US embassy cable - 89STATE102760

LETTERS TO DEPARTMENT FROM LTTE

Identifier: 89STATE102760
Wikileaks: View 89STATE102760 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Secretary of State
Created: 1989-04-03 23:00:00
Classification: CONFIDENTIAL
Tags: PINR PGOV PINS CE
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
P 032300Z APR 89
FM SECSTATE WASHDC
TO AMEMBASSY COLOMBO PRIORITY
INFO AMEMBASSY OTTAWA PRIORITY
C O N F I D E N T I A L STATE 102760 
 
E.O. 12356:  DECL:  OADR 
TAGS:        PINR, PGOV, PINS, CE 
SUBJECT:    LETTERS TO DEPARTMENT FROM LTTE 
 
1.  (C) SUMMARY:  FOUR DEPARTMENT OFFICIALS HAVE RECEIVED 
LETTERS FROM THE LTTE, CRITICIZING THE PLACEMENT OF THE 
TAMIL GROUP IN A US GOVERNMENT PUBLICATION ON TERRORIST 
ORGZANIZATIONS AROUND THE WORLD AND CALLING FOR AMERICAN 
ASSISTANCE IN MEDIATING THE CONFLICT IN SRI LANKA.  THE 
LTTE APPEARS TO BE TAKING ISSUE WITH A DEFENSE DEPARTMENT 
PUBLICATION ISSUED A FEW MONTHS AGO.  ACTION IS REQUESTED 
IN PARAGRAPH 5, AND LETTER'S TEXT IS PROVIDED IN 
PARAGRAPH 6.  END SUMMARY. 
 
2.  (LOU) NEA ACTING ASSISTANT SECRETARY PAUL HARE, 
OUTGOING INR ASSISTANT SECRETARY ABRAMOWITZ, INR DIRECTOR 
OF ANALYSIS FOR NEAR EAST AND SOUTH ASIA GEORGE HARRIS, 
AND FORMER S/CT HEAD L. PAUL BREMER EACH RECEIVED 
IDENTICAL LETTERS LAST WEEK ALLEGEDLY FROM THE LIBERATION 
TIGERS OF TAMIL EELAM (LTTE).  THE LETTERS APPEAR TO HAVE 
BEEN WRITTEN ON A COMPUTER WITH ONLY THE ADDRESSEES 
ALTERED ON EACH, DATED MARCH 11, AND WERE MAILED FROM 
CANADA.  WE HAVE NO INFORMATION ABOUT THE SUPPOSED AUTHOR 
OF THE LETTER, "S. NATHAN", WHO IS 
IDENTIFIED ONLY AS "FOR POLITICAL COMMITTEE". 
NONETHELESS, WE HAVE NO REASON TO DOUBT THE LETTERS' 
AUTHENTICITY, WHICH WERE WRITTEN IN ENGLISH ON TAMIL AND 
ENGLISH LTTE LETTERHEAD. 
 
3.  (C) THE LETTER PROTESTS THE INCLUSION OF THE LTTE IN 
A US GOVERNMENT PUBLICATION "TERRORIST GROUP PROFILES." 
PRESUMABLY, THE LTTE LETTER IS REFERRING TO THE DEFENSE 
DEPARTMENT REPORT ON GROUPS INVOLVED IN TERRORISM ISSUED 
RECENTLY, WHICH DESCRIBES THE LTTE, ALONG WITH SOME FIFTY 
OTHER GROUPS THROUGHOUT THE WORLD.  THE LETTER ALSO 
REQUESTS U.S. MEDIATION ON BEHALF OF SRI LANKA'S TAMILS, 
AND STATES THE WILLINGNESS OF THE LTTE TO MEET WITH 
AMERICAN DIPLOMATS.  WHILE THE LTTE DENIES THAT IT IS 
RESPONSIBLE FOR TERRORIST CRIMES AND ALLEGES THAT IT IS 
THE VICTIM OF SRI LANKAN AND INDIAN PROPAGANDA, THE TONE 
OF THE LETTER IS NEITHER THREATENING NOR INTIMIDATING. 
 
4.  (C) A PRELIMINARY INQUIRY OF SRI LANKA WATCHERS IN 
WASHINGTON REVEALS THAT THESE FOUR LETTERS ARE THE ONLY 
ONES RECEIVED SO FAR.  WHILE THE LTTE WAS SAVVY ENOUGH TO 
DIRECT ITS APPEAL TO THE APPROPRIATE SENIOR OFFICERS IN 
THE DEPARTMENT, TO DATE NO LETTER HAS BEEN RECEIVED BY 
THE DEFENSE DEPARTMENT, WHICH AUTHORED THE REPORT.  MORE 
LTTE CORRESPONDENCE MAY SOON BE RECEIVED, HOWEVER, SINCE 
THE LETTERS HAVE NOT ARRIVED ALL AT ONCE. 
 
5.  (C) ACTION REQUESTED:  WE WOULD APPRECIATE WORD FROM 
ADDRESSEES REGARDING ANY CORRESPONDENCE OR COMMUNICATIONS 
FROM THE LTTE REGARDING THE REPORT.  WE WOULD APPRECIATE 
ANY INFORMATION ON ANY LTTE REQUESTS FOR AMERICAN 
MEDIATION EFFORTS ON BEHALF OF THE TAMILS.  WE WOULD ALSO 
WELCOME ANY INFORMATION OTTAWA MAY HAVE REGARDING THE 
EXILE ACTIVITIES OF TAMIL GROUPS, AND OF THE SIGNATORY OF 
THE LETTER. 
 
6.  (LOU) TEXT OF LETTER.  BEGIN TEXT. 
 
SIR, 
 
RE: TERRORIST GROUP PROFILES 
 
WE WISH TO CONTRADICT STATEMENTS CONTAINED IN THE ABOVE 
PUBLICATION RELATING TO OUR ORGANIZATION, "THE LIBERATION 
TIGERS OF TAMIL EELAM". 
 
IN THE FIRST PLACE, WE ARE NOT A TERRORIST ORGANIZATION. 
WE ARE A MOVEMENT WHICH SEEKS THE RIGHT OF 
SELF-DETERMINATION FOR THE TAMILS OF SRI LANKA, THE SAME 
RIGHT WHICH PRESIDENT WOODROW WILSON OF YOUR COUNTRY 
PROPOUNDED AFTER WORLD WAR I.  PLEASE THERFORE VIEW US AS 
AN ORGANIZATION SIMILAR TO THE INDIAN NATIONAL CONGRESS 
AND THE ALL-INDIA MUSLIM LEAGUE AS WELL AS THE MOVEMENT 
LED BY THE FATHER OF BANGLADESH, THE LATE SHEIKH MUJIBUR 
RAHMAN. 
 
SECONDLY, WE ARE AN ORGANIZATION WHICH ENDEAVOURS TO 
PROTECT THE TAMILS FROM THE GENOCIDAL ATTACKS OF THE SRI 
LANKAN STATE ON THE ONE HAND AND THE BRUTAL 
HEAVY-HANDEDNESS OF THE INDIAN PEACE KEEPING FORCE ON THE 
OTHER.  IN FACT, INDIAN 'PEACEKEEPERS' HAVE BEEN INDICTED 
UNDER THE INDIAN PENAL CODE FOR CRIMES SUCH AS RAPE, 
LOOTING AND KILLING OF OUR INNOCENT TAMIL CIVILIANS. 
 
THIRDLY, WE LIKE TO INVITE YOUR ATTENTION TO A STATEMENT 
MADE BY MR. ROBERT PECK (ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF STATE FOR 
SOUTH ASIA) THAT VIOLATIONS OF HUMAN RIGHTS BY THE SRI 
LANKA STATE AND TAMIL MILITANT GROUPS ARE TAKEN INTO 
ACCOUNT, THE SRI LANKA STATE HAS COMMITTED GREATER 
VIOLATIONS THAN ALL THE TAMIL MILITANT GROUPS PUT 
TOGETHER DID. 
 
FOURTHLY, WE HAVE ALWAYS STATED THAT WE ARE PREPARED TO 
DISCUSS OUR GRIEVANCES WHICH WERE NOT ADDRESSED BY THE 
SRI LANKA AND INDIAN GOVERNMENTS - DISCRIMINATION AGAINST 
TAMILS IN RECRUITMENT TO PUBLIC EMPLOYMENT, 
DISCRIMINATION IN ADMISSION TO UNIVERSITIES AND THE 
SYSTEMATIC COLONIZATION OF OUR TRADITIONAL HOMELANDS, 
SIMILAR, WE ASSERT, TO WHAT PRESIDENT CEAUSESCU IS DOING 
TO THE HUNGARIAN MINORITY IN TRANSYLVANIA. 
 
LASTLY, WE WISH TO CATEGORICALLY STATE THAT WE WOULD 
WELCOME THE MEDIATION OF THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT ON 
BEHALF OF THE TAMIL PEOPLE OF SRI LANKA.  WE NEED YOUR 
ASSISTANCE AS AN IMPARTIAL INTERMEDIARY, FOR THE 
REHABILITATION OF OUR PEOPLE AND FOR PROVIDING RELIEF OF 
OUR DISTRESSED PEOPLE. 
 
FINALLY, WE CATEGORICALLY DENY WE ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE 
CRIMES LISTED IN YOUR PUBLICATION.  WE HAVE BEEN THE 
UNFORTUNATE VICTIMS OF THE STATE PROPAGANDA MACHINES OF 
THE SRI LANKAN AND INDIAN GOVERNMENTS. 
 
WE WOULD BE PLEASED TO BE INVITED FOR TALKS BY YOUR 
GOVERNMENT TOWARD THE RESOLUTION OF THIS CONFLICT. 
 
 
YOURS TRULY, 
 
S. NATHAN (FOR POLITICAL COMMITTEE) 
END TEXT. 
 
 
BAKER 

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