2D Summit Flats
Tel. No. +94-11-2559787
25 March 2009
H.E. Mahinda Rajapakse,
President of the Democratic
Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka,
INVITATION TO MEET WITH THE TAMIL NATIONAL ALLIANCE
We thank you for the letter sent by your Secretary dated 20
March 2009, inviting us and all the other Members of
Parliament belonging to the Tamil National Alliance (TNA)
for a meeting chaired by you, to be held on 26 March 2009 at
6.30 p.m. at Temple Trees to discuss the prevailing
political situation in the country.
We observe that you vaguely state that you desire to discuss
the prevailing political situation in the country without
any specific reference to the political issues that need to
be discussed. There is also no reference to the grave
humanitarian crisis prevailing in a part of the Mullaitheevu
District, relating to around 300,000 internally displaced
Tamil civilians. After the government designated certain
areas as safe zones, these displaced Tamil civilians largely
moved into these areas.
We consider it necessary to state certain facts pertaining
to this grave humanitarian crisis relating to the displaced
1. The fighting between the Sri Lankan armed forces and the
Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam�s (LTTE�s) military
formations is said to be taking place on many fronts some
distance away from the said government designated �safe
zones�. Yet the Sri Lankan armed forces have been bombing
the safe zone areas by air and artillery fire killing on an
average between 40 to 50 civilians on a daily basis and
causing grave injuries to civilians many times more.
2. Despite the grave humanitarian crisis prevalent in these
areas, the government has evicted all international
humanitarian organizations and has since imposed
restrictions on supplies to these areas tantamount to an
embargo on food, medicine, shelter and other basic
3. No independent media is permitted access to this area to
report on the situation really prevailing in this area.
4. No functioning hospitals remain in the Vanni as
government bombing campaigns have destroyed all such
facilities. There are gross shortages of medicines. Despite
numerous requests by the few remaining medical officers in
the Vanni, the government has failed to send adequate
medicine. Diseases related to overcrowding, poor nutritional
intake, a lack of sanitation and exposure to the elements
are becoming prevalent. People have died recently as a
result of complications which could have been easily treated
had there been proper health facilities and medicine.
5. The Internally Displaced Persons do not have any form of
toilet facilities. The government has banned all
construction materials into the area and as a result
building of temporary toilets has not been possible.
6. More than 60,000 families (240,000 individuals) are
living in open areas with shelter made from tarpaulin. Due
to the very hot weather conditions, staying in these
shelters has become intolerable. The government has not
allowed shelter materials into the area.
7.. Even though there are around 300,000 civilians in the
relevant areas, the government insists that there are only
about 70,000 civilians in the area. This position of the
government is inconsistent with the assessment of UN and
other international agencies who estimate that there are
around 200,000 displaced civilians in this area.. In doing
so the quantity of food aid and medicine and other essential
humanitarian supplies sent is grossly inadequate and as a
result the civilian population is starving to death or dying
due to unavailability of medical supplies. It should be
noted that within the last month, several people have died
of starvation. The dead have included many children.
8. There is also a complete inadequacy of drinking water.
Water Bowsers from Puthukuddirruppu are used for
transporting water. This water is dangerous to collect due
to continuous shelling and bombing of the area by the Sri
Lankan armed forces. To compound matters, lack of fuel for
the Bowsers and the water pumps is also hampering water
collection and delivery. The situation regard to non
drinking water (toilet, washing, cooking, etc) is that it is
9. Since the beginning of this year alone, over 3000
civilians have been killed in these so-called �safe zones�
by bombing campaigns carried out by the Sri Lankan armed
forces.. Well over 8000 civilians have been gravely injured.
The fact that the armed forces have been bombing these areas
suggests that the civilians are being deliberately targeted.
It is also our submission that the government�s failure to
permit adequate food and medicine into these areas
demonstrates that food and medicine are being used against
the Tamil civilians as a weapon of war.
The TNA has made public this grave humanitarian situation
and appealed to the government to take necessary steps to
ensure that the Tamil civilian population is not harmed. The
international community has similarly made strong appeals to
the government on behalf of the Tamil civilian population.
The government has not responded to these appeals. If the
military attacks now taking place, and the deprivations
caused by the embargo on food, medicines, shelter and other
humanitarian needs continue, a grave humanitarian
catastrophe affecting the Tamil civilian population will
before long occur in this area.
We consider it our primary duty to protect and safeguard the
displaced Tamil civilian population from this grave
humanitarian catastrophe. We have to therefore earnestly
request : -
That the military attacks be stopped immediately.
Ensure that adequate supplies of food, medicines and shelter
are sent immediately to sustain a civilian population of
around 300,000 so that the displaced Tamil civilian
population is not denied urgent humanitarian needs.
Urge that UN agencies, the ICRC and other international NGOs
are able to freely function in this area, and thereby ensure
the fulfillment of the humanitarian needs of these displaced
We should also point out that the international community
has with one voice urged the government to swiftly take
action on the aforesaid lines.
It is in the background of this grave humanitarian crisis
relating to the Tamil civilian population that we have
received your invitation. The Tamil people and our party are
strongly of the view that the utmost priority must be given
to the resolution of this humanitarian crisis before it
assumes catastrophic proportions, and that any political
discussions to be purposeful and meaningful must follow such
Since you have hitherto consistently followed a policy of
ignoring the TNA in regard to all political issues in the
Northeast, we are glad that you now wish to engage in
discussions with us, recognizing even though belatedly, that
we represent the Tamil people.
We will extend our cooperation to any credible political
process that seeks to evolve an adequate, acceptable and
durable political solution to the Tamil question.
We would strongly urge that you take necessary steps to
address forthwith the grave humanitarian crisis pertaining
to the displaced Tamil civilian population.
R. SAMPANTHAN M.P.
TNA Parliamentary Group Leader
MAVAI SENATHIRAJAH M.P
General Secretary, ITAK
SURESH PREMACHANDREN M.P.
Secretary General, EPRLF
N. SRIKANTHA M.P.
G. G. PONNAMBALAM M.P.
General Secretary, ACTC