Dr. Rajan Sriskandarajah
Poughkeepsie, New York 12601
Dear Dr. Sriskandarajah,
I am writing in response to
your letter of May 5
to Secretary Powell regarding the
Department of State�s annual report on 'Patterns of Global Terrorism'. I
regret that there were certain misperceptions in the report with which you
have taken issue.
Specifically, to address your concern regarding the statement that "Tamils
historically have served as drug couriers� and the issue of Tamil
involvement in �narcotics smuggling,� I note that the sentence in question
comes at the end of a description of the LTTE terrorist group and its
sources of income. In drafting this section, we had intended that it would
be clear from the context that the sentence referred to some expatriate
Tamil communities in Europe as the sentence immediately before it says
exactly that: �some Tamil communities in Europe.� As our goal is to avoid
any misperceptions stemming from the report, we will closely review any such
statements in the future to ensure that the intent is clear.
In addition, I would like to draw your attention to the introduction of the
terrorism report, where we state:
�Adverse mention in this report of individual members of any political,
social, ethnic, religious, or national group is not meant to imply that all
members of that group are terrorists. Indeed terrorists represent a
small minority of dedicated, often fanatical individuals in most such
groups. It is those small groups - and their actions - that are the subject
of this report.�
In closing, I regret your dissatisfaction with the 2000 "Patterns of Global
Terrorism" Report and assure you that we will work in future reports to
correct any possible misperceptions.
Acting Coordinator for Counter Terrorism.