Tamils for Justice

Asoka Weerasinghe Ottawa, Canada.

Ottawa, Canada
February 1, 2008

Bruce Fein & Associates
Attn: Bruce Fein, Attorney
for ‘Tamils for Justice’

Dear Mr. Fein:

I’d like to share this transcript of a guidance/motivational talk given to high school students who were in the throws of entering Universities and dove-tailing into careers. And I thought it would interest you as your name was mentioned as an animator of a lawyer in this talk.

“Good afternoon to all of you.

I know that all of you are trying to find a career that will line your pockets with lots and lots of dollars and I am here to guide you in someway to achieve that goal.

I know that most of you want to become a Doctor, a Dentist or a Lawyer as you are made to believe that they are the ones who earn a lot of money, seeing them in your neighbourhood living in mansions with outdoor swimming pools, driving BMWs, their children going to private schools while you all had to go to public schools, and having big pool-side parties.

Well…it is Yes and No and there are pros and cons to be considered.

Well…in such careers you have to make some compromises, not necessarily good ones which may eat into your conscience and have difficulty to look at your own face in the mirror the following morning. And you have to be thick skinned, and sometimes working about 18 hours a day to get the money…dollars…dollars…and dollars that you can be decadent to a point and swim in it.

Let’s pick up one profession. Let me know with a show of hands how many of you want to become a lawyer?

Wow! That is encouraging. Eight of you and that too from a class of 18.

But here is the dope on becoming a lawyer and whether you have the fortitude to do it is up to you and you have to look within yourself to find that out.

There is an interesting lawyer joke which sums up everything about lawyers.

“What do lawyers and sperm have in common?
Only one in a million does anything useful and honest.”

And there is some truth to it!

This is going to surprise you. Although lawyers are not trained to lie, they are trained to */twist the truth./* And most lawyers that you think are honest, they do twist the truth. Does that make them liars? I don’t know. But their job is to argue to win the case for their client. And all this is relative and goes, most of the time, with the greed for possible money that dangles in front of their eyes. You must always remember that when you meet a client that you are in the reality distortion zone.

Let me give you a classic text book example in what I am saying.

This is not fiction, and it is a true story. This guy Bruce Fein, is a lawyer and was a former Associate Deputy Attorney General of the United States, I believe during President Ronald Regan’s time, and he is no ordinary lawyer. He is from the Harvard University Class of 1972.

He is a partner of the Bruce Fein Associates. Sometime in early 2007, from what I understand he had approached some Sri Lankan-Americans and proposed to prepare a brief as an education tool about the vileness of a terrorist group which has been banned in the United States, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), for members of the Congress and the media. These terrorists are also known as the ‘Tamil Tigers’. His retainer fee was a whopping $40,000.

Not even a year had elapsed since his first commitment to vilify the Tamil Tigers, he has now turned a solid 180 degree and lobbying for “the Deproscription of the LTTE, and arguing for the Statehood for the Tamils in the island of Sri Lanka”, on behalf of an organization calling themselves, “Tamils for Justice”. It is very likely he must have been paid an exorbitant sum, as his benchmark earlier was a fee of $40,000 to make that turn around. But then again, he may be doing it /Pro bono/, which means free of charge for his client as he believes very strongly that the issue is worth defending “for the public good”, as he says that he genuinely believes he has uncovered “self-evident truths” on the Tamil problem in Sri Lanka. The burden is on him to prove that the Tamil Tigers have anything to offer “for the public good”. But hey, whatever it is…Phew! What a turn around of convictions, and that soon.

The FBI recently said, *“Needless to say, the Tamil Tigers are among the most dangerous and deadly extremists in the world*” That is a hell-of-an indictment and these are the terrorists that this lawyer Fein has decided to defend the Tamils as being subjected to “oppression” and wanting for them their own “statehood.” Go figure that one out.

These Tamil Tigers have been fighting for 25 years for their own mono-ethnic, racist, Tamil state, Eelam, and there have been over 70,000 deaths in trying to achieve this mythical goal.

This lawyer’s statement says *“Mr. Fein elaborates the case for Tamil statehood based on the United States Declaration for Independence in light of long and cruel decades of oppression at the hands of the GOSL (Government of Sri Lanka)…”*

But according to facts and ground reality you may find that this lawyer has decided to twist the truth. Perhaps you may after knowing the facts about the alleged “oppression” of the Tamils confront him under your breath as “You are a damn truth-twister”. This is something that you aspiring lawyers will have to make peace with your conscience whether you could let ‘money’ make you violate the Sunday school Commandment that you all have been entrusted with. “I will not bear false witness”, or your Mother’s finger wagging edict, “Don’t you ever lie for even a million dollars, do you understand?”

And here is the truth about lawyer Fein’s “oppressed” Tamils.

Black-Americans (12.1%) constitute an underclass by any criterion in the US. In an article entitled “Blacks on the Bottom” in the /Washington Post/, it detailed a litany of discriminations for example, like Black infant mortality is nearly double that of the Whites. The life expectancy and median age are below that of the Whites. So are the numbers of high school graduates and college graduates, 8% and 10% respectively. In January 1986 Black unemployment was 14.9% compared to 5.9% of the Whites. Unemployment among the Black youth was 2 ½ times more that that among the White youth. So this is really the kind of “oppression” that this lawyer Fein is talking about.

The question that you aspiring lawyers have to ask is, in view of the oppressed Blacks in the US, were the Tamils in Sri Lanka equally subjected to “long and cruel decades of oppression” as what lawyer Fein is trying to claim. Which comes to the question, did lawyer Fein twist the truth for the want to earn a living or build on his professional reputation without caring two-hoots whether one section of the Sri Lankan community will call him “you damn truth-twister”.

Let me present the facts to you aspiring lawyers to help you to come to your own conclusions.

The 1981 Census in Sri Lanka said that the Sri Lankan-Tamils that the lawyer Fein is defending was 12.6% of the total population which was almost the percentage of the Blacks (12.1%) in the United States who were really “oppressed”.

So in 1981 the unemployment rate was three times higher (25.9%) among the majority Sinhalese than the minority Tamils (6.7%). The Sinhalese made up 74% of the population and they were the majority ethnic group.
And yet Lawyer Fein says that the Tamils were “oppressed”. Ha! What logic.

In 1981, the Tamils (12.6%) whom lawyer Fein says were subjected to “oppression” occupied the following percentages of various professions among the over all population; doctors 35.1%; dentists 24.7%; veterinary surgeons 38.8%; life scientists 41.5%; medical technicians 30.2%; engineers 34.9%, land surveyors 29.9%, engineering technicians 24.3%, survey draughtsmen 27%; public sector administrators 15.9%. Ha!, and lawyer Fein submits that the Tamils were subjected to “oppression” and that they should have their own “statehood”.

So now you know what you are faced with. The question that you have to ask is, can my conscience lend to earn a living violating my Mum’s advice, “Don’t you ever lie to anyone, even for a million dollars”. That is the choice that you eight have to make. Can you stomach that profession and emulate a Bruce Fein. It is up to you. Think about it!

Now let us go on to another profession…how many of you want to be a Doctor, and put your hands up…?”

So Bruce Fein, I thought that you might like that pep talk to aspiring lawyers and you being a model of a classic text book example of a lawyer who will turn 180 degrees within days, for what ever reason, and twist the truth about Tamil “oppression” by the Government of Sri Lanka. Hmmm!

I will certainly be looking forward to reading with interest your defense on the Tamils who you say were subjected to decades of oppression by the Government of Sri Lanka.


Asoka Weerasinghe
Ottawa, Canada.

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