jump to content
In the Network: Media Co-op Dominion   Locals: HalifaxTorontoVancouverMontreal

Did Canada Help Dismantle Sri Lanka’s Peace Process?

April 13, 2009

Did Canada Help Dismantle Sri Lanka’s Peace Process?

"Collective grief" of Tamil community paralyzes Ottawa

by Philip Neatby

Demonstrators wave the flag of the Tamil Tigers in the midst of a snowstorm in downtown Ottawa, Tuesday, April 7. Photo: Philip Neatby

OTTAWA–Canada’s 300,000-strong Tamil community, the largest Tamil diaspora on earth, has been mobilizing for months in major cities in Canada to draw attention to the dire situation in Sri Lanka.

“There is a collective grief amongst the Tamil community in Canada right now,” says David Poopalapillai, national spokesperson for the Canadian Tamil Congress (CTC). In recent months this "collective grief" has brought sections of at least two Canadian cities to a standstill.

Since Sri Lanka’s military captured the port city of Kilinochchi, a stronghold of the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in the country’s northern region, the death toll within the mostly Tamil region has risen to alarming levels.

In response, Tamil-Canadians have organized fasts, parliamentary meetings, vigils, protests, and acts of non-violent civil disobedience to draw attention to what many see as a campaign of deliberate killings of Tamil civilians by the Sri Lankan government. This campaign included a march of more than 45,000 through downtown Toronto on January 30, the biggest march in Canada against an international conflict since Israel’s bombardment of Lebanon during the summer of 2006.

These actions form one of the largest and most coordinated acts of international solidarity in recent Canadian history.

On March 16, activists formed a human chain around busy streets surrounding Toronto’s Union Station, bringing swathes of the downtown core to a halt. Smaller demonstrations have taken place in most major Canadian cities.

Last Tuesday, April 7, in tandem with similar actions in England, Norway and other international communities, busloads of Tamil-Canadians converged upon Ottawa, arriving from Toronto, Montreal and elsewhere.

After a rally on Parliament Hill, approximately 500 protesters broke off into several coordinated groups and proceeded to squat several intersections in Ottawa’s small downtown throughout the afternoon and evening.

Rush hour traffic was largely brought to a halt.

Demonstrators, many of whom waved flags bearing the emblem of the LTTE, continued to block the intersections until 7:30 pm, when they were pushed back by police to the corner of Wellington and Metcalfe streets in front of Parliament Hill.

There they have remained, their numbers swelling to thousands over the Easter weekend.

“Our community is dying there, it’s going to be wiped out if we let this happen,” said Kumughan Nallarhenm, who drove from Toronto to Ottawa with his family last week to protest in front of parliament. “So I cannot sit idly reading at my home or going to the office.”

Nallarhenm’s sentiments were shared by most of the Tamils who have clogged Wellington Street in front of Parliament Hill over the last week. Many either have family in Northern Sri Lanka or know individuals trapped in the area.

Sahabthan Jesuthasan, a student at York University and member of the Coalition to Stop the War in Sri Lanka, has several family members in Kilinochchi.

“When the government ‘freed’ the area, we stopped hearing from them. We found out later that their house had been shelled and bombed,” he explained, adding that the lack of independent monitors in the most heavily affected areas of the conflict have made identifying the whereabouts of his relatives impossible.

“What’s worst is not knowing what happened to them. Nobody knows what’s going on.”

Tamils outside the Prime Minister's office. Photo: Philip Neatby

Until very recently, Canada has played a small role in Sri Lanka’s conflict.

Sri Lanka’s civil war began in 1983, following the destruction of many Tamil-run businesses during riots by Sinhalese nationalists on the eve of local elections. Tamils responded at first with non-violent protests, which were largely ignored by the Sri Lankan government. The LTTE subsequently managed to harness the frustrations of the country’s Tamil minority. Since then, violence on both sides has been responsible for over 70,000 killings along with other human rights abuses over the course of the 27-year war.

Assassinations of political leaders and bombings of heavily crowded urban areas have become a characteristic of the conflict. Prior to January, the LTTE had managed to function as a quasi-state entity in several northern cities, operating courts, tax administrative offices and even a bank.

A peace process, brokered by the government of Norway, began in 2002. By 2006, in the midst of already fragile negotiations, Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapakse began a concerted international public relations campaign focused upon casting the LTTE as the main barrier to peace.

Backed by former US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia Donald Camp, the campaign overlooked the Sri Lankan government’s own history of discrimination of ethnic Tamils and its funding of paramilitaries in the North. The campaign included the launching of a pro-government website modeled after the Tamil website tamilnet.com.

Canada was the first country to respond to this campaign, following the advice of lead editorials by the Globe and Mail and the National Post.

The newly-elected Harper government officially placed the LTTE on its list of terrorist organizations in April 2006. Then Minister of Public Safety Stockwell Day announced that LTTE supporters were “not welcome” in Canada during the press conference announcing the ban.

“The LTTE’s repeated use of violence,” said former Foreign Affairs Minister Peter Mackay, “is unacceptable and seriously calls into question its commitment to the peace process.”

Mackay made no mention of any use of violence carried out by the Sri Lankan government over the course of the civil war. The ban was followed by several RCMP arrests of Canadian citizens, who were alleged to have aided in fund raising for the LTTE.

No such actions have been taken to censure other nationalist elements in Sri Lanka, such as the Buddhist National Sinhala Heritage Party, which many international observers credit with pushing the Rajapakse government to adopt a more hard-line nationalist vision.

Subsequent to Canada’s decision, the EU placed the LTTE on its own terror list in May 2006.

In June 2006, the peace talks collapsed. The Rajapakse government began a renewed offensive against the Tamil Tigers. Despite UN calls for a ceasefire, the Sri Lankan government resumed its military campaign early this year.

This campaign has included aerial and artillery attacks of so-called “safe areas” into which civilians fleeing the conflict have been sequestered.

UN Human Rights chief Navi Pillay has estimated that 2,800 civilians have been killed since January, although some have claimed the toll has reached 3,500.

The Sri Lankan government has barred entry of journalists and humanitarian organizations such as the Red Cross into the region. UN officials have warned for months of a food crisis in the northern region that may affect hundreds of thousands of people. It is estimated that between 150,000 and 190,000 civilians have remained in the inappropriately named “safe areas.”

"Sri Lanka's so-called 'no-fire zone' is now one of the most dangerous places in the world," said Brad Adams, the Asia director for Human Rights Watch, in a recent report.

“What actually happened was that the LTTE ban brought about by the Canadian government and also by other governments gave a strong boost to the Sri Lankan government to go for a military solution,” says Poopalapillai.

Poopalapillai said that Canadian Tamil organizations were not consulted prior to the LTTE ban.

The CTC, along with other Tamil organizations, have called upon Canada to impose economic and political sanctions upon Sri Lanka, and to remove its consular officials from the country until a ceasefire is declared. Many in North America have also begun a legal campaign to declare an injunction against a $1.9 billion International Monetary Fund loan to the Sri Lankan government. Many Tamils believe that part of the loan would be used to finance the Sri Lankan government’s war effort.

The international protests have begun to have an effect.

The Sri Lankan government declared a two-day ceasefire over the Easter weekend, and both Conservative Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon and the leaders of the NDP and Liberal parties have made statements in recent days calling for stronger action to support a ceasefire.

Organizers say the protests, which have included several hunger strikes, will continue until Canada adopts a major shift in its policy towards Sri Lanka.

Stuart Neatby is a former managing editor of The Dominion.

Own your media. Support the Dominion. Join the Media Co-op today.

Comments

This is onesided

All you have to do it to Google "LTTE massacres" to find out about the truth behind the so called *Liberators* of Tamils.

Instead google "genocide of

Instead google "genocide of Tamils" or "massacre of Tamils" then you will find lots more about what the Sri Lankan Govenment is doing to Tamils. Remember LTTE is not the cause of the problem they are because of the problem! If not LTTE, some other organization will win Tamils aspirations, Tamileelam. "Tamilanin thaaham thamileela thayaham!"

So what is your point? The

So what is your point? The LTTE is the only evil? All you have to do is "google" Sri Lanka human rights abuses to see that its a failed state.

I think any unbiased person

I think any unbiased person would realize the wrong approach of the LTTE. Terrorism is not the way to achieve goals. Once the LTTE started its terrorist activities alleging its carrying them out on behalf of the Tamil community, the whole world is prejudiced. The repercussions are now being faced all over the world as one country after another have banned the LTTE as a terrorist organization. All these protests and fast unto death campaigns are not not going to help as long as the Tamils keep showing our support and allegiance to a terrorist group. LTTE is history. Prabakaran is a Terrorist who has led the Tamil community to its lowest point ever. Sooner the Tamils disassociate the LTTE and the terror campaign, the better it would be for all Tamils all over the world.

Brutal Regime

Mono-ethnic military is moving heavy weaponry and masks to the civilian targets. Missions are carrying out intimidation whoever voices against this catastrophe of mass scale (ICRC reports they have ver seen this before). Canada, for its part, looking at south for further action.

Betrayal of 21st century. Sudan ranks better here.

Well Written Article

Dear Stuart Neatby

I appreciate your non-partitioned analysis of SriLanka ethnic conflict.

B.S.

B.S.

Thank You

Mr. Neatby,

It's good to see a journalist with some "guts".
I'm sure your investigative reporting will save some Tamils' lives in Sri Lanka.
Keep up the good work.

Thank You

Thank you for publishing the truth and letting other canadians know whats going on in Sri Lanka and why Tamils have been protesting to stop the war once for all.

Canada has major role to play in Sri Lanka due to population of tamil community as well as one of the peaceful countries in the world.

I pray that the current government will do something before its too late.

Peace Process ?

Was there a peace process to dismantle ? It was just a military pause to re-arm for both sides. So don't feel bad about Canada's contribution towards the peace effort in SL.

Stuart Neatby, Thank you,

Stuart Neatby,

Thank you, for looking at both sides of the story!
In my opinion, Canada took action according to what the US did, as usual! So why not help out this time by removing the ban! Fellow Canadian are forgetting that we are tax payer also! It is stated in our Charter of Rights that freedom of peaceful assembly and expression is our RIGHT! What these people are doing is lawful, please remember that!
PEACE IS NEEDED! The only was is if a cease fire, so Canadian please care and help out!

Canada has nothing to do with Sri Lankan peace Process

This author seems to have no knowledge about issues in Sri Lanka but just depend on the wrong information given to him by LTTE lobby in Canada.It is better for those people who have no knowledge of the subject keep away from it.
Main reason cease fire failed in Sri Lanka is because unstoppable killings of civilians by LTTE.Since the day one LTTE start killing civillians all over the country.At the end of Ceasefire LTTE had killed over 3000 civilians in record.The other factor is unethical acts of Norway.In nutshell 2002 ceasefire was a total farce. There was nothing left that Canada could do to break or mend the ceasefire.

Thank you !!!!

Hi Stuart Neatby

Finally I seen a story which reflect the ground reallity in Srilanka, instead of singing "LTTE Terrorist" song again again based on Srilankan propaganda; while hundred of innocent Tamils got killed by Srilankan State Terrorist everyday. again Thank you.

Nathan

Tamil community in Canada

LTTE have been misleading Tamil expatriate community for many years. They have killed most prominent Tamil politicians in SL. Many countries proscribed them as a terrorist outfit. Wiping them out of SL will be most beneficial for Tamil community. They can live without fear of loosing their children & love once to LTTE conscription. Did you know more then 50% of the Tamil community living among fellow Sri Lankans in south of the country.

LTTE is Tamil's representative

I am sure that the comment is written by Singhalese
If the Genocide is happening to your community then you will realize it. If you do not know the full story about Sri Lanka and two nations please keep quiet. We are fitting for our civil rights, we need to live peace and freedom.

Don't you know what happen in 1950, 1970, & 1980s that Singalese kiiled many Tamil people and took their property

Bless you
Joe

Are you insane?

only thing i could understand by reading the above news peice is the writer ,a huge supporter of Tamil tiger terrorist,not only he is trying to point the government side stories forgetting the tens of thousands of tamils and sinhalese the butal terror outfit killed by sucide bombings and sending killing squads..

Protest against extreme biased views against sri-lanka

Dear Sir,

the sri-lankan goverment does not employ brutal methods against tamil civilians (who are also sri-lankan citizens and their own civilians) in the course of its war with the Tigers. It is the tiger terrorists who have been holding more than 40,000 tamil civilians hostage for more than one month now and not letting them go. As you maybe aware, hostage taking by terrorists is a crime and shouldnt be condoned by you. All the tiger terrorists have to do is let these people go as demanded by the UN secretary general no less so that the suffering of these civilians be relieved. This the brual tiger terrorists will never do.

However I hope that a ceasefire declared by the sri-lanka goverment will help the civilians escape the clutches of the tiger terrorists. I am sure these civilians have far more faith in the sri-lankan government than they would ever have in a brutal terrorist group such as the tiger terrorists.

One more thing just yesterday some tiger terrorists lined three sinhalese farmers up in the south east of sri-lanka and shot them dead. They also lined five sinhalese farmers up three days ago also in the south-east of the country and shot them dead. The tiger terrorists also lined about ten sinhalese farmers up last month and shot them dead. This has happened may times earlier as well. No western news media Reuters, AP, AFP,BBC,ABC,CBS et al covered these so you wouldnt even know that such things happened since it is not on the agenda of the western countries news media to report on such atrocities committed by the tiger terrorists. They only see the flaws of the sri-lankan government who are only trying to deal with the tiger terrorists the best they can and free sri-lanka from the scourge of terrorism and war and bring much needed peace to the country.

By the way if you oppose violence against innocent civilians regardless of the perpetrators, does that mean you support or oppose the thousands of civilian deaths by US and british forces in Iraq? Please be honest and then you would know that you are following double standards and are acting in a very partial and hypocritical manner when it comes to the US and british armed forces. In complete contrast the sri-lankan army are only freeing a part of their own country and the people of that area from the clutches a group of terrorists who keep attacking almost all parts of sri-lanka and its citizens time and agains endlessly.

Extermination of tamils started even before LTTE

OF course Sri lankan Govt do not use brutal methods against tamils ... ya everyone belive you.you idiot..Please dont compare Democratic countires with a Terror state like Sri lanka.. LTTE is just an excuse for Sri lanka to exterminate tamils...This started even before Pirabaharab was born...Stop talking about tamil civilians as if you idiots care about them...if so why dont SL block media and aid group access to the war zone...if LTTE wanted to hide anything they would not ask UN , MEdia to come and see what is going on in Vannni...they always asked independant monitors to come and see.... If there is anyone commiting WAR CRMIMES in Sri lanka it is those who want to hite things ...hwich is teh Sri lankan Terror state.

Yet more protest at extremist biased article against sri-lanka

I am a British citizen of sri-lankan origin and I protest at the biased article regarding sri-lanka. I myself as a leftist and a socialist is consistently surprised by your incorrect understanding of the tragic situation that sri-lanka is in today.

Your article suggests that somehow the sri-lankan governments are hell bent on war. I dont think any sri-lankan in their right mind wants a pointless war to continue and I suspect that includes the sri-lankan government as well. It is the LTTE which started the latest round of attacks which is a well known fact.

The tamil tigers organisation you talk about is no liberation organisation. They are an extremist terrorist organisation. This extremist and violent organisation has been given a free reign to do as they please in western countries including australia, the U.K., EU and Canada for more than two decades and infact, the LTTE or the tamil tigers get 95% of their funding from funds raised from tamil diaspora in western countries, mostly through intimidation and extortion of these diaspora.

The western countries and their media have never let the moderate tamil political parties who actually wanted to negotiate with the sri-lankan government to bring peace to the country succeed since they consistently indirectly supported the extremist violent organization the LTTE and let the LTTE front organizations in the western countries raise funds, stifle any dissenting views among the tamil people themselves, procure weapons and continue a destructive and ultimately pointless war. In fact the western countries and their media watched on while almost the entire moderate tamil leadership in sri-lanka were gunned down by the extremist LTTE to the detriment of all the people in sri-lanka.

By consistently indirectly supporting the extremist LTTE, the western countries and its media have done a great injustice to the sri-lankan people and made both the tamils and sinhalese suffer immensely with at least 100,000 deaths on both sides (more than 65,000 of these have been brutal murder committed by the tiger terrorists against the sr-lanka government side, a majority of deaths in this conflict! If you think I am lying please feel free to ask to provide who died at the hands of whom and I will be happy to do so) the effects of which we are suffering today. Had the western countries supported the moderate democratic tamil political parties instead of the LTTE and its phycopath of a leader, both tamils and sinhalese would be living in peace and happily by now. Instead they are suffering immensely.

To give two example of the behaviour of the LTTE, in the early 1990s for example, the LTTE suddenly walked out of peacetalks and rounded up more than 600 policemen and took them to the jungle and massacred them. To this day, the grave of these policemen has not been found. Quite recently they targeted 100 navy personnel who were actually on leave on a bus and blasted a claymore mine killing 100 navy personnel in an instant. These are just two examples of the behaviour of the LTTE. Which government in the world could tolerate such behaviour without providing protection for its citizens I do not know! In fact just recently the LTTE killed a very senior tamil minister of government using a suicide bomber at a sports event which also killed the national Olympic athletic coach of sri-lanka among other sportsmen as well. Would any government in the world tolerate such behaviour?

The same western countries who would never let Al Queda raise funds in their countries let the LTTE do as they please in their countries. In fact from the funds raised in places like the U.K., the EU, Canada and Australia, the LTTE buys guns, bombs and claymore mines with which they kill soldiers, policemen, civil servants and sadly civilians back home in sri-lanka.

The LTTE uses claymore mines and bombs against the sri-lankan army in the north which sometimes explodes prematurely and kills and terrorises the civilians around as well. These are sadly mostly tamil civilians and the LTTE should bear total responsibility for such acts. The have also ethnically cleansed the north of sinhalese and muslims and were trying their hardest to do so in the east as well. However, they failed there. In fact a wiser renegade leadership of the LTTE in the east has broken away from the main LTTE and today, they have joined the democratic mainstream and are facing elections as a political force in the east of the country for provincial assemblies. The east which is multi ethnic with tamils, sinhalese and muslims living side by side, is at last seeing peace, and now has the opportunity to elect their choice of leaders for regional power and at last breathing a sigh of relief.

This shows again that had the western countries and their media supported the moderate tamil parties in sri-lanka instead of letting the LTTE and its phycopath of a leader do as they please in western countries by way of raising funds for destructive purposes and worst of all by providing political support and sympathy from the highest western political leaders in the land (and all the while the LTTE was killing moderate tamils and killing thousands in sri-lanka), sri-lanka would have resolved this issue of lack of political power for the tamil people in the north and east with devolution of power a long time ago and would now be forging ahead with development peacefully.

Unfortunately today, due to the west and its media supporting the worst elements and the most extremist of tamil parties, i.e. the LTTE, the tamils, sinhalese and muslim peoples in sri-lanka have suffered immense burdens and are left with no opting but only to pray for peace. The west should bear a great responsibility for this suffering and for consistently blocking any progressive dialogue between the tamils and the sinhalese.

However, even while the west was consistently blocking any progress by way of a dialogue between the moderate tamils and the sinhalese and although the LTTE creates violence and meyham in sri-lanka today, there has been a sort of dialogue going on for a long time now and as a result tamil is a national language in sri-lanka equal to sinhalese and many of the sri-lankan provinces are multi ethnic in nature with the capital colombo and large cities being quite multi ethnic in nature. Tamil students conduct all their education in the tamil medium and there are many tamil politicians, lawyers, diplomats, ministers and in all professions and in all walks of life contributing to the development of sri-lanka and In fact, some of the biggest businesses in the country are run or owned by tamils. Also there are tamils in some of the highest positions in the country. There are many tv, radio stations and newspapers etc in tamil. In fact, as a result of the ongoing civil society dialogue, the consensus is for political power devolution to the north which it is hoped would solve the political crisis of the tamil people of the north. If you dont believe me, why not come and have a look?

Your newspaper and western countries in general should applaud such progress and not defend an extremist violent organisation such as the LTTE.

In a situation such as sri-lanka, where there are many cities and towns which are multi ethnic in nature, it is a great injustice and extremely unfair for the western countries to create dissent among the different ethnic groups by indirectly supporting violent extremists such as the tamil tigers. This goes against the very nature of civilized way of conduct and the tragic and destructive results are there for all to see with 100,000 deaths on all sides,(a majority, 65,000 of these were commited by the tiger terrorists) 5,000 disabled soldiers alone and many civilian displacements.

In fact I would say peace in sri-lanka can only be achieved by the people of sri-lanka i.e. tamil, sinhalese and muslims, sitting together in brotherhood and conducting a progressive dialogue. It cannot be achieved by western countries and its medias interference or by their support for extremist violent groups such as the LTTE. In fact such support has done immense harm to all sri-lankans both tamils and sinhalese and harmed their social fabric and day to day peaceful living and shattered their peace and therefore the west should leave sri-lanka alone, well alone, to resolve its issues on its own and at least respect sri-lanka as an asian country and if outside countries have any say, it should be other south asian countries which should have a say and the west and its media should leave sri-lanka alone to resolve its own issues. We are not a colony of the west anymore and britain is no longer an imperial power.

At least the recruitment by the LTTE in over twenty three years of conflict more than twelve thousand child soldiers, all tamil children into their ranks and sent at least some of them to die in a tragic and pointless war should have been an eye opener for the western countries but I guess they don’t care about this aspect of the conflict. In fact, I think the recruitment of child soldiers by the LTTE is a crime against humanity which should be condemned by all civilized people.

Hundreds of tamil teachers, headteachers and policemen in the north who critisised against this abhorrent practise of the LTTE have been gunned down over the years by the LTTE for protesting about this.

The LTTE in addition, due to their pointless war has made the once thriving north sri-lanka into an economic wasteland for which the LTTE should bear total responsibility. Before the war the tamil farmers in the north were able to send many agricultural products to the south and there was a thriving trade between the north and the south.

The LTTE has so far walked out of all peacetalks with various sri-lankan governments, four times so far, where sri-lankan governments have proposed far reaching political power sharing solutions, all rejected by the tamil tigers to the detriment of all sri-lankans who yearn for an early peace.

The LTTE is not an organisation which is amenable to negotiation since they are incapable of such negotiations due to lack of vision, wisdom, compassion or even the intellectual ability to do so and especially since the leader is a phycopath. My wish is that if there is a saner, political section of this organisation, they have the capacility and the ability to see the destruction they have caused both the tamils, sinhalese and the muslims, in fact all of sri-lanka, recognize that their leader is a phycopath and negotiate seriously and give up the gun for good. For negotiations to happen this destructive organisation should give up the gun for good and start first by respecting the people of the island of sri-lanka whom they have absolutely no respect for.

Until the LTTE starts respecting the sri-lankan people, i hope your newspaper have nothing to do with this violent and extremist terrorist organisation which is totally not a socialist organisation in anyway sort or form.

Tamils are fighting for their survival

The Tamils' accusations—of discrimination, denial of the right to self-determination, abrogated agreements and violations of international human rights and humanitarian law amounting to genocide by successive Sri Lankan governments—are supported by specific evidence given by international human rights and legal experts, international human rights non-governmental organizations and other relevant entities. The democratic parliamentary efforts and the non-violent resistance struggle of the Tamil people prior to the outbreak of war are traced over several decades.

According to this article,

According to this article, the conflict began in 1983 when Sri Lankan Sinhalese people attacked tamils in Colombo. The "reason" is not here. I was in Sri Lanka on that day. The "reason" is LTTE killing 13 Sinhala army soldiers in the north. This was done to create a conflict. The angry Sinhalese people reacted. Then, all Tamils in Sri Lanka used the situation as an excuse to get refugee visas to european countries. This is how the Tamil Diaspora started in the world. Australia, Canada, UK, Norway all offered a hand to LTTE Tamils by offering refugee visa. From then on, money from Tamil Diaspora arround the world fed LTTE. It became the largest terrorist group in the world. The true mission of LTTE is not to capture the north but to capture the whole island. Tamils are people brought into Sri Lanka from India by British. If they need a land, they should ask India for a piece.

U mentally retarded

U mentally retarded idiot...stop rubbish and get a life.

International community including Canada failed human rights.

By not applying sanction on Sri Lanka, the world leaders failed human rights. Especially, Canadian foreign policy central theme is human rights.

The Government of Sri Lanka openly committing State terrorism and crimes against humanity. By not applying any sorts of tangible pressure such as political and economic sanctions, our government failed human rights.

The situation in Tamil homeland is very dangerous and the suffering is beyond any human imagination. The government of Sri Lanka killed more than 5000 Tamils including in hospitals. More than 10,000 Tamils severely wounded most of them lost their limbs. All this happen in this year 2009, and it added the total casualty of Tamils over 100,000 since Sinhala government took control of Tamil homeland in 1948.

The only way the Tamils can live with dignity and peacefully is by allowing them to form separate State as they decided in 1977.

You guys just making

You guys just making allegations. But where is the proof? International community must be vigilant on LTTE lies.This is how (by lie )they get refugee statues in these countries. Now they trying to give refugee state for LTTE. Take it Canada let it be your own problem. Very soon Sri Lanka will be out of terrorism and safer than Canada.

Thanks for this valuable

Thanks for this valuable article on dominion.Stuart Neatby,we expect more article like from you. War in Srilanka is not a war on terror it is a racist war on all tamils.
Srialanka recently started using banned chemical weapons on civilians. It is noted that they already using cluster bombs.
Everyday more than 300 tamils are being killed in the safe zone declared by Srilanka.

Srialanka doesn't want to hear anybody's call for a ceasefire. India, china, Pakistan,Iran and Lybia backing Srilanka's genocidal war on innocent tamils in Srilanka.

Canada made a bad mistake by banning LTTE, by doing that they forgot to put pressure on Srilanka solve the conflict during peace process.
Now Canada can put more pressure on Srilanka by calling its High commissioner from colombo. Canada should remove the ban on LTTE to initiate the peace process or at least press the Srilankan government to stop the war and go to negotiation table.

Plight of babies born and unborn
http://www.tamilnet.com/art.html?catid=13&artid=29024

Genocide and Mass killing of tamils
http://www.tamilsagainstgenocide.org/

Defending Human Rights - Hard Earned Value of the West

After 7 years of continous protests through all available means in the western world, first time at least some media and people started understanding the real facts behind this struggle. The Change of President Obama has opened up some other eyes to see the realities. President Obama boldly taking some important measures such as relaxing cuban sanctions, israel-palestine policy, russian policy, iran policy, even possibility of talking to taliban - the war on terror blanket cover and license to genocide - some pragmatic media started understanding the realities. The world dynamics worked against the fundamentals of human rights started realizing the its direction. Western media and people started understanding their hard earned heritage and human rights based values. This value of the West has helped to form many new countries and peace around the world. This now the time for defending Tamils Human Rights.

Facts about LTTE

See attached documents with some Interesting facts and find below some evidences:

FBI: http://www.fbi.gov/page2/jan08/tamil_tigers011008.html

SPUR: http://www.spur.asn.au/prominent_tamil_leaders_killed.htm

SATP: http://www.satp.org/satporgtp/countries/shrilanka/database/leaders_assassinated_byLTTE2.htm

World Opinion: http://www.spur.asn.au/WorldOp.htm

What about Canada?

Hey all,
So I have no particular affiliation, nor sympathy for the LTTE. I did not ask any interview subjects about their support or lack thereof for the LTTE. I do confess to some sympathy for the Tamil community in Canada, members of which likely have differing opinions on the LTTE, but who largely seem outraged at the terrible death toll of the conflict in recent months.

But this article is about Canada and the Canadian government's role in Sri Lanka's war. Canada plays a part. And Canada has taken a very clear side in the conflict. This has not yielded an end to the violence.

I was kinda hoping people would start arguing more about the Canadian government's role in all of this. Does Canada have a right to support one side over another in this conflict?

Excellent reply Stuart

It IS good to remind to Inhuman supporters of Sri lankan genocide to tamils..that One side's methods can not justify other side's war crime...Specially Sri lankan gvt is a so called democratic gvt. The world first pressure this gvt to stop its terror methods against tamils before talking to a rebel groups methods....We should before stop willing of even unborn child in the mothers stomac .. before talkign about child soldier...

Hey Stuart: It is

Hey Stuart:

It is interesting that as a resident of US reading a commentary by a Canadian on happenings that are 1000s of miles away. Not sure what prodded you to discuss this subject.

Looks like you are getting a lot of emotional responses and both sides are ready to jump at the throat. Some of the nonchalant discussion of killing of people, just because they happen to be of 'other-side', is plain awful - where is humanity today?

From an outsider point of view, we can see the danger of trying to "control" peoples' minds at gun point. History has repeatedly proven these efforts to be worthless - it only excites and creates further fervor. Human and monetary capital is spent on "crushing" or destroying the other side - unfortunately there is no end to violence, since it gives a "license" and legitimacy to the other side. The lesson learnt is (I doubt it is really learnt) aspirations of people need to be considered at an early stage and make every one feel involved even if the minority is really small. It takes real "leaders" to do that. Cant believe something could be called a "govern"ment even if it is not protecting ALL its people.

That brings me to my other point: for us uninvolved, how does this affect the world in the long run? Words such as justice are losing ground due to lawlessness or onesided decisions. I am disturbed, if it is true that Canadian government took a one sided view and did not deliberate neither history nor future consequences. Not being sure about the workings of Canada, if this is an executive order, is there a remedy through legislature or judiciary?

Think about this

If all trapped are civilians and the Sri Lankan government commiting genocide, to clear the lost 15 sqr km area will only take half a day.

Indian and US military precens is there in the war theatre to monitor and learn how things happening. All necessary people in relevent governments know what is going on. But the hypocratic Canadian and UK polititians of second level ranks, exploting the gravy train of Tamil votes shamelessly.

If anyone is concerned about the well being of the trapped civilians, they should ask LTTE cowards to not to hide among civilians in a no fire zone. But then again, who cares about civilians, all the attempts are to bail out a bunch of terrorists who has taken innocent civilians hostage. Shame on you all.

If the Stephen Harper

If the Stephen Harper government fails to respond to the Tamil protesters, they are indirectly considering the Tamils as 2nd class citizens.

The writer is a tiger recruit.

Tiger terrorists are experts in targeting influential
reporters and finding their weaknesses and providing the writer what ever he wants, Drugs, women, sex whatever, then get them to write subjective pre cooked garbage like this.

You know what you got from terrorists.

Go to Colombo.
We still have more tamils living in Colombo than in whole of Canda.

and you call this

and you call this journalism?

Canada did the wrong thing at the wrong time!

Dear Mr. Neatby,

Don't be discouraged by those comments by the Srilankan machinery. It is not uncommon for the Srilankan government and their supporters to brand anyone (including UN, Media, ICRC, HRW etc.) who raises human rights issues as LTTE supporters.
Watch the defense secretory in action as an example;

http://player.sbs.com.au/naca#/naca/dateline/Latest/playlist/Hunting-the-Tigers/

As for Canada's role, Canada's action i.e. placing LTTE on the terrorist list was the wrong thing to do at the wrong time. This was totally unnecessary during a peace process where both parties were considered equal at the negotiating table. Actions by Canada, US and the EU gave Rajapakse a license to kill. There's nothing wrong in pointing out and acting on any wrong doings by anyone but it was the one sided approach especially during a peace negotiation that resulted in failure and deaths of innocent civilians. I'm certain that the ongoing genocide of Tamils could have been halted if Canadian and other governments acted responsibly.

Tamils living in Southern

Tamils living in Southern Sri Lanka live in a constant state of fear. They keep their views and opinions to themselves. If the try to express their views they will be massacred by the Sri Lankan governments death squads. Just Google "Sri Lanka White Van" to find more about these death squads!

These death squads are run by the Defense Minster Gotabaya Rajapakse. Gotabaya was a Sri Lankan Army colonel in the late 80s. When he was in charge of a Northern Jaffna, he took part in a massacre where 100s of people were buried alive by the Sri Lankan Army in a islet called Mandai Theevu.

Sri Lanaka = Terror State

Just Google "Tamil Tigers

Just Google "Tamil Tigers killing civilians" you get the same results.
Tamil Tigers = child killers

Canada was mislead

Canada along with the international community were mislead by the Sri Lankan government which spent thousands of dollars on their propaganda machinery against this freedom struggle that amounted to the ban of the LTTE here.

Banning one side of this conflict did encourage the SL government with its plan to eliminate the Tamils. This is a War without Witness and if Canada does not interfere now a bloodbath is inevitable as the HRW warned in its joint letter to CMAG. The flag we raise is our National Flag and it should not be to taken as defiance, but as frustration expressed by Tamil Canadians of their government's inability to act and uphold the R2P that was promoted by this country.

It should be noted the de facto government run by the LTTE in our land was uncorrupted and modeled after Canada where all citizens had universal medical care, tax system, policing, courts including environmental protection.

Canada funds 30 million through CIDA, which is our tax money for programes in Sri Lanka that in turns carries out genocide on our people. Therefore, we have all the right to ask that our country impose diplomatic and economic sanctions on this failed state and pressure to bring this war to an end.

If the LTTE is holding the civilians as human shields then let the independent observers in to verify this claim. If the people trusted the Government we would not have seen a mere 40 people of the 150,000 leave for the 'security zone'.

Canada has to use the same ruler to meassure

Canada being a country of immirgrants from needs to apply the same stadards to all communities. We cannot Ban the LTTE and turn a blind eye to the SL government.

Infact the SL government must be held to a higer standard. Thinking logically there are far more people crying out against the Sri Lankan government then there are people protesting against the LTTE. It is simply hog wash to keep saying that all those people protesting are being forced to by the LTTE. If the Tamil people want to support the LTTE, let them. Who knows the LTTE the general Canadian Public or the Tamil People themselves. We started accepting refugess from Sri Lanka since 1983, 25 years on the situation has still got worse.

we sent our troops to fight in Afganistan because our neighbours got attacked, in this case the Families of Canadian are being attacked. When Britain was attacked during he second world war we sent Canadain troops to fight. We still honour those vetrans. When the genocide in Rwanda took place we cried out after the fact. Is that what we are going to do for the Tamils to?

This ethnic group has been facing both repression and intimidati

Charter of Rights is just only in paper. The Stephen Harper government is not honest enough to respect the rights outlined in the Charter of Rights and fulfilling Canadians’ needs. It seems that the rights of Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Expression are definitely not for Tamil Canadians. This ethnic group has been facing both repression and intimidation after Stephen Harper’s Government came into power. Some examples are as follow:

During the many peaceful events the Canadian Security Agencies were photographing the participants and treating them like some wanted criminals.

Canadian police raided a Tamil cultural centre that is prominent for promoting the Tamil language and culture to young children.

Had banned the LTTE (primarily known for representing the Tamils) during the peace talk period back in year 2006, but turning a blind eye to Sri Lankan government’s genocide of the Tamil people.

The latest example is the treatment the thousands of Tamil people received at the border on February 21st. In a way it’s a form of harassment in which these individuals were denied food and worst of all detained in the bus for almost 7 hours.

I think these are all ways to stop the Tamil people from voicing for their rights.

LTTE terror

LTTE has been bannd a s a terrorist organisation in 36 countries including USA, canada, brutain & UK.

U THINK THEY DID THIS TO GET ORGASMS?

"Until very recently, Canada

"Until very recently, Canada has played a small role in Sri Lanka’s conflict. "

The above comment alone portrays the author's lack of knowledge.

Under the Liberals, Canada allowed in 80,000 Sri Lankan Tamils, all now thought to be top leaders, and their immediate family.

For 20 years Canada allowed the Tigers fund their suicide bombing campaigns, to kill Muslims at prayer, and Buddhist kids going to school. Canada contributed over 30 million dollars per year to fund the ethnic cleansing of Muslims, Christians, and Buddhist, to create a Tamil only homeland for Canada's Tamils.

Misleading Article(I think deliberately)

Your article is is a carefully worded one which is made to think that the Sri Lankan government is the bad guy here. i don't think it is an accidentaly done so.

This articles says that Sri lankan government ended the last peace process in 2006. But the real fact is that the current president tried to have peace talks with the LTTE.

But the LTTE by that time had accumilated enough stockpiles to go to war again.So what they did was they hit government troops patrols with a series of roadside bombs(using claymores). Every week a claymore went off somewhere killing 5- 6 troops. LTTEs excause was that civillians who were faithful to the LTTE whom the LTTE had no real control were doing it. However it was common knowledge that at that time the LTTE had devised a bounty system for sri lankan army deaths by claymores.

Mahinda(the sri Lankan president) tolerated this hoping the LTTE would come back to peace talks some day. But when LTTE hit the Army commander with a suicide bomb he had no other option but to go to war.
Even then he just bombed some LTTE camps symbolically (as retalliation).
Then the Ltte blocked a waterway denying water needed for irrigation and mahinda ordered to capture that area.
Only then did the war start.

Then the Sri Lankan president commited completely to war and never looked back. Once the government recaptured half the areas of the LTTE (the entire eastern province) it got out the nominal truce
this is what is written in this article as

"A peace process, brokered by the government of Norway, began in 2002. By 2006, in the midst of already fragile negotiations, Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapakse began a concerted international public relations campaign focused upon casting the LTTE as the main barrier to peace."

The problem was that the LTTE thought they could win the war and take the entire country. So they provoked and provoked and provoked. But their calculations were wrong because Mahinda mustered everything onto the war,led the country with an iron hand and crushed the LTTE.

See it was a problem of survival back then. not theirs but ours as the LTTE had boasted much about their invulnerability.

Now facing extinction they are shouting of genocide and all the people who from abroad sent money to the LTTE and benefited from it are protesting in the streets of the western countries.

And I stress
If the Sri Lanka government is commiting genocide why are they spending so much time to retake the last 15 sqkm where only tamil people are concentrated. Why not just carpet bomb it to obvillion? There aren't much fortifications other than a series of tents of civillians there

Dear Stuart Neatby, How much

Dear Stuart Neatby,

How much did LTTE pay you to publish this article?

exactly!

exactly!

I believe the same amount u

I believe the same amount u got from the SL govt to write ur bullshtt comment.

Appallingly inaccurate

http://www.mackenzieinstitute.com/2009/tamil-tigers-040609.htm

I think you would do well to read the above well researched article on the conflict by one of your own to be better informed

SOLUTION

From your article it is clear that

(1) SL Govt is hell bent on the genocide of Tamils. So the civilians cannot be allowed to go to the Govt controlled areas.

(2) LTTE is protecting these civilians from genocide but have no territory under their control.

It seems the only solution is to transfer all these suffering people to some territory where the LTTE or its supporters can look after them.

Canada seems to be the ideal place. Take them over and look after them well.

LTTE is trying hard to

LTTE is trying hard to remove it's ban in Canada because forthcoming troubles.This writer is trying to support that endeavor.Otherwise there is no reason a letter like this to come out at this moment.We cannot understand how these writers feed their families from LTTE blood money? These people must be responsible for every civilian death occur in Sri Lanka in the future.

We need help from each person from this world to stop Genocide

Dear writer, as a Tamil Canadian thanking you to write like this truth to educate all people in Canada and all over the world, who has written above comments doesn't know the news can not be publish by paying money, it is not advertize message it is a real message from the writer. Who has written this message doesn't check Red Cross or UN web site to get information what is really happening in Sri Lanka before write like this comments.
We have to educate like these unknown people before we go and ask politician, UN, red-cross..... to take immediate action to stop Genocide and ceasefire

Please help to stop Genocide
Joe

Advertisement

Want to receive an email notice when a new issue is online? Click here

The Dominion is a monthly paper published by an incipient network of independent journalists in Canada. It aims to provide accurate, critical coverage that is accountable to its readers and the subjects it tackles. Taking its name from Canada's official status as both a colony and a colonial force, the Dominion examines politics, culture and daily life with a view to understanding the exercise of power.

»Where to buy the Dominion

User login