Press Release Headlines

USTPAC Urges President Obama to Continue Leadership on Accountability in Sri Lanka

US and India must lead mediating power sharing for durable solution to the ethnic conflict

WASHINGTON, Jan. 22, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — President Obama's upcoming visit to India underscores the growing cooperation and collaboration between the world's oldest democracy and its largest democracy.  This collaboration holds immense importance to the Tamils in the island of Sri Lanka.  India, as the regional leader and as an emerging global power, has been involved for decades in activities to bring peace and stability in the island of Sri Lanka.  The US has been promoting the same goals as a leader of the Co-Chairs during the peace talks in 2002-6 and by leading UN activities to promote peace and reconciliation.  The US Tamil Political Action Council and the Tamil people around the globe see President Obama's visit to India, soon after the transition of power in Sri Lanka, as an opportunity to send a unified message in support of accountability and to urge the new administration to make the constitutional changes essential for genuine inclusive peace and a stable democracy.

Tamils in the island of Sri Lanka played a key role in the recent Sri Lankan presidential election to bring about a change in Sri Lanka's slide towards autocracy.  Analysts, the press and the new Sri Lankan administration have all termed the election as a correction to an over-tilt towards China.  Tamils are hoping the leaders of both the United States and India will recognize the positive role Tamils in Sri Lanka are playing in the region and their regional and global contribution towards economic growth and prosperity.

USTPAC urges President Obama to take the opportunity of his trip to India to address the on-going ethnic strife in Sri Lanka.  The US and India must both continue to support the independent, international, accountability process initiated at the UN Human Rights Council by the US and jointly urge the new Sri Lankan administration to allow the UN's Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights' Sri Lanka Investigation (OISL) team to access witnesses, victims, and survivors of the recent civil war and its aftermath on the island.

USTPAC also urges both the US and India to take the lead in mediating a permanent and durable political solution to the ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka.  USTPAC reiterates such a solution is only possible when the unitary system that allows unilateral actions by one ethnic group against another is changed to one that allows for genuine participation and shared responsibility in governance by all communities in the country.

Tamils are an industrious ethnic group living in India, Sri Lanka and countries along the Malacca straits with a resourceful diaspora in western countries.  Tamils are hoping the leaders of both the US and India will recognize the positive role played by Tamils in the region, and their contribution towards economic growth.

For more information:  Twitter @UstpacAdvocacy
Or Elias Jey: 1 202 595 3123