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The Daily Tar Heel

University Needs to Hear From Advocates Of All Sri Lankans

I am writing in response to the article "Sri Lankan War Talk Kicks Off Rights Week" by Paige Ammons in the March 27 edition of The Daily Tar Heel. I attended the talk by the Rev. S.J. Emmanuel. Emmanuel delivered a powerful and moving account of the human rights violations inflicted upon Tamils by the Sri Lankan government and armed forces. However, I was disappointed that he did not mention the suffering imposed upon Tamils by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), a ruthless terrorist organization that tolerates no dissent among the Tamil community and has assassinated countless Tamil and Sinhala politicians and human rights advocates in Sri Lanka.

I was also disappointed that Emmanuel's talk focused only on human rights as it related to the Tamil community. He did not mention injustices faced by Sinhala youth in the south and the Sri Lankan state sponsored terrorism faced by Sinhala youth.

To restore human rights in Sri Lanka and to bring peace to this beautiful island, we need human rights advocates who condemn both state-sponsored and LTTE terrorism with equal intensity. We also need advocates who represent all Sri Lankans and not just a single community.

Aravinda de Silva, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Department of Microbiology and Immunology

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