LTTE Political Head writes to UN Secretary General
[TamilNet, Wednesday, 30 January 2008, 10:17 GMT]
Liberation Tigers Political Head B. Nadesan, in a letter to United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon, bringing attention to the Claymore attack by the Sri Lanka Army Deep Penetration Unit in Madu, urged the UN Secretary to "recognize Tamil sovereignty as a constructive approach to end the unending five decades long, large scale, and serious rights violations against the Tamil people." Stating that the Tigers have ensured that there was no underage members in the movement and that the LTTE has respected the efforts made by the international community to rectify the rights situation, Mr. Nadesan said the LTTE has "demonstrated its readiness to cooperate with the international community."
Full text of the letter released to media by the LTTE Peace Secretariat follows:
"On 28 January 2008 at 2.30pm, a Sri Lankan military Deep Penetration Unit attacked a civilian bus on the Madhu-Palampiddy road in the Mannar district killing eighteen civilians including twelve children. The attackers would have known that buses at that time carry school children returning home from school. This attack on a bus with scores of children, therefore, deliberately targeted the children. Among the eighteen civilians killed were twelve children aged from 8 to 16.
"Just three weeks ago on 4 January, in an aerial bombing of Uppupukulam village in the Mullaithivu district, seven children ranging in age from 3 to 16 were among those injured. Just two months ago, on 27 November, in another claymore attack on a van arrying school children trained in first aid, six children were among those killed. On that same day in an aerial bombing of the Voice of Tigers radio building three children traveling on the road were among those killed. Just two days prior to this, in an aerial bombing on the village of Tharmapuram in the Mullaithivu district three children were among those killed. On the 8th of that same month one child was killed and another lost his leg in an aerial bombing of the village of Alampil in the Mullaithivu district.
"The deliberate targeting of Tamil civilians by the Sri Lankan State has continued even through the nearly six year period of the ceasefire agreement signed in February 2002. Since the present President of Sri Lanka took office in November 2005, 2056 Tamil civilians including 132 Tamil children have been massacred by the Sri Lankan State forces.
"The pace of civilian killing by the Sri Lankan State, after unilaterally abrogating the ceasefire agreement of February 2002, after evicting the ceasefire monitoring mission, the SLMM, and after adamantly refusing to allow UN human rights monitoring body continues to increase. The response of the Sri Lankan State to the concerns raised by senior UN officials about the rights violations has been uncivilized to say the least. It has responded to the concerns raised by many senior UN officials by calling these UN officials "terrorists" and "colonizers". In effect the Sri Lankan State is repulsing all efforts by the international community to rectify the appalling rights situation in this island.
"The Sri Lankan State unilaterally abrogated many of the agreements that were made even within the six year ceasefire period. These include, agreement reached during the early peace talks to address the immediate humanitarian needs of the war affected Tamils, agreement reached on de-escalation according to the ceasefire, and the agreement signed for rebuilding the tsunami affected areas.
"We wish to emphasize to you that all along we have respected the efforts made by the international community to rectify the rights situation and to bring peace in this island. Respecting the international norms we have entirely eliminated those under the age of 18 becoming members of our organization.
"We have consistently called for the 100 percent implementation of the internationally supported ceasefire agreement of February 2002 for regaining the rights of the Tamils. We also cooperated fully with the Norwegian facilitators, respecting the wishes of the international community, in drafting and implementing the above mentioned agreements, that on immediate humanitarian relief, that on de-escalation and that on post tsunami reconstruction, that were later abrogated by the Sri Lankan State.
"It should be obvious to the international community by now that our organization has demonstrated its readiness to cooperate with the international community. It should also be obvious to the international community that there is only one path open to regain the rights of the Tamil people and that is for the international community to recognize the sovereignty of the Tamil nation.
"We, therefore, urge you to consider recognizing Tamil sovereignty as a constructive approach to end the unending five decades long, large scale, and serious rights violations against the Tamil people."