An Open Letter to the Tamil Expatriates

Kosovo And Thamileelam

Anbin Thamilarae,
Kosovo is an autonomous province of the former Yugoslavia, governed by a Serbian dominated government in Belgrade. Kosovo province is dominated by Albanians who are Moslems. Kosovo Albanians felt that they were treated as second class citizens in their own country and hence decided to initiate an armed struggle about 9 years back, led by the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA). Serbian dominated government in Belgrade decided to crush the rebellion and sent its armed forces including a special police force. These forces have committed atrocities against the Albanian civilians under the disguise of eliminating the KLA. After a recent massacre of some Albanian civilians from a village in Kosovo province by these occupying forces, Albanians have called on the International Community to intervene and prevent the genocide of the Albanians by the Serbian forces. There are about 400,000 displaced Albanians in that country now, suffering without adequate food, shelter and medical facilities and the region is facing a winter soon. The rest is current news, what we hear about NATO and its threat to the Slodavan Milosevic's government in Belgrade.

Thamilar's case in Sri Lanka is very similar to the above situation. Thamilar from Eelam have been facing more serious problems than the Albanians in Kosovo. Thamilar did not have an autonomous province to start with.

When the Thamil youths started the armed rebellion against the Sinhalese dominated government, asking for secession, Colombo government sent its Sinhalese dominated armed forces including STF (Special Police Force) to eliminate the Thamil militants. I don't need to describe the atrocities committed by this army of occupation in detail, because we all are aware of all these. Burning down of the Jaffna public library; complete destruction of the business centre of the Jaffna Town by aerial bombing; aerial bombing of temples, churches, schools and hospitals; economic blockade of the Northern Province; massacres of civilians and school children and existence of mass graves; the presence of 1 million displaced Thamilar within the country and an equal number of Thamilar who have left the country are some of the end results.

Belgrade government calls the KLA as terrorists and the Serbian ambassador to the UN, Dr. Prekoshi who appeared on the 8th of October in the US News Hour TV program, reiterated this by repeatedly calling the KLA as terrorists. Sri Lankan government also calls the LTTE, terrorists and has successfully persuaded the US government to declare so. KLA call themselves a liberation army in the same way as LTTE call themselves freedom fighters. Dr. Prekoshi also told on this TV program that his government is willing to give full autonomy to Albanians, including territorial autonomy to Kosovo. But Albanians don't want to trust the Serbian administration in Belgrade after their bitter experiences of the past. Sri Lankan government has also been talking about a devolution package which has already been rejected by the Sinhalese hard liners and the LTTE, and the Thamilar don't trust the Sinhalese government either. Therefore they are asking for a third party mediation for a political settlement.

Serbian ambassador also made the allegation that KLA evicted the people from villages in Kosovo and killed them when they ran into the jungles. Sri Lankan government also blames the LTTE for forcing the people out of Jaffna into the Wanni jungles when the Sri Lankan forces took control of the peninsula.

Dr. Bukoshi, a Kosovo Albanian political leader who appeared in the same TV program (News Hour) appealed to the International Community to intervene and stop the genocide of his people. Albanians want the Serbian brutal army of occupation to pull out. Why we do not have a Dr. Bukoshi or a Gerry Adams yet for the Thamilar, to make an appeal on behalf of the Thamil refugees suffering in the Wanni jungles? It is high time for the Thamilar in Exile in the West and talk on behalf of the Eelath Thamilar and their Liberation Fighters.

US is leading the NATO to threaten the President Slodovan Milosevic with air strikes, if he does not pull out his troops from Kosovo. The same US government who calls LTTE a terrorist organization does not consider KLA a terrorist organization, and is trying to help KLA by putting pressure on Slodovan Milosovic.

US officials are talking about UN Security Council Resolutions (SCR) and conventions, alleging that the Serbians have violated all these. They also say that UN Secretary General have appealed or recommended that NATO should threaten to use force if necessary.

Didn’t the then UN Secretary General raise the same concern when the mass exodus of civilians from Jaffna occurred? Why didn’t the then US and UK administrations call the security council to pass a resolution against the Sri Lankan armed forces similar to the one they are talking about now on Serbian forces?

Couldn’t these people have threatened with force, the Sri Lankan forces to withdraw from the Jaffna peninsula? Did they fail because they consider the Thamilar as a different species of the human beings?

My brothers and sisters, this is the most opportune time for the Expatriate Thamilar and their organizations in the US and UK to request their governments to at least not to help the Sri Lankan government and its armed forces in accomplishing the genocide of Thamilar. If so, let us act now.


Victor Rajakulendran

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