Sri Lankan Tamils angry with China, India

Sri Lankan Tamils angry with China, India

Sri Lankan Tamils protest outside the Chinese mission in New York denouncing Beijing's military support to Colombo in the war that led to the defeat of the Tamil Tigers in May.

The Tamil Diaspora is livid that Beijing provided tonnes of arms and ammunition to Sri Lankan security forces battling the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

The anger against India is rooted mainly in New Delhi's diplomatic backing to Colombo when it came under Western fire over human rights abuses.

On Monday, Sri Lankan Tamils staged a rally outside the Chinese mission to the UN to protest "China's assistance to Sri Lanka towards ethnic cleansing and genocide of Tamils".

Around 50 Tamil Americans from around the East Coast came out with placards that read: "China, Stop helping Sri Lanka's Ethnic Cleansing of Tamils."
The group chanted slogans like "China don't fund Sri Lanka's war crimes."

The campaigners claim that Colombo's attacks on Tamil areas were facilitated by Chinese weapons. Beijing supports abuses against the Tamils through economic and military assistance to Sri Lanka, they said.
The rally was organised by Tamils Against Genocide (TAG), a NGO based in Maryland that is protesting against alleged atrocities committed by Sri Lanka.  
A spokesman for TAG expressed dismay at New Delhi's support for Sri Lanka's military campaign that ended in the killing of LTTE founder leader Velupillai Prabhakaran and his top lieutenants in May.

"India has done an extreme form of treachery to the Tamils," the spokesman said. "We need India to do justice to the Tamils."
In May, India supported a resolution passed by the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva which commended the Sri Lankan government on its defeat of the Tamil Tigers and its efforts to address the needs of the displaced.

The resolution was slammed for ignoring the tactics used by the Sri Lankan army that led to massive human rights violations.
Brazil, Cuba, India and Pakistan blocking a stronger resolution that called for accountability.

The Tamil separatist campaign claimed over thousands of lives since July 1983. The end of the war was followed by accusations of human rights violations against the Sri Lankan authorities.
Human rights groups are also calling for the release of 280,000 displaced Tamil civilians living in relief centres which critics say are no better than "detention camps".
TAG said it supports the goal of an "independent state" for Tamils through peaceful means and diplomacy.

"The violent form of struggle is dead in the new world order," said its spokesperson, who asked not to be named because of the sensitive nature of the matter.
"We want an economic boycott from the one million strong Tamil Diaspora," he added. "The struggle will continue in one form or the other."

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