The following is the full text of a letter, written by a Sri Lankan, based in the U.S., to the British Prime Minister Rt. Hon. Tony Blair,. copy of which has reached the London Diary by e-mail..
June 22, 1999 The Rt. Hon. Tony Blair, M.P., Prime Minister of the UK, Prime Minister's Office, No. 10, Downing Street, London SW1A 2AA. England, UK Dear Prime Minister, The New York Times of June 21, 1999, reported that the Group of Seven "agreed that only basic emergency assistance - food, shelter, and medicine - should be given to Serbia while Mr. Milosevic remains in power". According to the report, Britain had expressed the view that "even this kind of aid was excessive and unjustifiable". The report quoted you as having stated "I don't believe people would understand if we put money into an undemocratic Serbia under Milosevic. Nobody can shut their eyes to the fact that thousands were butchered with unforgivable barbarism in Kosovo, and we cannot start giving money to those that perpetrated these barbarities". If one cannot shut one's eyes to the barbarism in Kosovo how can one turn a blind eye to the actions of another barbaric group, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), classified as a terrorist organisation by your closest ally, the United States, and who base their international headquarters in London? Amnesty International as part of its campaign against the recruitment of child soldiers has sent out an appeal to concerned individuals to write and to contact V. Manoharan of the LTTE about the forced use of child soldiers by the LTTE. His address was given as: International Secretariat, Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, Eelam House, 202 Long Lane, London, SE1 OB. Tel: 0171 4034554, Fax 0171 403 1653, The Jain Commission appointed by the Government of India established that the LTTE was responsible for the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi, Prime Minister of India. The Executive Intelligence Review (EIR), in its June 4th, 1999 issue, alleges that the LTTE which has extensive links both with British and Israel intelligence has now met in South Africa to plan the assassination of Sonia Gandhi. The U.S. Country Report for 1998 states: "LTTE insurgents expelled some 46,000 Muslims inhabitants from their homes in 1990 - virtually the entire Muslim population" from the northern part of Sri Lanka. This "ethnic cleansing" has gone completely without response of outrage from the international community. Despite the LTTE's record of ethnic cleansing, numerous assassinations that include a Prime Minister, a President, and several political leaders, the brutal assassination of 900 unarmed police who had surrendered to them, thousands of civilians, and the forced use of child soldiers, Britain has allowed them to operate International Headquarters in London. In recent weeks, the LTTE's Anton Balasingham and his wife Adele have been allowed to enter your country. Their intimate involvement with the LTTE and their leader Prabakaran is common knowledge. In holding the moral high ground in support of NATO intervention in Kosovo, you as Prime Minister of Britain have averred that even humanitarian aid should be denied to the Serbian people as long as Mr. Milosevic is in power, because of ethnic cleansing and other brutalities practised by the Serbian military. By the same yardstick, how can you ignore the presence and activities in Britain, of the LTTE that are guilty of atrocities that are no less than those of the Milosevic regime? If, as you stated here in the US, NATO had to get involved in Kosovo for moral reasons, many Sri Lankans find it difficult to understand how you can allow the LTTE to operate from London, allow those closely associated with the LTTE to enter Britain, have close links with British Intelligence, and use Britain to raise funds. Britain's actions are enabling the LTTE to destabilize a nation by violating its democratic rights. I write in the hope that you as Prime Minister, would take steps to deny the LTTE the privileges of sanctuary and support that Britain has given so far. Such steps would then be consistent with your position in regard to Kosovo. Very truly yours A Sri Lankan in the US cc: The Rt. Hon. Robin Cooke, M. P., Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs