Thursday, February 12, 2009

February 07 2009

Dear Friend,

Countering LTTE propaganda

This letter seeks your support for our campaign efforts to counter LTTE lobbying with the US administration and the legislature and their efforts to falsify the situation in Sri Lanka and denigrate the image of the country and its government. Now that the Sri Lankan armed forces are gaining fast on the LTTE in the current military conflict, the situation has become very acute. LTTE representatives guided by their lobbyist, Mr. Bruce Fein, have visited numerous Congressmen, Senators and the Department of State claiming that Sri Lanka is practicing genocide and violating human rights. In fact, Mr. Fein is preparing a legal case against Sri Lanka on these counts as a showpiece. They falsely claim that the LTTE represents the interests of all the Tamils in Sri Lanka. Apart from the USA, international public opinion is strongly influenced by the opinion in the Washington power centers.

As American citizens, we count for something with our local Congress representatives and the US administration. “Friends of Sri Lanka in the US” (FOSUS) was formed in 1995 by a group of Sri Lankan–American citizens professionals to counter LTTE propaganda. We can claim we assisted in the effort to get the LTTE designated a terrorist organization and banned in the USA. We also assisted in obtaining members for the first Sri Lanka Caucus in the US Congress. During the last 12 months, a selected team of spokespersons from our membership has visited 18 Congressional offices and 6 Senate offices to convince them that the elimination of terrorism in Sri Lanka will benefit US interests in that region. We have also had meetings with the South Asia Section of the Department of State on this subject. This is the least we can do when tens of thousands of Sri Lankan military personnel are giving their lives to save that country.

Because of their huge financial resources, contributed to by US resident Tamils, the LTTE operating under various names such as Tamils for Justice, has been able to contribute to US political campaign funds and use their lobbyist to gain entry to the highest offices. We also have to hire a small lobby firm to gain entry to some of these corridors of power. We have also used our personal resources to fund some Congress representatives and Senators and attended most political fund-raisers in Maryland.

We are now also helping to develop the new Sri Lanka Caucus in the Congress. Being in Washington, we have access to the Congressional offices situated here and we have also the committed people.

Although most FOSUS members are articulate and well informed, investing time and effort pro bono while holding full time jobs, we are lacking in funds to employ lawyers who can assist us in approaching these legislators. The lawyer’s fee for each senator or congressmen we access will cost us $400. Resources from FOSUS members and contributions received from a few friends have not been sufficient to fund this effort and we are now reaching out to you.

We hope that we can count on you to help FOSUS counter LTTE propaganda. While your generosity will help FOSUS members perform this critical task, FOSUS is appreciative of every contribution you can make. Sri Lanka needs our support at this critical stage.

Kindly forward this letter to your friends who might not have received this message.

Thank you for your support!

-on behalf of-

Friends of Sri Lanka in the United States (FOSUS)

Please make your check payable to:
Friends of Sri Lanka in the United States

And mail to:
2208 Carter Mill Way

Brookeville, MD 20833

(Please include your e-mail address for an acknowledgment)


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