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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.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Letter to David Miliband

P.O.Box 7271
Baltimore, MD 21218

May 4, 2009

Rt. Hon. David Miliband
Foreign Secretary
House of Commons
London SW1A OAA

Dear Sir:

Your Times article of April 30, 2009 titled, “Victory Without Humanity can be no Triumph” purports to be balanced in nature but, reading between the lines, it is biased towards a terrorist organization banned by your government. I wish to comment on some
of your observations.

“Recent demonstrations in London, Paris and elsewhere have brought the situation in Sri Lanka to wide public attention.”

The demonstrations you mentioned were organized by the Tamil diaspora who, for several decades have contributed financial support for procuring arms to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. One wonders how they can participate in these demonstrations day after day without going to work or attending centres of learning.

You also make reference to “ screening centres” in parentheses as if to mock their purpose. Those centers are necessary to weed out the Tiger cadres disguised as civilians who may blow up innocent refugees. You may not be aware of one such Tiger woman who entered a camp and blew herself up at the entrance when the security forces were registering the refugees . The suicide bomb strapped to her body killed many of the civilians and members of the security force. In another instance, the Tigers sent a 12- year-old girl with the rest of the refugees. She had a suicide bomb strapped to her as well. When she entered the camp, the bomb was detonated by remote control.

“We have called for some time for the Government of Sri Lanka to set a ceasefire in place…..”

Can the US, UK or the EU have a ceasefire with Al Quaida? Besides, how many ceasefire initiatives have been broken by the political arm of LTTE? Please refer to the timeline of the conflict and you will have this information.

In your article you have commented on three main concerns:

“1. Both sides must act to protect civilians in the the so-called no- fire zone (which has become the opposite). The UN had an agreement to send a mission to the conflict zone. …That agreement has not been implemented.”
“2 .The second concern is over arrangements for the displaced persons fleeing the zone."
“3. The conditions of IDP s which include many who are injured and traumatized, as well as the old and children… the Sri Lankan Government has been unwilling to to let international aid agencies get involved directly.:”
These accusations, Mr. Miliband, have no supporting evidence. According to the latest information given in a balanced article written in the Mail on Sunday by a journalist who was present in the camps during your visit. We have also seen video clips that show the ICRC and Medicines Sans Frontiers are present in the camps together with several aid agencies and organisations of Sri Lanka.

According to Ms Fernades’ article containing several interviews with the people on the ground, it is clear that UNICEF is very active in the areas of protecting and meeting the needs of children. Of the rehabilitation of children who were abducted by the LTTE, UNICEF’s Chief Child Protection Officer in Sri Lanka states, “We finance the programme and regularly visit the children..” A Harvard educated expert on health issues and conflict scenarios, Dr. Hiranthi Wijemanne interviewed by Ms. Fernandes has also stated that psychiatrists and medical teams are on hand to help the victims of LTTE abductions.

Finally, I found your words on the future of the Sri Lankan community condescending and out of touch.

“In the future, the communities of Sri Lanka will have to find ways to live together….The deep seated sense of political alienation that has fuelled Tamil resentment towards successive governments of Sri Lanka must be addressed through a political process of integrity and decency.”

Through the ages, people of all communities in Sri Lanka have lived together in peace and harmony. When Mr. Solomon Dias Bandaranaike’s government replaced the English language with Sinhala as the official language and Tamil and English as second languages, a small group of youth began a campaign against the government of the day. It was not only the Tamil people who were affected by that ill-fated decision, but middle class Sinhalese and all urban citizens whether they be Sinhalese, Tamils, Burgers or Malays as well. They too, did not like the policy and some emigrated to English speaking countries. I am one of them! Successive governments revised this policy and both Sinhala and Tamil became the official languages and English, the second language.

Tamils have occupied important positions in both the public and private sectors.They have been cabinet ministers, diplomats, university professors , businessmen/women. They live all over the island and do not want to live only in the North. In the capital, Colombo, 55% of the citizens are of Tamil descent. The Sri Lankan flag is one of only a handful of nations that proudly displays representation of Tamils and Muslims. We are one nation proud of our diversity and rich heritage. The Tamil people have been taken hostage by the LTTE and forced to give monthly sums to finance their violent activities.
The LTTE has attacked not only the Sinhalese but a majority of Muslims as well. They have assassinated Tamil members of the cabinet, Tamil parliamenarians, a President of Sri Lanka, blinded another and killed Raji Gandhi, a former prime minister of India. So I find your remarks quite prescriptive and groundless. The international community must look at the totality of this conflict.

I am not a politician. I am an educator and peace advocate. Today, I speak for all those silenced by the LTTE vicious attacks. I speak for the children who lost their lives when their bus was blown up on the way to school. I grieve at the violent deaths of all those teenagers who were returning home by train after winning a championship game, and I mourn the little Tamil girl who was leaving the Tiger camp when she was blown up by remote control. These victims did not see adulthood. Their lives were taken away by the ruthless acts of a group of terrorists who have no respect for human life.

I don’t believe the government of Sri Lanka is seeking triumph. The governmant is seeking to end the tyranny of the Tigers. Mr. Milliband, during your visit to Sri Lanka, all you had to say to the Tigers was:

Yours sincerely,

Mrs. C Fernando