Tamil Americans United

Welcome to Tamil Americans United PAC


Tamil Eelam Struggle - Background

The Eelam Tamil people, and the Sinhalese people have been living on the island, presently known as Sri Lanka, for more than three thousand years and had their own separate kingdoms until the European colonization. The British united the whole island under a single administration in 1833. When the British gave independence to the island in 1948, the power was transferred to the Sinhalese, but the Tamils were not given any opportunity to exercise their rights to self-determination. It was an improper and unfinished decolonization. For the Tamils, the colonization turned into oppression under Sinhalese hegemony.
Immediately after the independence, the Sinhalese institutionalized Anti-Tamil activities, and began to weaken the Tamils politically, economically, and educationally. Tamils’ nonviolent struggle to resolve the issue did not yield any results, and the Tamils resorted to arms with the goal of achieving their independence. In 1987, India sent about 100,000 troops to Sri Lanka under the bilateral Indo-Lanka Accord which recognized the North-East territory as the traditional homeland of the Tamils. As a result of the Accord, Sri Lanka introduced the 13th Amendment to the Constitution and offered some limited powers. The Tamils expressed their disappointment with India as well as Sri Lanka and rejected the 13th Amendment as grossly inadequate and not meeting their aspirations. Sri Lanka, later refused to fully implement the 13th Amendment saying it’s against the wishes of the Sinhalese people. The war continued till its brutal end in 2009, with an estimated 300,000 – 400,000 people dead. The Tamils’ territory remains as non-self-governing territory while highly occupied by the Sinhalese military.
Sri Lanka has committed Genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity against the Tamil people. President Obama called it a UN failure to prevent “ethnic slaughter” in Sri Lanka. The UN has setup internal investigative panels and found widespread crimes were committed during the war. The US has been spearheading accountability at the UNHRC without success. Having co-sponsored UNHRC Resolutions, but emboldened by the support from China and Russia, Sri Lanka has withdrawn from the UNHRC process in 2020, rejecting any investigations.
Even after 13 years, the UNHRC has not made any significant progress towards justice or to ensure non-recurrence. It has failed to move the case forward to the UN Security Council for

the referral to the International Criminal Court. The UN system has failed the Tamils and has set a bad precedent. Sri Lanka has reneged on its commitments and promises to the Tamils, and the International Community including the UN. Having won the war, Sri Lanka is currently engaged in taking over the Tamils’ lands for Sinhalese settlements and replacing Hindu temples with Buddhist temples with the intent to transform the whole island into a mono Sinhalese Buddhist fundamentalist country. The Tamils are fast losing their traditional homeland.