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Home > Struggle for Tamil Eelam > International Frame of Struggle for Tamil Eelam > United States & the Struggle for Tamil Eelam > The Commonwealth of Massachusetts Urges Financial Boycott of Sri Lanka
United States & the struggle for Tamil Eelam
The Massachusetts House of Representatives unanimously adopted a Resolution filed Representative Marie E. Howe (D-Somerville) and the Eelam Tamil Association of America, headquartered in Somerville, Massachusetts, urging the divestment and withdrawal of public funds and pension revenues from businesses that are owned by organizations based in Sri Lanka.
In filing this Resolution on behalf of the Eelam Tamils, Representative Howe stated, "it is urgent that the citizens of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts are made aware of the gross violation of human rights by the Government of Sri Lanka, formerly known as Ceylon, against the Tamil population. Government sponsored terrorism against the minority people of this Island just south of India will not be tolerated and hopefully the citizens of Massachusetts will boycott all products and companies with interest based in Sri Lanka."
The following is the text of the resolution adopted:
Whereas, The Tamils of Eelam, who number three million Hindus, Christians and Moslems and occupy eight thousand square miles. live as an oppressed minority in Sri Lanka, where the majority is composed of ten million Sinhalese, most of whom are Buddhists;
And whereas, from ancient times two nations, the Sinhalese and Tamils possessed distinct languages, religions, cultures and clearly demarcated geographic territories until the British, who were characteristically oblivious to the difference between these two separate nations, imposed one rule for the purpose of colonial administrative unification;
And whereas, since 1948, when the British departed the Island and two unwilling nations were consequently left under a unitary government structure, the majority Sinhalese faction has subverted democratic principles to become the new masters of the Tamil-speaking people;
And whereas, further evidencing the discriminatory and intimidating policies of the majority, security forces recently went on a rampage in the northern provincial capital of Jaffna, burning shops and more than one hundred and fifty houses, almost all of which were owned by Tamils, who make up approximately twenty per cent of the population of the Island once called Ceylon, thereby leaving more than five hundred people homeless;
And whereas, at least one civilian was killed by crossfire in overnight fighting between naval troops and unidentified people, and at Paranthan, on the rail line between Jaffna and Colombo, policemen attacked a crowd of train passengers headed North for the Tamil-speaking area, injuring an undetermined number of civilians;
And whereas, according to the International Commission of Jurists, many of the provisions of the Sri Lankan Prevention of Terrorism Act and Public Security Act are contrary to accepted principles of the rule of law, internationally accepted minimum standards of criminal procedure, and also to be contrary to the provisions of the Sri Lankan constitution;
And whereas, the Massachusetts House of Representatives does not wish the Commonwealth to contribute to the revenues of Sri Lanka because of its violations of the human rights the Tamils;
And whereas. the Massachusetts House of Representatives does not wish the Commonwealth to invest in Sinhalese interests or in those of any other party that practises discrimination against the Tamil inhabitants of Eelam;
And whereas, consistent with its condemnation of moral wrongs done in the name of the Sinhalese people by their government, the Massachusetts House of Representatives hereby endorses a policy of financial boycott by the Commonwealth, thereby dissociating itself from the abiding evil of Sinhalese oppression in Sri Lanka;
Therefore be it resolved, that the Massachusetts House of Representatives urges the immediate divestment and withdrawal of all Public funds or pension revenues from any business organizations that are owned by interests based in Sri Lanka, and urges all officers of the Commonwealth to exercise their best offices to accomplish the said objective with the greatest sense of urgency; and be it further resolved, that copies of these resolutions be forwarded by the Clerk of the House of Representatives to the President of the United States, Secretary of State, U.N. Ambassador, Presiding Officer of each branch of congress and the members thereof from this Commonwealth, President Jayawardene of Sri Lanka, Prime Minister R. Premadasa and the Presiding Officers of the Parliament of Sri Lanka.