States & the struggle for Tamil Eelam
Letter to US Secretary of State from
Sherrod Brown, Member of US Congress
11 August 2000
Congress of the United States
House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515
August 11, 2000
The Honorable Madeleine K. Albright
Secretary of State
Department of State
Washington, D.C. 20520
Dear Secretary Albright:
I would like to express my concern over the conflict in Sri Lanka and the
worsening humanitarian crisis between the government and its Tamil
Despite their financial and military superiority, the
government of Sri Lanka has not been able to contain the Liberation Tigers
of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). On innumerable occasions, the LTTE has demonstrated
the ability to launch hit-and-run attacks from the northern jungles, and
have succeeded in reversing government gains on the battlefield.
President Chandrika Kumaratunga has stated that the conflict is unwinnable.
Attempts at a peaceful settlement have also stalled. President
Kumaratunga’s constitutional reforms could not muster a two-thirds majority
in the parliament and any hope for a non-violent resolution to the conflict
have all but disappeared. The bill will most likely not pass before the
parliament dissolves later this month.
As this conflict continues, civilians in LTTE controlled
areas are suffering.
Sri Lankan authorities have implemented an oppressive press-censorship
have not allowed essential supplies, including baby food and medicine, to be
distributed in these regions. Such abuses of human rights will not stop
until a resolution to the conflict is found.
The United States should take a more active role to resolve
this dispute. It is crucial we express our disapproval over the media ban
and urge the Sri Lankan government to allow humanitarian aid into LTTE
controlled areas. We must do all we can to ease the suffering of innocent
people caught in this crisis.
I look forward to hearing your perspective on this
situation. Thank you.
Member of Congress