war, Tamils for Obama sees an urgency in changing U.S. policy toward the conflict.

Tamils hope to see certain changes in U.S. policy toward Sri Lanka, which they hope the new administration will make. The first change is appointing a U.S. representative to Sri Lanka who is friendly to both communities. (These Tamils feel that current U.S. representation has been overly friendly to the central government in Colombo.) They also hope that the new representative will put more emphasis on human rights in Sri Lanka rather than only on economic matters. Tamils believe, if peace is achieved, economic activities will grow exponentially.

Some of the Tamils note that the majority government has received money and weapons from Iran and China, both of which are unfriendly to the U.S.

They suggest that if the Tamils gain their own state, they can offer increased stability in the region. An end to war would remove limits to Tamils' development; Tamils' virtues include an ability to work within a globalized economy, general entrepreneurial ability, and the potential for developing titanium, cement and aquaculture industries. These are things that will benefit the U.S. and the world. Add that the Tamil State is in a strategic position, and that it would be friendly toward both India and the U.S., and it becomes clear that the U.S. has good reasons to help the Tamils.

Tamils are speculating about the probable policies of a new Tamil State. Trincomalee (a port city on the northeast coast of Sri Lanka) was Britain's major Indian Ocean naval base when the British ruled Sri Lanka. Some guess that having the U.S. there would stabilize the region, and would benefit the U.S., India, the Tamil state, and even Sri Lanka..

To contact the group, email any communication to info@ or call at (617) 765- 4394 and speak to or leave a message for the PR Director, Tamils for Obama.

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