Action Alert Archive
Ask Congress to Support Tamil Women
March 8, 2009
In honor of International Women's Day, we are urging you to bring justice to Tamil women in Sri Lanka who have suffered a long history of systematic violence. From Krishanthi, an 18-year old who was gang-raped and murdered by members of the Sri Lankan Army, to Koneswary, a 65-year old who was killed when a bomb was placed inside her genitals, Tamil women continue to endure horrific situations which allow the Government of Sri Lanka to violate and exploit them.
Currently, over 300,000 Tamil civilians are trapped in the cross-fire between the Government of Sri Lanka and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. Those who have fled to government-controlled areas have been forced into what Human Rights Watch called "barbed-wire internment camps", where refugees are denied freedom of movement. The Washington Post reported women screaming during their passage through checkpoints and stated that "for many women, the fear of checkpoints has been heightened by stories of rape and harassment at the hands of those supposedly trying to restore order."
On March 3rd, several Sri Lankan Special Task Force commandos sexually abused a 14-year-old girl in front of her mother. As punishment for speaking out, her mother and father were brutally attacked. During times of conflict in Sri Lanka, Amnesty International has noted a "marked rise in allegations of rape by Sri Lankan police, army, and naval personnel." In a statement to the United Nations, the World Organization of Torture observed that "Sri Lankan soldiers have raped both women and young girls on a massive scale, and often with impunity, since reporting often leads to reprisals against the victims and their families."
Please bring justice to the women of Sri Lanka by signing Congressman Jim Moran's letter calling for humanitarian relief and for a just political resolution that respects the fundamental rights of Tamils.
The mission of People for Equality and Relief in Lanka (PEARL) is to end the systemic human rights abuses against the Tamil population in Sri Lanka, and promote equality, rights and justice on the island. PEARL is 501(c)3 non-profit organization led by human rights activists concerned about the situation in Sri Lanka.