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Dear Mr. President,

In the recent referendum in Southern Sudan, people overwhelmingly approved independence for Southern Sudan We approve and support this referendum, in which it was recommended that the southern Sudan be given sovereignty. This accomplishes two important ends: it gives the southern Sudanese safety and peace within their own homeland, and it ends a decades-long bloody civil war.

We urge that the US support a similar referendum being held in Sri Lanka. Like Sudan, Sri Lanka has endured a decades-long civil war in which the government brutalized and murdered a powerless minority. As with the southern Sudanese, Sri Lankan Tamils need a sovereign homeland in which they can be safe and free.

The Report of the Secretary-General’s Panel of Experts on Accountability in Sri Lanka was published Monday, April 25, 2011. The report referred to “(i) Killing of civilians through widespread shelling; (ii) Shelling of hospitals and humanitarian objects; (iii) Denial of humanitarian assistance; (iv) Human rights violations suffered by victims and survivors of the conflict, including both IDPs and suspected LTTE cadre; and (v) Human rights violations outside the conflict zone, including against the media and other critics of the Government." The report recommends international investigations. We additionally ask for a referendum on Tamil sovereignty.

We the undersigned request that the US support and advance a referendum in Sri Lanka asking whether the Tamils should gain sovereignty within their own region.

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