Tamils in Germany; Alan Paton
In the article ``Honecker turns back the flood of refugees in Berlin'' [Sept. 29-Oct. 5], the writer says: ``Interflug reaped profits from Sri Lankans' and Ghanians' flights to Europe.'' She has, however, failed to mention refugees coming into Germany from many other countries, such as Iran, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, etc. In fact, refugees from some of these countries outnumber those from tiny Sri Lanka. Again, the writer fails to inform readers that refugees from Sri Lanka had already -- since July 15, 1985 -- been stopped from crossing over from East to West Berlin. Therefore, her reference to Sri Lankan refugees in relation to the agreement reached recently by the East German and West German governments to stop the crossing over of refugees from the East to the West is totally false and highly irrelevant.
Also, the photograph appearing alongside the same article, of the ``Allied Check Point Charlie,'' and the description given below it, ``Few Sri Lankans will pass this way in the months ahead,'' gives a higly distorted meaning. It would mean that only Sri Lankans cross over, whereas on the contrary, refugees from serveral countries, except those from Sri Lanka, have been crossing over from East to West in the past months.
Let us analyze why the refugees from this small island in the Indian Ocean have to flee to several countries, including Germany, past this ``Allied Checkpoint Charlie.'' The answer is that these same countries, including Germany, are responsible for creating the situation in Sri Lanka which compels these refugees to leave their homeland. It is well known that the Sri Lankan government is raging a war against the minority Tamil community in Sri Lanka. If these Western European countries realize their mistake and stop aiding the Sri Lankan government in its genocidal action, we can be certain that no Sri Lankan will ever even dream of this Allied Checkpoint Charlie manned by other countries on the soil of Germany. C. Dev Ludenscheid, West Germany
Thank you for your article ``Like a tune starting up again'' [The Home Forum, Aug. 4-10]. It told us so much and really touched the heart of the problem [in South Africa]. First of all [it was] a glimpse inside the newsroom and editorial offices of our newspaper, then a reminder of some white reaction to Alan Paton's book (reaction that is far too common, even today), and then [an account of] attempts by a uitlander and a native-born South African to come to grips with themselves and with an obviously unreal situation. Here, in this country, the force of evil -- and its children: fear, hatred, and greed -- seems so large and formidable, and outside the country [there seems to be] a reluctance to do what should be done and what eventually will have to be done.
I think that we are not nearly grateful enough for the Monitor, with its efforts to span the whole range of human experience, from atom bombs to our individual difficulties, and for its printing of articles such as this one to show us that we are not alone and that others have the same problems to face. Norah and Edmund Benjamin Johannesburg