Stop the attacks on Tamils: letter to the Sri Lankan High Commission

On Friday, April 17, 2009, the following letter was delivered to the High Commissioner of Sri Lanka in Ottawa. A delegation from the Tamil Action Committee (TAC), which is supported by the International League of Peoples’ Struggle – Canada, exchanged with High Commission representatives for 30 min. and explained TAC demands and concerns. Contact TAC by e-mail at: tamil.action.committee[at]gmail.com, and by phone at +1514 342-2111.
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His Excellency Daya Perera
High Commissioner
Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka High Commission
333 Laurier Avenue
Ottawa, Ontario K1P 1C1

Friday, April 17, 2009

Dear High Commissioner,

As Canadian citizens we are very concerned about the news coming out of Sri Lanka, particularly concerning the apparent serious human rights violations against Tamils in your country, including use of mustard gas and other inhumane weapons.

We are alarmed by the continuing reports of large numbers of ordinary citizens, including many women and children, who are being displaced. wounded and killed in the present military offensive. The reports indicate that the Sri Lankan government has been denying the Tamil population food, shelter, medicine and other fundamental necessities; refusing to allow access by the UN and other international relief agencies to the conflict areas; allowing the bombing of hospitals, schools and places of worship; and denying access to conflict areas to international media.

We do not think there is any defence or excuse for such attacks on citizens, whatever the reasons being provided by the government of your country, such as the attempt to “eradicate” the armed opposition group, the LTTE, or Tamil Tigers.

We demand that you put an end to this humanitarian crisis by ending the fighting without further bloodshed and that the rights and equality of the Tamil population in Sri Lanka be fully respected. To this end the Sri Lankan government must immediately start the process to right the wrongs and injustices that led to the armed opposition movement in the first place. This must include the prosecution of all those, including members of the Sri Lankan armed forces, police and other officials and individuals, found to have been involved in war crimes and crimes against humanity. History has shown there can only be true peace if there is true justice.

To undertake this process we demand:
1. An immediate, internationally monitored ceasefire
2. Unfettered access by independent international observers, humanitarian organizations, and the UN, to all regions of Sri Lanka
3. An unimpeded flow of humanitarian relief, especially adequate food and medicine, to the civilians in the conflict zone
4. Full and immediate access to all regions of Sri Lanka for the international media.

Yours sincerely,

Tamil Action Committee
an initiative of the Immigrant Workers Centre
and other concerned groups and individuals in Montréal, Québec
e-mail: tamil.action.committee[at]gmail.com
telephone: +1514 342-2111

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