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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2645

"The only place left for Tamil youths is the Indian Ocean" - Moderate Tamil Leaders

Colombo, 04 December, (Asian Tribune.com): The moderate Tamil Leaders who support the Government of President Mahinda Rajapakse and opposes the separation of the country have given vent to their frustration and dismay on the arrest and detention of the innocent Tamil civilians in Colombo and in other cities in the South of Sri Lanka. Those moderate Tamil Leaders have questioned the logic behind launching such a combing up operation. They have pointed out to Sri Lanka President about the pitiable plight of the Tamils youths when protection is not forthcoming from the Government. “Where can these Tamil youths go? The only place left for them is the Indian Ocean,” Tamil Leaders have told Sri Lanka President with serious concern.

The moderate Tamil Leaders TULF President V. Anandasangaree, PLOTE President D. Sithadhan and EPRLF (Pathmanabha) General Secretary T. Sritharan has jointly addressed a letter yesterday urging President Mahinda Rajapakse to order the release of all those who have proper identities immediately.

“We do not say that the Government should close its eyes and keep quiet. Do the search operations, arrest any one on suspicion but don't detain any innocent person un-necessarily even for a day," they said. They also requested the release of all those who have document of identity even if the person concerned hails from the North,” moderate Tamil Leaders said in their joint appeal.

“We agree that the Government has a responsibility to safe-guard all the people. The action taken will expose the people of this country to greater risk to their lives. When protection is not forthcoming from the Government where can these Tamil youths go?, “ they further pointed out in their appeal.

“They cannot live peacefully in their traditional homes in the North, neither live peacefully in the South with the others. The only place left for them is the Indian Ocean."

Given below the full text of the joint appeal made by the moderate Tamil Leaders to President Mahinda Rajapakse regarding the arrest and detention of innocent Tamil civilians in Colombo and in other parts of the country:

His Excellency Mr. Mahinda Rajapakse,
President of Sri Lanka,
Temple Trees,
Colombo-03

03.12.2007

Your Excellency,

Arrests and Detentions

We wish to lodge our strong protest against the manner in which thousands of Tamil youths are arrested at cordon and search operations and detained under the detention order from the Ministry of Defence. It will not serve the purpose for which it is intended and will prove counter productive. It will only strengthen the claims of the LTTE and the pro-LTTE elements all over the world that the Government is harassing the innocent Tamil people. This incident will also seriously prejudice the thinking of the International Community relating to the attitude of the Government towards the Ethnic Problem.

The International Community may not understand that this action taken by the Government is to prevent the recurrence of incidents similar to the Nugegoda Bombing in which several people died and got injured. The LTTE cadre are armed with numerous identities and it is hardly possible to detect them. Ultimately it is the innocent ones who suffer as a penalty for running away from the LTTE’s clutches into the arms of the Government, seeking protection.

Your Excellency, you are aware that more than half the Tamil populations from the North now live with the Sinhalese, very much loved and respected by the local Sinhalese and Muslims. Just imagine what the plight of the detained ones will be when they return home on their release? Will the Sinhalese neighbors receive them at innocent ones or will they try to keep them as a distance? The net result will be the cordiality among the different races will gradually diminish giving rise to communal politic. This is what the LTTE exactly wants and the Government unconsciously fell into their trap.

We very well understand the concerns of the Government. A fanatic may be even a lunatic, on the instructions or for valuable considerations from another fanatical lunatic, leaves a parcel at the counter of a Textile Shop and vanishes from the scene. Within minutes the parcel explodes leaving 17 dead on the spot and injuring about fifty others three of whom also succumbed to the injuries.

We agree that the Government has a responsibility to safe-guard all the people. The action taken will expose the people of this country to greater risk to their lives. When protection is not forthcoming from the Government where can these Tamil youths go? They cannot live peacefully in their traditional homes in the North, neither live peacefully in the South with the others. The only place left for them is the Indian Ocean.

We do not say that the Government should close its eyes and keep quiet. Do the search operations, arrest any one on suspicion but don’t detain any innocent person un-necessarily even for a day.

Please order the release of all those who have proper identities immediately. Those in doubt could be detained till their identities are proved. Please have a team of retired Judge, to go into the documents of identity available with those who are detained and if their identities are in doubt. After these doubtful cases are cleared take the real culprits to courts. That is what the Government should do without getting blamed

It is very unfortunate that at a time when the Government should win over the goodwill of the minorities, the events that take place help only to earn the displeasure of the minorities. We have received hundreds of phone calls from our supporters, from retired public servants and even from relations and unknown person protesting against these detentions and the manner the detained people are treated. Please act promptly and order the release of all those who have document of identity even if the person concerned hails from the North.

We feel that one of the reasons for Tamil People overstaying in Colombo is due to the curtailment of the Train Services to Vavuniya. Since Vavuniya is a cleared area there is no justification to terminate the services at Anuradhapura. Kindly extend the services as usual to Vavuniya.

Thanking you,

Yours Sincerely,

V.Anandasangaree - President – TULF.

D.Sithadhan – President – PLOTE.

T.Sritharan - General Secretary - EPRLF (Pathmanabha)

- Asian Tribune -

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