Ilankai Tamil Sangam

Association of Tamils of Sri Lanka in the USA

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'Legitimate Rights and the Tamil Tigers

Letter to the Editor, Washington Times, October 19, 2006

The conflict in Sri Lanka is complex and requires a balanced and comprehensive solution ("Targeting the Tamil Tigers," Editorial, yesterday). The Tamil Tigers may sometimes act deplorably, but they are legitimate representatives of the Tamil people in the northeast. They run a de facto state in the north-central part of the island. The truth is that the State Department has recognized the right to self-determination for the people of the northeast of Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka & Tamil EelamIn June 2006, Assistant Secretary of State Richard Boucher said: "Though we reject the methods that the Tamil Tigers have used, there are legitimate issues raised by the Tamil community, and they have a very legitimate desire, as anybody would, to control their own lives, to rule their own destinies, and to govern themselves in their homeland, in the areas they've traditionally inhabited."

This conflict will never be resolved on the battlefield. The situation in Sri Lanka can only be resolved if the major donors to Sri Lanka make it very clear to the government that it needs to recognize the legitimate rights and aspirations of the Tamil people and grant full autonomy to the northeast.
Massachusetts, USA


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