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Home > Struggle for Tamil Eelam > International Frame of  Struggle for Tamil Eelam > United States & the Struggle for Tamil Eelam > University of Jaffna Teachers to US Secretary of State, November 1995

United States & the struggle for Tamil Eelam

Letter from University of Jaffna Teachers
to US Secretary of State

University of Jaffna Sri Lanka
Temporary Address:
Hindu College,
Sri Lanka

21st November 1995

Dear Sir,

During the second week of this month the Sri Lankan Broadcasting Corporation repeatedly broadcast the following statement as made by an official of the South Asian Bureau of the Foreign Affairs of the U. S. A.

"The adamant attitude of the LTTE in pursuing violence is the main cause for the sufferings of the Tamils. The cessation of hostilities was broken entirely by the LTTE".

We were shocked and saddened by the above reported statement beamed repeatedly by the government media. We the community of the University of Jaffna wish to place before you the following facts contradicting the above statement.

1. The LTTE has emerged as the only organised and accepted leadership that is leading the Tamils against all forms of oppression inflicted on the Tamils by the Sinhala governments. We cannot subscribe to the government's mere wishful thinking that Tamils and LTTE are entirely two separate entities and that the people want to be liberated from the LTTE.

For a long time the Tamil community has been deliberately deceived by successive Sinhala politicians and their governments. For more than thirty years (1949-1983) at every denial of the rights of the Tamils, the latter have expressed their opposition by parliamentary democratic and non - violent forms. But these oppositions were put down by inhuman militaristic forces of the state. It is the arrogant refusal to respond to democratic oppositions and the militaristic excesses committed by the state forces that pushed the Tamil youths to resort to militancy in order to protect the Tamils and defend their rights.

2. The reported statement of the American official that the cessation of hostilities was broken entirely by the LTTE is far from the truth. During the cessation of hostilities talks were held between the government and the LTTE. But what happened at the talks and how seriously they were conducted by the government is crucial to understand why it was given up by the LTTE.

Even the decisions arrived at during the first round of talks were not implemented. But the truth was that even after the week of these announcements the military officers at the check points at Vavuniya did not allow the people to carry the items which were announced by the government stating that they have not received the gazette notification. But the same military officers were quick in receiving the clamp down of the embargo within hours of the breaking of cessation of hostilities. We consider this action of the military a good example for the usual conduct of the government with regard to implementation of government decisions.

3. We like to point out the LTTE already a month before the actual date (19th April 1995) had informed the government of the non-implementation of decisions reached and also given other reasons for a possible breakdown in the cessation of hostilities. But the government disregarded these warnings and dragged on for four months without any meaningful talks or implementation of decisions in order to gain political and military advantage. They did not show any urgency in relieving the sufferings of the Tamil people by allowing the basic requirements of life.

4.When Mrs. Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga was elected president it was the LTTE who first gave the goodwill signs towards a possible cease - fire. They unconditionally released prisoners of war, called for a permanent cease-fire, publicly announced a symbolic cease-fire and observed it unilaterally for over a week welcomed the independent and peace loving NGO representatives from the South and expressed their wish for a permanent cease-fire.

The government did not pay serious attention to the above goodwill moves. Finally when they agreed for a cessation of hostilities (not a cease-fire as wished by the LTTE) and started talks, the LTTE had repeatedly requested that the government send true representatives who were empowered to make political decisions. But the government kept on sending persons who were mere architects and bankers without any political background or ability Such acts clearly demonstrated that the government was not taking the talks seriously enough. It is impossible that your esteemed country which concerns itself well with the politics of the whole world and having the resources to engage in such work failed to know the facts around the breaking of cessation of hostilities. How come that the statement of an official of your ministry contradict these facts?

Because of the high esteem the Tamils have of your country, the reported statement coming over the government's media has hurt the feeling of our people who are already suffering immense hardship.

Your country which stands up and protects democratic and human rights all over the world, we believe, will not approve or encourage the actions of the Sri Lanka government with respect to human rights violation. But the above statement appears to encourage the anti-human rights actions of the present government.

Although we doubt the authenticity of the above statement, it has hurt the feelings of our suffering people. Hence, we hope that the people and government of the U. S A. will take all remedial measures as early as possible to restore justice and peace in this country

Thank you.

Yours sincerely,

For the University of Jaffna


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