Teen fasts to publicize Tamils plight - Boston Globe
[TamilNet, Saturday, 14 February 2009, 05:17 GMT]
A 17-year-old Bostonian is the "youngest of eight ethnic Tamils in the country who are fasting to call attention to the plight of their countrymen in Sri Lanka, an island nation off the coast of India where some 300,000 members of the Tamil minority are trapped in the fighting between the Sri Lankan government and the Tamil rebel army," reported Boston Globe. The "group plans to fast until they have forfeited 10,000 meals cumulatively - each meal representing 30 of the estimated 300,000 Tamils trapped in the war zone," the paper said.
Priya Suntharalingam, a Winchester High School junior, has eaten a meal for 11 days, the paper said. The eight fasting youths are members of People for Equality and Relief in Lanka, or PEARL, and in its website, people can pledge to fast a meal themselves, deducting from the total. So far, more than 1,100 Americans, including dozens of Bostonians, have pledged to forgo meals, according to the fasting youths.
"I was lucky enough to be born here, away from the bombs, away from the death, and away from the extremist government that treats you like a second-class citizen because of the language you speak," she said. "If my family wasn't lucky enough to get out of the country . . . I might have been suffering the same fate," the paper said quoting Ms Suntharalingam.
Suntharalingam, who wants to become a doctor, plans to travel to Sri Lanka after graduation. For now, she said, her fast will continue, the paper said.