Re: Tamils to Obama: Meet with us to discuss future of Tamils in Sri Lanka
24 January 2013
The Honorable Barack Obama
President of the United States of America
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20500
Dear President Obama:
Let us congratulate you on your firm re-election last November, and your sparkling second term inaugural address a few days ago.
Let us also tell you what is on our minds. The Sri Lankan civil war, which was still raging when you were elected in 2008, ended in 2009. The victor, the national government of Sri Lanka, has taken this as a signal to brutalize and repress (even more harshly) the minority Tamil population.
The government is driving Tamils out of areas they have lived in for centuries. The government is resettling these areas with majority ethnic Sinhalese. Driving one population out and replacing them with another--ethnic cleansing--is one of the UN’s definitions of genocide, which we know you are against.
The government used anti-personnel weapons against the Tamil civilian refugee population during the war, deliberately killing Tamils. This—deliberately killing members of the victim population—is another of the United Nations’ definitions of genocide.
The current Tamil population in the north and east of Sri Lanka includes large numbers of widows with children and single women with little chance of marrying. These women have no resources and no means of gaining resources, and are regular victims of Sri Lankan soldiers’ sexual extortion and opportunism. “Inflicting… conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction…” is another of the UN’s definitions of genocide.
Young Tamil women are regularly seized and sent to brothels in southern Sri Lanka. This kidnapping and forced prostitution amounts to slavery, and these young women are certainly not going to bear healthy Tamil children. “Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group” is yet another of the UN’s definitions of genocide.
We hope and trust that you will take measures to help create a peaceful and safe refuge for our Tamil brothers and sisters in the north and east of Sri Lanka.
We have supported your campaigns and efforts with our time, votes and resources. We hope you will meet with us to discuss the future of Tamils in Sri Lanka.
Tamils for Obama