Hon. A. B. Vajpayee,
Prime Minister of India,
Prime Minister's Office, New Delhi.
Dear Prime Minister,
We the undersigned members of the Lok Saba are deeply
concerned about the conflict in the Island of Sri Lanka in which thousands
of Tamil civilians (estimated to be 60,000 or more) have perished and
several Hindu temples (estimated to be over 1,800) have been destroyed.
Over 500,000 Tamils have fled the Island,
while another 850,000 are displaced within the Tamil Homeland. Then there is
the matter of the
economic blockade imposed since 1990 to deliberately restrict essential
food and medicine to the Tamil Homeland.
Since 1995 the Government of Sri Lanka has made matters
worse by forbidding Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs) from distributing
food, and with the exception of International Committee of the Red Cross
(ICRC), distributing medicines. Stringent controls have been imposed even on
the ICRC on the medicines they provide.
The Sinhala-Buddhist chauvinist Sri Lankan regime has used
rape, food and medicines as weapons of war against the Hindu-Tamils who, for
more than 2000 years has been habitating the Tamil Homeland comprising of
the North-East Province and its contiguous areas in Sri Lanka. Tamils from
Sri Lanka escaping this
genocidal onslaught continue to arrive in Tamil Nadu in search of refuge
Our constituents on hearing of the atrocities being
committed against fellow Tamils are agitated. The feeling for their
Hindu-Tamil brothers in Sri Lanka is deep-seated. Mr. P V Narashimma Rao,
the former Prime Minister, while giving evidence before the Jain Commission
of Inquiry said, that the
South Indian Tamils and
the Sri Lankan Tamils share a history and cultural heritage
of more than 2,000 years.
Given this background the Tamil Nadu Tamils expect the
Indian Government to bring an end to the suffering of their brethren and
have requested that action is taken immediately. Fishermen from Tamil Nadu
have been subject to arrests and atrocities by the Sri Lankan naval forces
operating with impunity within Indias territorial waters. Over 300 fishermen
had been shot and killed by the Sri Lankan Navy during the past 4 years,
more than 1,000 fishermen maimed and an estimated number of 200 fishing
craft destroyed. As citizens of India our fishermen require the protection
of the Indian Government.
genocidal nature of this war
has gone unreported despite the magnitude of the atrocities and the high
civilian death toll. The real nature of Sri Lankas war is not factually
international media have no presence in the war-torn Tamil homeland, the
actual theatre of war. The steady flow of arms from China, Pakistan and the
US, countries usually hostile to India is only helping the Sri Lankan
Government to persist with its attempt to impose a military solution to its
conflict with the Tamil people and in that process continue to kill, maim
and destroy Tamil lives by the thousands.
In view of the above we call upon the Government of India
(a) sponsor a parliamentary delegation from Tamil Nadu
to visit the Tamil Homeland in Sri Lanka to assess the situation.
(b) persuade the Sri Lankan Government withdraw all its
armed forces from the Tamil Homeland. (this process to begin with an
immediate halt to the military offensive now underway)
(c) impress upon the Sri Lankan regime that the Tamil
Homeland comprising the merged North & East Province is a contiguous
geographic & political entity. And
(d) while arranging to implement the agreements in
respect of Kachativu reflecting the letter and spirit of the two
agreements, initiate a process to review the two agreements with a view
of restoring our sovereign rights over Kachativu.
We are deeply grateful for taking note of our concerns and
wish to extend our fullest co-operation to the government in formulating its
policy encompassing the above positions on Sri Lanka.
Thanking you, We Remain, Yours sincerely,