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June 5, 2007

President and CEO Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice
Samuel Worthington U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street NW
Charles MacCormack, Washington, DC 20520
Save the Children
Madame Secretary:
Vice Chair
Ritu Sharma, I am writing on behalf of InterAction, the largest coalition of development and humanitarian
Women’s Edge
organizations in the United States, to share our concern about the escalating humanitarian
crisis in Sri Lanka and the need for U.S. leadership to ensure an effective peace process and
Treasurer an immediate safeguarding of human rights for the population. We are urging action and
Amy Coen,
Population Action International support for continued U.S. leadership for the peace process, a human rights monitoring field
presence, full-time USAID/OFDA presence in country, and increased funding for
humanitarian assistance.
Board of Directors
Nancy A. Aossey, We commend Assistant Secretary of State Boucher for his recent visit to Sri Lanka as well
International Medical Corps
Kenneth Bacon, Refugees International
as Ambassador Blake’s diplomatic efforts. We would welcome even stronger United States
David Beckmann, Bread for the World government engagement with the international community to take public steps to address
Carol Bellamy, World Learning the immediate humanitarian situation, as well as to place pressure on all parties to engage in
Sekyu Chang,
Korean American Sharing Movement a legitimate peace process and to ensure community-level human rights monitoring.
Julius Coles, Africare
Helene D. Gayle, CARE USA InterAction members are deeply concerned about the impact of the current conflict on the
Anne Lynam Godard, Christian Children’s Fund
Lee H. Hamilton, civilian population. In the last year, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of
Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars displaced people in Sri Lanka as a result of the expansion of active military engagement by
Khalil Jassemm, Life for Relief and Development
Neal Keny-Guyer, Mercy Corps
both sides. According to the United Nations, Sri Lanka now has the largest internally
Elizabeth Lathem, US Committee for UNDP displaced population in Asia, including 299,000 newly displaced since April 2006 due to the
Lelei Lelaulu, Counterpart International conflict. We remain concerned about the poor conditions in camps where access to food,
Jo Luck, Heifer International
John McCullough, Church World Service
clean water, sanitation facilities, and kerosene continue to be inadequate, as well as the
Stephen F. Moseley, continued use of aerial bombing by both sides, which have directly contributed to the
Academy for Educational Development displacement.
Daniel E. Pellegrom, Pathfinder International
Linda Pfeiffer, INMED
Robert Radtke, Of equal concern is the build up of arms in the camps, the lack of security provided by the
Episcopal Relief and Development Government of Sri Lanka for the camps, and the repeated and widespread use of forced
Yolanda C. Richardson,
Centre for Development and Population Activities return. We highlight the fact that the population is being moved into areas that are often not
George Rupp, International Rescue Committee yet cleared of landmines, where adequate food, shelter, and sanitation facilities have not yet
Zainab Salbi, Women for Women International
Ron Sconyers, Physicians for Peace
been established; actions that are in clear violation of international human rights norms.
Kathy Spahn, Helen Keller International Furthermore we are greatly concerned about the indications of an expanded military
Richard Stearns, World Vision campaign during the summer which will increase the number of displaced and exacerbate
Tsehaye Teferra,
Ethiopian Community Development Council
this already very difficult and dangerous situation.
Sam Worthington (Ex-Officio)
We urge that the United States continue to take the lead in addressing both the political and
humanitarian emergency in Sri Lanka. Given the U.S. role on the Sri Lankan Donor Group,
1400 16th. St., NW the United States Government has a special responsibility towards the Sri Lankan people.
Suite 210 We call on the United States to engage publicly with the Sri Lankan Government and the
Washington, DC 20036 international community to bring all parties together for an effective and genuine peace
PHONE: (202) 667-8227
FAX: (202) 667-8236
process. As an effective first step in this process, we ask that the U.S. Government engage
E-MAIL: with the Sri Lankan Government to halt aerial bombings in the north and east as an important step in scaling back the conflict.

In addition, we ask that the United States co-sponsor, with the European Union, a resolution
in the United Nations Human Rights Council to ensure an international human rights field

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.
presence to monitor human rights violations in Sri Lanka and to ensure their immediate

To address the immediate consequences of the humanitarian crisis, we would urge that
USAID’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance immediately establish a full-time and
robust operational presence in country in support of the coordination of humanitarian
assistance. In addition, we would ask that the United States Government make available
increased funding to address the immediate humanitarian needs of the population.

We have greatly appreciated the relationship we have developed over the years and look
forward to your leadership in securing human rights and peace for the people of Sri Lanka.


Samuel A. Worthington
President & CEO

CC: Ms. Henrietta Fore, Acting Administrator USAID
Mr. Jim Kunder, Acting Deputy Administrator USAID
Mr. Mike Hess, Assistant Administrator DCHA/USAID
Mr. Ky Luu, Director OFDA/USAID

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.