Ilankai Tamil Sangam

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Association of Tamils of Sri Lanka in the USA

I Will Seek Justice from India for the Lankan Problem

by R. Vinoth, The Vikatan, Chennai, October 1, 2009 [Translation from Tamil by T.K.C.]

I am deeply affected wherever there is injustice to any race anywhere in the world.  I know that pain.   I was involved in helping people during tsunami in Lanka.  During that time, I was drawn to the Tamil people by their love toward me and by their courage.  I consider them as my own relatives.

Large number of Tamil people have died in Lanka due to the genocide committed against them.  It  is a tragedy that people have lost their loved ones like brothers, sisters, mothers and fathers.  The Tamil community has lost 30,000 innocent people in the month of May alone.   Several thousand people have lost their limbs and/or have become orphans.   Fighting for them is just an indication of service to humanity.

*A VERY DYNAMIC MEDICAL DOCTOR FROM AMERICA*

*I WILL SEEK JUSTICE FROM INDIA FOR THE LANKAN PROBLEM*

Dr. Ellyn Shander …  She is an indomitable lady and also is a highly reputable physician in America. In addition, she is a human rights activist !   For the past 4 years, she has been [spreading her message], roaring like a lion all over the world about the atrocities committed against the Eelam Tamils.  Poet Vairamuth, who heard Dr. Shander’s inspiring address at a Convention in [Atlanta] North America, was very much impressed by her speech which led him to praise her: “Dr. Ellyn Shander is a white Tamil lady”.   She organized a huge demonstration in New York City on the 22nd of this month [September] demanding the release of innocent Tamil people from the Sri Lankan refugee camps. Vaiko and Mr. Natarajan were making arrangements to invite her to India and address a conference here. But, India did not grant her visa.  Under these conditions, by phone we contacted her in America.

Dr. Ellyn Shander peace rally 2009 Washington DC*Vikatan*:  Your Visa was revoked at the last minute by India … ?

*Shander*: In fact, my visa was granted to me about a month earlier. Just two days before I was to depart for India, I received a phone call informing me that my visa was revoked ……   I was told that my visa was revoked due to the pressure by a Central Government Minister from Tamil Nadu.  This shows that there is not yet freedom for expressing thoughts and speech in India.

Horrendous atrocities which the world has not seen anywhere have been committed in Lanka which is so close to Tamil Nadu …  No condemnation has arisen from India for this.  I left for India in order to get answer for this.  I was prevented in the last minute.  But, I will still carry on my struggle to come to India…

*Vikatan:*  You are an American. Why did you come forward to fight for the welfare of innocent Tamils who are suffering in the refugee camps ?

*Shander*:  During the final days of World War II, I lost my entire family in the Nazi concentration camps after being incarcerated and brutalities committed against them. … I was left as an orphan.  I am deeply affected wherever there is injustice to any race anywhere in the world.  I know that pain.   I was involved in helping people during tsunami in Lanka.  During that time, I was drawn to the Tamil people by their love toward me and by their courage.  I consider them as my own relatives.

Large number of Tamil people have died in Lanka due to the genocide committed against them.  It  is a tragedy that people have lost their loved ones like brothers, sisters, mothers and fathers.  The Tamil community has lost 30,000 innocent people in the month of May alone.   Several thousand people have lost their limbs and/or have become orphans.   Fighting for them is just an indication of service to humanity.

*Vikatan*: You are saying that you have received many disturbing news about the refugee camps in Lanka …

*Shander*: Yes. Because of the monsoon rain, small pox is spreading  in the camps, particularly to the elderly and children.  Food services and sanitary conditions are pathetic  .   Every week, about 1500 people are dying and the dead bodies are thrown into open dumps just outside of the barbed wire fenced camps.   Those who question this atrocity are also tortured and then killed by the army.  Women are being raped and their clothes are not even returned to them with the result they are left naked.   I am receiving reports that the children are being killed.   People are being spread across many camps [deliberately] so that the  relatives can not see one another.  So far, about 10,000 people have disappeared.  Nobody knows what happened to them.  As far as I know, this is the worst prison in the entire world.

*Vikatan: *Do the Red Cross, Human Rights enthusiasts and Press reporters get enough protection and respect in Sri Lanka ?

*Shander*:  The entire world knows that several press reporters and human rights activists have been brutally murdered in Lanka. There is absolutely no protection to the personnel from UNICEF and Red Cross.   Even many women working for UNICEF have been raped and killed.  There are instances when the Lankan Government said that these women were killed when they were caught in the cross fire.  Rajapakshe is worse than Hitler….. To prove this, several incidents are taking place in Lanka.

*Vikatan*:   Did you talk with Obama or Hillary Clinton about the problems in Lanka ?

* Shander: *I did not get an opportunity to talk with them.  However, I talked in detail with Assistant Secretary Mr. Robert Blake about this. He will talk with Obama about this.  Mr. Blake has promised me that he will publish a detailed report on this soon…..

*Vikatan*:  In a DVD of yours, you have said that “ Tamil Eelam will be established”.  What are the chances for this ?

*Shander*: An independent Tamil Eelam is the birth right of the Lankan Tamil people.  Rajapakshe who is drunk with power wants to convert the entire island into a Singhala state.  Very soon, he will face the wrath of the world and encounter danger to his sinister plan.  Especially, countries like South Africa and Germany will help establish Tamil Eelam.  Other countries will also follow suit. Please wait and see ! …

*Vikatan: *What is your next step of action plan ?

*Shander*: We are going to enlist the support of the international community and fight for the release of the innocent Tamils incarcerated in the refugee camps from Rajapakshe who, under the pretext of removing the mines, is settling the Singhalese in the Tamil areas.  The international community will be enraged stating that it can not and will not permit Lanka to continue to torture innocent people [by Lanka ] calling them Liberation Tigers.  We have planned to conduct seminars and conferences to educate people and Governments in different parts of the world to stop the arms supply to, and impose economic sanctions on,  Lanka.  Due to these, the Lankan government will be in serious troubles in future.
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Corrections by Dr. Shander:

The reporter wrote this in the most sensationalist way he could., and made some big errors.
1. I am not an orphan..  I lost siblings of my grandfather in concentration camps, not my whole family, thank God!
2. I never said that UNICEF workers were raped, etc.. I never heard that.

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