Stop Military Aid to Sri Lanka and Provide Relief to the Tamils sign now

Respected Mr. President Abdul Kalam and Respected Mr. Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh. This petition is created by responsible Indian citizens of the Tamil Nadu state to reason and request the following actions by you.

1) Stop All Military Aid to Sri Lanka.
2) Provide Humanitarian and Medical Relief to the Tamil People of Sri Lanka.

WHY SHOULD INDIA STOP MILITARY AID TO SRI LANKA?

Human Rights Violation:
Recently the government of Sri Lanka has declared that its objective is to eliminate the Tamil Rebel leadersip and weaken the Tamil Rebel organization. The government forces have succeeded in the east and have captured large territories that belonged to the Tamil rebels. Paramilitary forces comprising mainly of the Karunas group that defected the Tamil Tiger militant group aided the government forces. There have been several Human Rights violations during this offensive. The most popular ones include the Arial bombing of the Sencholai school that left 60 girl students dead. International monitoring groups have proved the Sri Lankan governments claim that Sencholai was a rebel training camp wrong. The murder of the 17 aid workers in the Muttur area has also invoked strong international criticism. The international monitoring groups have reported that the Sri Lankan Army committed this crime in an execution style. The International Human Rights watch groups have also criticized the enquiry that the government ordered with this regard. International and Regional Rights groups have reported hundreds of abductions and disappearances blamed on one side or the other since the war. President Rajapakse argues many of those reports are fake and designed to discredit his government, and denies the security forces are involved. The government is stepping completely out of line with what the international community is expecting of it. The government is isolating itself internationally and within Sri Lanka.

Mr. Rajapakses Military Approach:
With the assuming of Presidents office by Mr. Rajapakse, there clearly seem to be a different approach taken by the Sri Lankan government for resolving the internal conflict, which Has elevated the civil war into a war between two distinct nations. Being a strong supporter of the Southern Sinhalese Nationalists, Mr. Rajapakse has become the most hated President of Sri Lanka among the Tamils of the North and the East of Sri Lanka. Several western nations including USA and UK have stopped their aid quoting deterioration of Human Rights during 2006. Several western nations are reviewing the conditions to lift the ban on the Tiger organizations due to requests by the Sri Lankan Tamil Diaspora. The federal solution that India proposed to Sri Lanka has been dissolved by dubious means by the present Sri Lanka government.

Elimination of Tamil Rebels before a Negotiated Settlement of the conflict:
The present government of Sri Lanka lacks a plan to build a political solution with devolution of powers to the Tamil people of the north and east. Their claim that the Tamil Rebels would reject any solution cannot be taken as a good reason for not proposing an acceptable open solution to the Tamil People. The four years of peace brokered by Norway has not been properly utilized by the Sri Lankan government, to win the trust of the Tamil people. The Tamil Rebels continue to be the popular governing group among the Sri Lankan Tamils. The Tamils of Sri Lanka believe that the elimination of the Tiger Organization will allow the Sri Lankan Sinhalese Nationalists to thrust a solution that is not acceptable by the Tamil people. The Tamil Rebels violence is the manifestation of a culmination of unattended grievances of the Tamil people in Sri Lanka. Unless the basic Tamil grievances are addressed, the elimination of the Tamil Rebels will only lead to the formation of new rebel organizations by the Tamil youth. India's long experience in counter insurgency has shown that political process has to keep pace with military operations. One without the other will not resolve the issue permanently.

Indias Military Aid:
The military aid to the government can only be interpreted as an encouragement to pursuing a military solution to the problem. Arial bombardments of its own citizens, Forced evacuation of Tamils from Colombo quoting security reasons, Defying international concerns regarding Human Rights violations by Government Agencies, Unaccounted disappearances of Tamil journalists in Colombo, Unaccounted Disappearance of Tamil youth in Colombo - all these developments indicate that Sri Lanka is rolling back to the eighties when severe anti Tamil riots all over Sri Lanka lead to large scale influx of refugees into Tamil Nadu and else where in India and abroad. Indias friely policy with Sri Lanka is being used by Sri Lanka to counter and ignore international concerns regarding these issues. The Tamil people of India feel that the elimination of the Tamil Tigers before a negotiated settlement is reached is a dangerous proposition.

So we, the Tamil People of India request you to take necessary actions to IMMEDIATELY STOP THE MILITARY AID TO SRI LANKA.


HUMANITARIAN AND MEDICAL RELIEF

Economic blockade
The current military approach taken by the Sri Lankan government has led to several economic blockades to the Tamil regions in the north. The closure of the A-9 highway in August 2006 has also meant most essential supplies, including food, could no longer be delivered from the south in the volumes necessary. It is reported that Jaffna is now a city marked by shortages of basic commodities and medicine and most critically, food. The World Food Programme (WFP), which is currently conducting its food assistance programme in Jaffna, has been able to ship only 20 per cent of its total food allocation for internally displaced peoples (IDPs) and vulnerable people to the peninsula due to the A9 road closure. The economic conditions in Jaffna are so dire that the cost of commodities including food are priced beyond their reach. The current situation is reported as the worst in the past 30 years. Few children are now suffering malnutrition. Residents have reported that even during the 20-year war between the government and the Tamil Rebels, they had food, But today they have nothing. Most men are out of work and several children only get one meal a day. The Sri Lankan government feels that forcing the people of the north to feel the pinch of the war would create hatred for the Tamil Rebels and discredit them among the Tamil people. This approach has only proved that the Sri Lankan government has failed in its responsibility to uphold the safety and protection of its own citizens.

Internally Displaces Persons (IDP)
The UNHCR document reveals that 51,450 persons were displaced from Muttur as at April 2007. Of this amount, 35,422 had fled to Batticaloa late last year. 9,653 had fled to Amparai. 6,375 moved to the urban precincts of Trincomalee. These IDPs were all Tamil who fled the incessant aerial bombardment and multi-barrel rocket launches of the advancing Sri Lankan armed forces in late 2006. The World Food Programme has recently slapped conditions on food aid to Sri Lanka to avoid war refugees being resettled against their will.

So we, the Tamil People of India request you to take necessary actions to IMMEDIATELY PROVIDE HUMANITARIAN AND MEDICAL RELIEF TO THE TAMIL PEOPLE OF SRI LANKA.

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