AMBASSADOR GOONETILLEKE RESPONDS TO NEW
YORK TIMES EDITORIAL
Ambassador Bernard Goonetilleke in a response
to an Editorial in the 25 October 2006 New York Times titled “Monitoring
a little-noticed war,” has agreed with the editorial on
the need to “choke off funding” from overseas Tamils
to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, adding that the Tamil
Rehabilitation Organization and the Federation of Tamil Sangams
of North America are well documented as L.T.T.E. fund-raising
The following is the full response from
October 24, 2006
Sri Lankan Rebels
To the Editor:
Re “Monitoring a Little-Noticed War”
(editorial, Oct. 18):
We agree with your view on the need to “choke
off funding” from overseas Tamils to the Liberation Tigers
of Tamil Eelam. The Tamil Rehabilitation Organization and the
Federation of Tamil Sangams of North America are well documented
as L.T.T.E. fund-raising fronts.
Sri Lanka faces a terrorist problem, not a religious
conflict. In 1997, the United States designated L.T.T.E. as a
foreign terrorist organization and recently arrested 18 L.T.T.E.
agents trying to buy weapons.
You refer to a “Buddhist-led government”
and a “Hindu separatist group.” The government is
democratically elected and consists of Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim
and Christian cabinet ministers.
President Mahinda Rajapaksa established an all-party
conference to evolve consensus for a negotiated settlement.
The government is equally concerned about human
rights and has invited an international group of eminent persons
as observers, including from the United States.
International shame will not deter terrorists,
but international pressure will. It is vital to persuade the L.T.T.E.
to engage in meaningful negotiations and not walk away, as it
has done on five occasions since 1985.
Ambassador of Sri Lanka
Washington, Oct. 18, 2006
here for the Ambassador’s response
here for the The Editorial in the New York Times of October 18,