- The Washington Times - Monday, November 2, 2009


Your editorial “Undermining Sri Lanka” (Opinion, Wednesday) belittles the death of more than 20,000 Tamils during the government of Sri Lanka’s war on Tamil separatists this year. Even worse, it overlooks the fact that it is no secret that government military forces fired heavy mortars into civilian “no fire zones” demarcated by their own government.

The editorial does injustice to Israel by comparing the Sri Lankan mono-ethnic Sinhala military forces with Israel’s professionalized military forces. In the worst case, Israeli military actions may have caused a maximum of 1,000 deaths. Because the government of Sri Lanka continues to deny access to the Tamil homelands, there is no independent verification of the Tamil deaths, but the Times of London estimated that more than 20,000 Tamils may have been killed this year alone.

The editorial sidesteps the fact that the Sinhala military forces killed Tamil combatants who negotiated their surrender with the government and that the government has held more than 300,000 Tamils in internment camps for more than five months. It also is worth noting that tensions between the Tamils and Sinhalese have continued for more than 50 years and that the 3 million Tamils domiciled in the north and eastern provinces live in prison-like conditions in their own lands.

President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton must leverage our clout to get the full story, identify and hold accountable the perpetrators of this injustice and develop strategies to address the legitimate grievances of the Tamils on the island so that the Sinhalese and Tamils can live peacefully in their own homelands.


Dedham, Mass.

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