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President and CEO

March 19, 2009
Samuel A. Worthington

Chair The Honorable Susan Rice
Charles MacCormack,
Save the Children U.S. Permanent Representative to the U.N.
U.S. Department of State
Vice Chair
2201 C Street NW
Ritu Sharma Fox, Washington, DC 20520
Women Thrive Worldwide

Dear Ambassador Rice:
Amy Coen,
Population Action International Congratulations again on your appointment as United States Ambassador to the
United Nations. I very much look forward to meeting with you on issues of
importance to InterAction members when your schedule allows. In the meantime, I
Board of Directors
Kenneth Bacon, Refugees International
wanted to call your attention to our deep concerns about the humanitarian crisis in
David Beckmann, Bread for the World northern Sri Lanka and our hope that the United States will engage in vigorous
Carol Bellamy, World Learning
Sekyu Chang,
diplomacy at the United Nations and in the Security Council to mobilize swift
Korean American Sharing Movement action on this neglected crisis.
Julius Coles, Africare
Helene D. Gayle, CARE USA
Anne Lynam Goddard, We appreciate the State Department’s response to the enclosed letter I sent to
Christian Children’s Fund
Lee H. Hamilton,
Secretary Clinton on this issue on February 12. The concerns we detailed in our
Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars letter to the Secretary about attacks on civilians, the lack of humanitarian access,
Neal Keny-Guyer, Mercy Corps
Elizabeth Lathem, US Committee for UNDP and violations of humanitarian and human rights law have only increased in the last
Jo Luck, Heifer International several weeks. Reports of civilian casualties continue to come to light. There are
John McCullough, Church World Service
Mary Ellen McNish, American Friends service indications that thousands have been killed and injured, mainly civilian adults and
Committee children. There are also reports of increased recruitment and re-recruitment of
Hugh Parmer, American Refugee Committee
Daniel E. Pellegrom, Pathfinder International
children and other grave violations of their security and rights, including attacks on
Linda Pfeiffer, INMED hospitals, denial of humanitarian access and other violations designated under
Robert Radtke,
Episcopal Relief and Development
Security Resolution 1612. Last week, the International Committee for the Red
Yolonda C. Richardson, Cross (ICRC) called for the mass evacuation of civilians, and an ICRC official
Centre for Development and Population Activities
Carter Roberts, World Wildlife Fund
referred to the situation as one of the worst disasters he had experienced.
George Rupp,
International Rescue Committee
Zainab Salbi,
In light of these reports, we urge the United States government and our Mission to
Women for Women International the United Nations to use its influence to:
Ron Sconyers, Physicians for Peace
Kathy Spahn, Helen Keller International
Richard Stearns, World Vision 1. Urge fellow members of the United Nations Security Council to give
Tsehaye Teferra,
Ethiopian Community Development Council
priority attention to the worsening humanitarian crisis in order to create the
Emily Untermeyer, Amigos de las Americas moral and political authority necessary to move the international
Sam Worthington (Ex-Officio)
community to address the crisis. The Security Council should also urge all
parties to abide by the United Nations Guiding Principles on Internal
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Washington, DC 20036 2. Press for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire that allows for the
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establishment of a humanitarian corridor. Restore full and unrestricted
E-MAIL: humanitarian access and delivery of humanitarian aid consistent with humanitarian law and principles. Ensure safe passage of all civilians out of
the war zone.

3. Advocate for full and sustained access by the United Nations and ICRC to
all civilians who have fled the conflict zone. This includes
allowing ICRC to be present at the initial screenings of internally displaced
persons, to assist in registration and to have a monitoring presence at internment camps. The Office
InterAction is a membership association of US private voluntary organizations engaged in international humanitarian efforts including
relief, development, refugee assistance, environment, population, public policy, and global education.
InterAction Sri Lanka Letter, page 2
March 19, 2009

of the High Commissioner for Human Rights should also be permitted to deploy independent human
rights monitors in internment camps.

4. Call for the U.N. Security Council Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict to immediately
hold an emergency session on Sri Lanka in order to adopt strong conclusions that address increased
violations under UNSC Resolution 1612, including reports of increased recruitment and re-
recruitment of children. The UNSC Working Group should also immediately deploy a delegation to
Sri Lanka in accordance with its agreed upon toolkit.

It is difficult to obtain a full picture of the devastation and loss of life because neither the United Nations nor
the NGO community can verify or report freely on the conditions in the conflict area. Access is limited or
entirely restricted for many humanitarian workers and independent monitors. Foreign journalists are denied
access to the conflict area. However, as evidenced by the recent comments of the ICRC, reports from Human
Rights Watch and others, there is more than enough information pointing to an unfolding humanitarian
catastrophe that must be addressed immediately.

Thank you for your prompt attention to this grave humanitarian and human rights crisis.


Samuel A. Worthington
President and CEO