Friday, February 27, 2009

Sri Lankan Americans For Obama Challenge Ceasefire Request

New York, 27 February, (Asiantribune.com): Dr Lal Fernando, Chairman of the ''Sri Lankan-Americans for President Obama'', has written a letter to Senator Robert Casey, Jr., Chairman of the Foreign Relations Sub Committee on South Asia, appraising him of the recent developments in Sri Lanka.

"We ask you to accept a simple fact: why should a small country be asked to negotiate with an accepted terrorist group when we in the USA and the rest of the large democracies, like India, UK, EU, and Australia refuse to negotiate with the terrorist groups they are fighting against."

The letter reads:

I am a Sri-Lankan American residing in Naples, Florida. I am married with three children and two grandchildren. I came to this country in 1964 on a Fulbright Scholarship. I am writing this memorandum as the Chairman of a small group of Sri-Lankan Americans who are ardent supporters of our new president Barack Obama.

These are the facts:

• Sri-Lanka is a vibrant democracy. In spite of an on going terrorist problem for the last 30 years. It’s achievements in the domestic front are remarkable.

• In the SAARC Region comprising of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Maldives, Afghanistan, and Sri-Lanka, the record of Sri-Lanka’s achievements in the areas of education, health, children’s and women’s health programs, and even per capita income, and life expectancy the numbers for Sri-Lanka is highest in the region. This is not an accident but purely a matter of good governance.

• 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 Governments to understand this fact and then they too 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.

USA, UK, EU, Canada, Australia, India, Norway and many other Western democracies have agreed with the FBI who has labeled this group the LTTE and its allied organizations as the most dangerous and deadly extremist organizations in the world. In addition, the LTTE has also perfected the other weapon of propaganda, whereby they systematically disseminate disinformation.

• The monies the LTTE have been collecting from the Tamil Diaspora has been severely dealt with since these organizations have been proscribed in the Western Countries and there by dealing a severe blow to the acquiring of arms and ammunitions for waging this war against Sri-Lanka. Sri-Lanka now at last is on the verge of eliminating the LTTE and we ask your committee to go along with the Regional Super Power India who understands the cultural, political, and social ramifications of Sri-Lanka.

• We also ask you to accept a simple fact why should a small country be asked to negotiate with an accepted terrorist group when we in the USA and the rest of the large democracies, like India, UK, EU, and Australia refuse to negotiate with the terrorist groups they are fighting with.

• India has nearly 70,000,00 Tamils living there while we in Sri-Lanka have a little more than 2,000,000 Tamils living happily in Sri-Lanka. The de facto acting Prime Minister of India, Mr. Pranab Mukerjee, stated on the 21st of this month on 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. Narasimha Rao’s tenure, there is now a very wide bi-partisan consensus on how to deal with the menace of LTTE’s terrorism. LTTE is part of the problem in Sri-Lanka and can never be part of any solution, accepted to India".

• Dr Subramaniam Swmay , leader of the Janatha Party, and a former Law Minister went on to state "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."

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