US Tamils urgently petition the State Department to declare Anura Manatunga, Director General of Archaeology, and Dr. K.M.A. Bandara, the Conservator General and head of the Forest Department, to be terrorists. The two cabinet officials have overseen the ethnic cleansing of Tamils and implemented the Sri Lankan government’s policy of land grabs, Tamils for Biden said in a letter published on the 20th of December.
See the full letter below:
We are writing this letter to request that the Archaeological and Forest Departments of Sri Lanka be classified as terrorist organizations and their leaders as terrorists.
US Tamils urgently petition the State Department to declare Anura Manatunga, Director General of Archaeology, and Dr. K.M.A. Bandara, the Conservator General and head of the Forest Department, to be terrorists. The two cabinet officials have overseen the ethnic cleansing of Tamils and implemented the Sri Lankan government’s policy of land grabs.
These and other Sri Lankan government departments consist 100% of Sinhalese officials and staff, with a collective goal of seizing Tamil land under the false pretense of archaeological development and forest conservation. As soon as the lands are taken from Tamils and Tamil farmers, Sinhalese settlers are put in their place and centuries-old, sacred Hindu temples replaced by Buddhist ones.
In addition to being an illegal land grab, it is a continuous attempt at ethnic cleansing and a clear violation of international human rights.
This move is an attempt to erase the Tamil identity and heritage of the area and further the ‘Sinhala Buddhization’ of the Tamil homeland.
The method used is a recurring one: in the name of research, the Archaeological department does some digging, specifically around the area in and around the Hindu temple. Ancient artifacts are conveniently found, likely brought from the south and planted at the excavation site, and are claimed to be important Buddhist objects. Then these so-called archaeologists raze the Hindu temples and erect Buddhist temples on their remains. Following this, the Tamils’ farmland is handed over to newly arrived Sinhalese villagers from the south.
It is the same pattern with Forest Department: Land will be allocated for the department under false claims of protection, with injunctions to stop the Tamil farmers from farming their ancestral lands. After a few months, Sinhalese settlers are brought in, accompanied by the police and army, while the Tamils are forcibly removed from their homes and livelihood.
Day by day, Tamils lose more and more of their property and cultural heritage because of the Sri Lankan government’s systematic attempts to eradicate an entire people.
The land grabs are one of the main reasons Tamil youth took arms in the 1980s.
We do not want this happen again, but there seems to be little hope of this unlessthe international community comes to our aid against these thuggish, criminal acts.
The first step would be recognizing the Archaeological and Forest Departments for what they are: terrorist organizations ruled by terrorist leaders. When the mask is torn away, it is clear that they are nothing more than the advance guard of a brutal, genocidal regime.
To ensure our survival and preserve peace, Tamils need a secure and protected sovereign state.
This can be accomplished through a referendum. We want the United States to help organize and supervise the referendum, as it did in East Timor in 1999. Your intervention can put a stop to these terrible tragedies.