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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2681

Douglas Devananda Appeals to the International Community to Save the Tamils from the Tamil Tigers

Colombo, 12 May, ( We are on the brink of a major catastrophe which will affect the Tamil-speaking people on a scale never experienced before. The majority of the Tamil-speaking people are clear in their vision that their political rights could be won over only through the democratic process of negotiations, and not by any means of violence, as we in the EPDP have always advocated and pursued consistently.

But, as the Tamil-speaking people have been silenced today at the point of a fascist gun and have been subjugated from expressing their views, we being their representative democratic organ, wish to place their plight on their behalf on humanitarian grounds to the International Community.

In recent times, there has been an escalation of guerrilla attacks against the security forces by the LTTE, with the deliberate intention of provoking a backlash from them against the innocent Tamils and creating civil commotion in the south, so that they could benefit from the spill over of events.

Contrary to their expectation, these actions have led to misery and pain to the civilian population in all communities. Every time an attack takes place the helpless public, caught in the crossfire, run hither and thither, fearing the consequences.

For instance, attacks the recent attacks on the Navy by “Sea Tigers” led to frequent restrictions and ban on fishing, causing untold sufferings to the fisher folk. Further, the call for “Harthal (Stoppage of Work)” so often, has caused severe hardships on the day-to-day living of the Tamil-speaking people.

The public are inconvenienced due to frequent shutdown of civic administration; the daily wage earners are deprived of their earnings; the traders loose their income and thus unable to meet their commitments; the students have been loosing their opportunity of learning. In short, all sectors of the public have been suffering in one way or other. The LTTE are solely responsible for this catastrophic situation.

As we have time and again brought to the notice of the International Community, the LTTE has made use of the Peace Process to annihilate its political opponents, those who defy paying extortions and the intellectuals and media personnel who refuse to fall in line with them. These killings are reported in the LTTE media as acts committed by “unidentified persons”.

Recently, the LTTE’s front organisations have requested the media personnel and employees attached to the State media to refrain from carrying out their duties. Those who refuse to obey this order are threatened with serious consequences.

Further to the atrocities committed by the LTTE in Sri Lanka, they have been forcing the Tamil Diaspora to borrow large sums of loans from banks in their countries of domicile, all of which are to be contributed as funds for the LTTE to wage their “final war".

The struggle for political rights of the Tamil-speaking people was the root cause for the emergence of civil war in Sri Lanka.

In the event the rights are given to the Tamil-speaking Community the war certainly will cease to exist.

The political solution sought is still far away from us because of the intransigence of the LTTE. On the one hand the LTTE speaks about peace talks and on the other is engaged in a brutal war against all communities including the Tamils. The people have lost faith in the peace process due to this double-dealing, duplicitous stand of the LTTE.

Finally, on behalf of the Tamil-speaking people who do not have the freedom of expression, we wish to make the following appeal to the International Community:

To help the Tamil community to come out of the clutches of LTTE atrocities;

To take firm action to deter the LTTE from threatening and intimidating the Tamil Diaspora with the primary objective of extorting and laundering illegal funds raised under the nose of in Western authorities.

To take every step possible to ensure that the LTTE strictly adheres to the Cease Fire Agreement;

To help the Tamils to achieve their heart-felt aspiration to live in peace and harmony by putting pressure on the LTTE to abandon violence and start genuine negotiations to end the suffering of all communities.

To help to find a peaceful solution to the prolonged ethnic problem of the country.

We hope the International Community would resort to a positive course of action in this regard.

Sgd. K. N. Douglas Devananda M.P.

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