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Association of Tamils of Sri Lanka in the USA

PEARL Applauds Congress for Passing Resolution to Address Rights of Sri Lankan Tamils

PEARL applauds the U.S. not only for taking measures to hold the Sri Lankan government accountable with its recent inquiry, but for also prioritizing Tamil humanitarian needs, as shown by the passage of H. Res. 711. 

People for Equality and Relief in Lanka

P.O. Box 292  ◊  Glenn Dale, Maryland 20769  ◊  202.725.8745  ◊  www.pearlaction.org ◊  Contact@pearlaction.org

 

For Immediate Release

 PEARL Applauds Congress for Passing Resolution to Address Rights of Sri Lankan Tamils

 

Washington D.C., November 4, 2009 – PEARL commends the U.S. Congress for its efforts to address the human rights and humanitarian needs of Tamil internally displaced persons (IDPs) in northern Sri Lanka. The passage of House Resolution 711 is a promising step made by the U.S. towards pressuring the Sri Lankan Government into releasing the 300,000 Tamils imprisoned in internment camps.

“The passage of H. Res. 711 exemplifies the U.S. government's concern for Tamil civilians.  This week, we were proud to see our government make strides towards holding the Sri Lankan government accountable for its war crimes,” says PEARL representative Anjali Manivannan.  “We hope that the U.S. will continue to assert its authority and provide a voice for the oppressed Tamils in Sri Lanka. Right now, Tamils in Sri Lanka have no one speaking for them – for their current plight and for all the suffering they have endured these past few months. We are eager to see the United States play a leading role in providing justice to this desperate community.”

Last month, the U.S. Department of State issued a 67-page report documenting human rights violations committed during the final stages of Sri Lanka's civil war.  This report, as well as Homeland Security's recent request to interview Sri Lanka Army General Sarath Fonseka about war crimes committed by the government, has incited fear in the Sri Lankan government.

PEARL applauds the U.S. not only for taking measures to hold the Sri Lankan government accountable with its recent inquiry, but for also prioritizing Tamil humanitarian needs, as shown by the passage of H. Res. 711.  Thousands of Tamils were killed in attacks in no-fire zones during the war and continue to languish in government-run internment camps.  PEARL hopes to see Congress continue to demand action leading towards a peaceful and sustainable solution in Sri Lanka.

About PEARL & About Sri Lanka

People for Equality and Relief in Lanka (PEARL) is a registered non-profit, human rights advocacy group composed of over 3,600 Americans and 4,300 international members concerned about the crisis in Sri Lanka.  PEARL was formed in 2005 after a group of students volunteered in Sri Lanka and were exposed firsthand to the stories of suffering there.  Sri Lanka has experienced a brutal ethnic conflict between the Sinhalese-dominated government and the Tamil minority, who have been discriminated against since Sri Lanka’s independence.  Over 125,000 lives have been lost in the conflict, of which the overwhelming majority is Tamil.  For more information, visit PearlAction.org.