Letter To Kofi Annan on Visit to NE

The Honorable Secretary-General Kofi Annan:

I am an 18 year old Sri Lankan living in the United States. The tsunami has affected me, as it has affected much of the world.  Unfortunately, it has affected my family and my friends on a highly personal level, and has prompted me and many others to get involved in the relief efforts.

I want to express my appreciation for your visit to Sri Lanka, but also my disappointment at the political pressure to not visit the Northeastern parts.

All too often politics gets in the way of simple humanity. Individuals throughout Sri Lanka were affected by the tsunami, and the Eastern coast was particularly devastated. 

I was so pleased to hear your statement, "I'm here on a humanitarian visit.  I'm concerned about everyone with need in the humanitarian situation."  However, I was disappointed that this did not occur and that your visit ignored the the humanitarian crisis in Northeast Sri Lanka.

The innocent victims in the Northeast have not received as much international relief from the Sri Lankan government, as countless humanitarian reports have shown. I was hopeful that both groups could unite in their grief and support each other through this terrible crisis, but it is now clear that this is simply impossible. The minority Tamils are still oppressed by the tyranny of the majority by prejudiced political polices.

Though it may be too late for you to assess personally the true situation in the Northeastern part of the country, I hope you remember these suffering people with the future work of the United Nations.

The tsunami victims in Northeast Sri Lanka have been dealt the double blow of confronting a 20-year, brutal civil war and now the horrific crisis of the tsunami. They are pleading for your aid, and your pressure upon the Sri Lankan government to help them receive this generous aid.

In sincere thanks,

A Tamil-American

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Posted January 10, 2005