Prapakaran A Skilful Statesman -Ramsey Clark

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The greatest threat to human character and fulfilment is the contemporary world wide destruction of great human cultures created from the cumulated experience, contribution, wisdom and folly of millions of people over thousands of years.

The Tamil culture, one of the oldest, largest, and most invaluable embodiments of the human experience, a treasure for all peoples, is among the most endangered. As has often been true of ancient cultures under attack, the Tamils have produced a hero worthy of their cause in which he struggles. Velupillai Prapakaran will be half a violent century old on Novem-ber 26, 2004.  Already his achievements for the Tamil’s are legendary.

While still a child, he felt the violent oppression of his people and decided the Ghandian way could not save them.  Among his earliest acts, he took up arms to free the Tamils of Sri Lanka.  He learned to use arms well and against great odds succeeded time and again toward the goal of liberation. What other leaders in the great struggles of the last century began so young, worked with so little, organized so relentlessly, sacrificed so much of a personal life, faced such overwhelming force, survived so many perilous engagements and secured so much in land and rights and dignity for so small a minority?

Having emerged victorious over extreme adversity, to a place from which his people could maintain their own institutions, free, independent, and defensible, occupying close to a fair and proper share of the island where they live, Prapakaran moved from military action to a difficult diplomatic cease fire, now approaching the beginning of its fourth year, in which he revealed skills as a statesman that equal his skills as a soldier.

Earning international support and with the solid backing of the Tamil population manifested in the April 2004 elections, Prapakaran has demonstrated  political skills that promise autonomy to the Tamils in northeast Sri Lanka within a national system of government for all Sri Lanka that can bring peace and prosperity to the island and preserve the precious culture of the Tamils for the benefit of humanity. The many achievements of Velupillai Prapakaran hold great hope that the best is yet to be for the wonderful Tamil and their neighbors in Sri Lanka.

Dated: October 29, 2004
New York.

Ramsey Clark
Former Attorney

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