Justification for Tamil statehood compelling under international law- Fein

[TamilNet, Saturday, 16 February 2008, 15:10 GMT]
Accusing a Sri Lanka website of "surrender[ing] the honorable role of scrutinizing and criticizing [Sri Lanka] government to become an obsequious courtier daily genuflecting to the GOSL and the Tamil quislings Karuna and Pillaiyan group," Bruce Fein, an attorney based in Washington D.C, in responding to questions posed by the website, challenged the site to publish a list of Americans killed or threatened by the LTTE, saying "[O]ne statutory requirement is proof that an organization threatens Americans or impairs the national security of the United States."

On website's contention that even U.S associates with pariah states, Fein responded, "The United States maintains relations with pariah nations and leaders in efforts to discourage international lawlessness or human rights brutalities. In contrast, the GOSL forges relations with pariahs to promote and encourage human rights atrocities or nuclear proliferation."

Bruce Fein
Attorney Bruce Fein
He added that "[a]s a lawyer and citizen, I have the constitutional right to petition government to alter misconceived policies, including coddling failed terrorist states like Sri Lanka who march in union with open and notorious enemies of the United States, and added that the questioning website "cannot be expected to fathom such freedom of expression because it celebrates a regime that glories in suppressing all dissent and killing or threatening all dissenters."

Responding to a question on the denial by Indian bureacrats of a statement by an Indian military official that Rajiv Gandhi ordered the army to kidnap and to assassinate the leader of the Tamil Tigers [Pirapaharan] during peace negotiations, Fein said: "India's officials dispute the military officer's averment that Gandhi ordered the LTTE leader's assassination with precisely the same vehemence that Hitler denied burning the Reichstag. The Indian officer had no motive to lie, in contrast to the officials beholden to Gandhi's wife. Your readers need reminding that the Singhalese still deny that Singhala police burnt that Jaffna Library under the supervision of 2 Singhalese ministers."

On the question of denying citizenship to Indian origin Tamils, Fein said: "Adolph Hitler, with the consent of the German parliament, stripped Jews of citizenship just as Sri Lanka did the same to one million Tamils by employing parliament as an instrument of repression. International law refused to recognize what Hitler had done to the Jews as soon as the Third Reich collapsed. The website predictably celebrates a Nazi precedent to justify a corresponding Singhalese bigotry. I challenge the website to elaborate the crimes or bad behavior of the Tamils who were denied citizenship. The transparent motivation behind the Citizenship Act was the evisceration of Tamil political power to expose them to Singhalese repression under laws first cousin to Hitler's Nuremberg laws."

Responding to accusation that even U.S practises racial and language discrimination, Fein retorted: "Blacks or Hispanics in the United States live in paradise compared with Tamils in Sri Lanka. The former are not asking for statehood; they do not flee to other countries to seek asylum; and, if a statehood referendum for blacks or Hispanics were held it would fail miserably, like periodic statehood votes in Puerto Rico, a Spanish speaking commonwealth of the United States. Sri Lanka is too cowardly to permit a free and fair vote by Tamils on the question of statehood subject to international supervision. The website is part of that cowardly rabble."

On the website's comparison of Sri Lanka's insistence on LTTE laying down of arms as no different to West's stance in different conflicts, Fein responded: "The website again exhibits its stupendous ignorance. The British negotiated with the Irish Republican Army before it surrendered arms. Ditto for Israel in dealing with the PLO and the Palestinian Authority. George Washington, fighting on behalf of the United States, never considered surrendering arms to the British as a condition of negotiating independence."

Mr Fein concluded that he will continue the exchange by submitting questions for the website to secure the answers from Rajapakse brothers in Colombo.

Editor's note:

The interview features the use of a term 'pariah'. This word of Tamil etymology stands for an ancient and prestigious community of drummers who later came to be considered 'untouchables' by another section of people. The word got into colonial English diction and is internationally used today in phrases such as 'Pariah states,' without knowing the etymology that it is a racially discriminatory term against a poor and oppressed section of Tamils and Tamils in general. See a related article in TamilNet: "Para Demala". TamilNet protests the use of this term, but reproduces it here for faithful reporting of news. We request the International lexicographers to de-list this word from the English dictionaries as it offends and commits injustice to the self-esteem of a people.



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