#Human Rights
UN Secretary General
Sri Lanka

Save Douglas Devananda.

The last elected Tamil leader threatened by the LTTE.

This is the initial step of a world wide appeal to the United Nations to save the life of Douglas Devananda - the last remaining Tamil opponent of the LTTE banned by the international community for acts of terrorism.

He is the leader of the Tamil political party in the democratic stream which is seen as a formidable rival of the LTTE who claims to "the sole representative of the Tamils". In the past the LTTE (better known as Tamil Tiger terrorists) have made ten attempts on the life of Douglas Devananda, a member of parliament elected by the Tamil people in his electorate in Jaffna. Though he escaped all attempts he is aware of what the IRA told Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher: "You have to be lucky all the time. We have to be lucky only once".

This appeal is to put pressure on the LTTE to halt its eleventh, or twelfth or any other attempts on the life Douglas Devananda. Like any other human being he has a right to life, free from the threats of LTTE suicide bombers or snipers. The international community was shocked when the LTTE sniper shot dead Lakshman Kadirgamar, the Sri Lankan Foreign Minister, on August 12, 2005. He is the latest in a long list of Tamil leaders eliminated by the LTTE. The history of the LTTE is a record of eliminating all potential rivals to its Supreme, Velupillai Prabhakaran, who is wanted by India for the murder of Rajiv Gandhi, the Prime Minister of India, wanted by the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka for 200 years for the killing of non-combatant civilians when the Central Bank building was blown up in the heart of the Colombo and wanted by Interpol.

With the elimination of Lakshman Kadirgamar, a Tamil lawyer from Oxford University, the LTTE silenced one of its leading opponents. The next in line is Douglas Devananda.

It is also necessary to highlight his plight because the LTTE has never admitted to any of the killings. It always draws a smoke screen denying responsibility and blaming it on others. The organizers of this petition want to put on notice that if something happens to Douglas Devananda it would be only from the action of the LTTE.

In the past, though the LTTE, has denied responsibility, it has left its paw marks through (1) Tiger technology, (2) modus operandi and (3) motives. The Tiger technology is revealed in suicide bombers, (they perfected the art of jackets worn round the body) , long-range snipers, or pistol gangs riding in motor cycles. Their modus operandi is to study, video and map out strategies of the location and go on practice runs before executing with deadly accuracy.

All the Tamil and non-Tamil leaders killed - i.e. from Rajiv Gandhi to Lakshman Kadirgamar -- had posed a serious threat to the LTTE at one time or another. All three factors have combined in the previous ten attacks on Douglas Devananda.

Devananda, who heads the Eelam People's Democratic Party, V. Anandasangaree, head of the Tamil United Liberation Front and Col Karuna, are the three remaining Tamil leaders who are on the hit list of the Tamil Tigers. Of these Anandasangaree is abroad and Col. Karuna is in hiding. The easiest target is Douglas Devananda, senior minister the United Peoples' Freedom Alliance (UPFA) Government led by Sri Lanka President Chandrika Bandaranaike.

Douglas Devananda, an elected Member of Parliament in the Jaffna electoral district, won a seat in the parliament of Sri Lanka at the last parliamentary general elections held on 02 April 2004, despite rampant election fraud, malpractices, threats and intimidation of LTTE, and disproved the LTTE claim that they are the "sole representatives of the Tamils".

Douglas Devananda is the only moderate Tamil political leader, who has been protesting against the LTTE atrocities in Sri Lanka, for the past 15 years continuously. Douglas and his men, based in Sri Lanka, are determined to expose the atrocities of the LTTE to the International Community.

Douglas Devananda MP is today the only surviving Senior Tamil Minister of Agricultural Marketing Development, Co-operative Development, Hindu Affairs and Assisting Education and Vocational Training in the Cabinet of Chandrika Kumaratunga, President of Sri Lanka.

Devananda was born in Jaffna on 10th November 1957. At the age of 13 he joined the Manavar Peravai (Students Federation) and in 1975 he joined the EROS - Eelam Revolutionary Organization of Students. It was then that he assumed the pseudonym of Douglas.

In his youth he was with various Tamil rebel groups. But realizing that the destiny of the Tamil people is by winning rights through non-violent democratic means he turned a new leaf by establishing the Eelam People's Democratic Party (EPDP).

Having entered the democratic mainstream, Douglas worked hard to build his party in the North-East Province of Sri Lanka. His efforts paid dividends when nine members of the EPDP, including himself were elected to Parliament from the Jaffna District, in August 1994. Douglas was reelected to Parliament in October 2000, and again in December 2001.

Douglas Devananda is a self-confident idealist, who is a committed fighter against fascism. He is unassuming, approachable and a believer in humanism. He is determined to serve his people, despite the fact that he has been wounded, scarred and blinded in one eye, and compelled to live a life in the shadow of death. He deserves to lead a normal life without threats to his life. This appeal is to give him that right. Your vote can, hopefully, ensure that right to live in a democratic society without being killed just because he disagrees with those who claim to be "the sole representative" of any community - an unrealistic political proposition except in a fascist regime.

We, the undersigned, peace loving democrats, petition the UN Secretary General, Indian Prime Minister, British Prime Minister, US President, Japanese Prime Minister, Norwegian Prime Minister, the Sri Lankan President and all other leaders of the world to save the life of the Tamil democratic leader K.N. Douglas Devananda in Sri Lanka from the fascist LTTE.

He is the elected Tamil Democratic Leader alive in Sri Lanka and he is on the LTTE hit list for the longest time. We strongly believe that he would be able to bring peace to the Tamil speaking people of the North and East as he believes in a ppeaceful coexistence of all ethnic groups in a united Sri Lanka, and power sharing at the Centre for all and autonomy for the North - East Province.

He stands for a peaceful resolution of the ethnic problem in Sri Lanka based on Human Rights and multi party pluralism. Hence it is our duty to save his life at least for the sake of the people of Sri Lanka.

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The Save Douglas Devananda petition to UN Secretary General was written by Stephen John and is in the category Human Rights at GoPetition.