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This website is about Sri-Lankan Americans, who are naturalized citizens of the US, or those born to them in the US Sri-Lankans are a multi-ethnic, diverse group of people-Singhalese, Tamils, Moors (Muslims), Burghers, and other of various religious denominations- Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims, Christians living together for many centuries.

Vision Statement:
The Unifying voice between President Obama, Sri-Lankan Americans, and the people of Sri- Lanka.

Mission Statement:
The Sri-Lankan Americans for President Obama seeks to foster a spirit of cooperation and harmony among all the people of the United States and the people of Sri-Lanka. We embrace the ideals of love, brotherhood, and non-violence to benefit the US and to free our brothers and sisters in Sri-Lanka from the vicious cycle of hate, bigotry, and extremism. We enlist educational and religious leaders to propagate social justice and peace. Finally, we a factual resource for accurate, unbiased information on the current situation in Sri-Lanka, and dedicated to the principles of the Rule of Law, Transparency, and Accountability.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Letter to Fred Edwards - Op Ed. Editor of the Toronto Star

Fred Edwards,

Further to our conversation today, I am writing this op-ed article so we can bring some clarity to the situation in Sri Lanka and a proposal for a political solution once Mr. Prabhakaran’s terrorist group- the Tigers are defeated.
Sri Lanka is a vibrant democracy, in spite of an ongoing terrorist problem for the last 30 years. Its achievement in the domestic front is remarkable.
In the SAARC Region comprising of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Maldives, Nepal, and Sri Lanka, the records achievements in the area of education, health, children’s and women’s health and even per capita income and life expectancy are the highest numbers for Sri Lanka in the region. This is not accident but purely matter of good governance. One realizes that India has nearly 70,000,000 million Tamils, there life expectancy and literacy numbers are very much worse than their brethren in the North and East of Sri Lanka.
For the last 30 years, Sri Lanka has been waging a war with a terrorist group (the LTTE) and nearly 70,000 of its citizens have died. It took nearly 22 years for the Western Democracies including Canada, to understand this fact. Then they too (including Canada) designated the LTTE as a terrorist organization along with its other front organizations like the World Tamil Association, the Tamil Rehabilitation Organization, and the TAMIL Foundation. The FBI in the USA has labeled the LTTE and its front organizations as the most dangerous and deadly extremist group in the world. Robert Page, a professor at the University of Chicago, who is a terrorism specialist, said the Tamil Tigers carried out 127 suicide attacks between 1987 and 2003 more than Al Qaeda, Hamas, and Islamic Jihad combined. The bombs have claimed the lives of former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, Sri Lankan President Ranasighe Premadasa and the last Foreign Minister Mr. Lushman Kardiragam, who was a Tamil patriot to name a few.
An attack on the Central Bank in the capital of Colombo in 1996 killed 91 and left more than 1,400 injured. Another coordinated attack in 2000, on the Air Force base and the Bandaranaike International Airport in Colombo, killing 12 and destroying more than a dozen aircraft as well as crippling the Sri Lankan Air Force. The Tigers have spent millions of dollars on propaganda and infrastructure. According to the FBI, the LTTE has perfected the other weapon of propaganda, whereby they systemically disseminate disinformation. The terrorists have established both an air force wing and a naval unit. The insurgents have received help from the friends of Sri Lanka-Norway and help from PLO and aid from the African Nation of Eritre, according to the 2006 US State Department Report.

The monies LTTE acquired from the Tamil Diaspora by foul and fair means (mainly by extortion) has been severely dealt with since these organizations have been proscribed in Canada and the Western Democracies. This has dealt a severe blow to the war capabilities of the LTTE, as now they lack the finances to buy arms and ammunitions to fight the war against Sri Lanka. At last Sri Lanka is winning the war against this terrorist outfit and now it will be for days or weeks before final victory is achieved.
Canada and the Western Democracies do not understand the cultural, political, and social ramifications in Sri Lanka as much as India, who is a Regional Super Power. Hence we ask Canada and the rest of the democracies to listen to India. India is more interested in settling this dispute for selfish reasons than nothing else. They are only 30 miles from the border of Sri Lanka and to boot there are 70,000,000 million Tamils living in four southern states of India where as Sri Lanka has only 2,000,000 million Tamil folks. Hence, it is imperative this problem is solved judiciously for the benefit of all parties concerned. Listen to what the acting Prime Minister of India, Mr. Pranab Mukerjee stated on February 21, 2009 in the floor of India’s Parliament, “with the return of clarity to congress led government in its policy toward LTTE, to the level it was during Prime Minister Mr. Narishima Rao’s tenure, there is now very wide bipartisan consensus on how to deal with the menace of the LTTE’s terrorism. LTTE is part of the problem in Sri Lanka and can never be a part of any solution, accepted to India”. Dr. Swany Subramanium, leader of the Janatha Party and a former law minister, went onto say, “hence India must assist the Sri Lankan Government in every way to put an end to the LTTE and bring the supremo Prabhakaran to book decisively and with finality for Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination”.
The All-Party Representative Committee (consisting of all major political parties of Sinhalese, Tamils, Muslims, and Indian Tamils) in its interim report has recommended strengthening the 13th amendment to the constitution, and is expected to provide maximum devolution to the Northern and Eastern provinces in due course. As this amendment has already been accepted by the two major political parties, of the majority Sinhalese people and also the parties of the Sri Lankan Tamils, Indian Tamils, Muslim parties and other Leftist parties. Having been passed by the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka as to the constitutionality of the 13th amendment, it seems politically feasible that this should be accepted by all concerned. This report envisages going beyond the 13th amendment and the emphasis would be on meeting the “aspirations of the Tamil speaking people, especially in the North and East”. The 13th amendment to the constitution was made as a condition of the JR-Rajiv agreement of 1987.
The group we represent has already appealed to the President of Sri Lanka to bring about devolution and grant state or provincial autonomy as provided by the 13th amendment to the constitution.

Finally let me remind the Western Colonizers (Portuguese, Dutch, and British in Sri Lanka) that the Colonial era was nothing but a tale of oppression, exploitation, racial, and religious discrimination and to quote Janake Perera of the Asian Tribune, “a vast catalogue of human rights violations, mass murder, crimes against humanity, slavery, and exploitation of natural resources occurred without any remorse or compunction on the part of the occupiers”.
“The irony of this sordid saga is that the colonial nations who should accept responsibility and account for the crimes and compensate the victims and their descendents to restore their dignity, and return the country’s wealth that was robbed, virtually at gun point, are the very countries today, that are pointing the accusatory finger at the descendents of the oppressed. The name of the game is Human Rights. Its pseudo-justice framework, is meant to trap and punish the living, in de-colonized states while allowing the principal perpetrators of human rights violations during the last five hundred years get away scot free”.

Thank you,

Dr. C.K. Fernando
Chairman, Sri Lankan Americans for Obama.com