|A Letter to The European Union
from the Consortium of Humanitarian Agencies - Jaffna
22nd Feb 2001
His Excellency the Ambassador for EU
We appeal to you to use your good offices to prevail on the Sri Lankan Government to reciprocate expressly the LTTE’s declaration of cease-fire. This needs to be done before the expiry of the latter declaration on Saturday, 24th inst.
What we want urgently is an immediate stop to the war.
We urge the Sri Lankan Government to open peace negotiations with the LTTE through the facilitation currently offered by Norway. It is significant that all the Tamil political parties except one, who were once rivals of the LTTE, have now openly declared and campaigned for the LTTE as the sole representative of the Tamil community. This accords with the stance of the Tamils throughout the North-East, as testified by their signature campaign over the last few days.
We can confidently say that the Tamil community will not settle for anything short of self-determination, and the recognition of our homeland and of our nationhood.
This has been amply demonstrated by the “PONGU TAMIL” rally (an event meant to express the above aspirations), which was initiated by the Jaffna University in collaboration with our Consortium of forty-seven member organisations, but then spread to the rest of our homeland and even to the Tamil Diaspora abroad. After all, we were a sovereign nation for centuries until the time of colonisation by Europeans.
We wish to point out that we have been pushed to adopt this stand by the political injustices of the successive governments right from the time of de-colonisation by the British. Agreements made between Sinhala and Tamil leaders on power sharing were unilaterally abandoned by the State. Non-violent civil disobedience was met with violence. Anti-Tamil pogroms were organised and finally genocidal attacks have been made on civilian targets, using multi-barrel rocket launchers and bombers like Kfirs and MIGs. Draconian laws have been enacted facilitating arbitrary arrests, torture, rape, extra-judicial killings and disappearances. We have thus lost over 60,000 lives.
We are convinced that the only way for us to survive and to preserve our dignity as a people, is to be able determine our own political destiny.
We hope the European Union will support our rightful aspirations.
Consortium of Humanitarian Agencies-Jaffna