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Tamil Protest Shuts Down Major Toronto Ave

April 29, 2009

Tamil Protest Shuts Down Major Toronto Ave


This morning, Torontonians making their way down University Avenue, a major north/south downtown traffic artery, encountered a vocal gathering of mainly Tamil-Canadians, protesting State repression of Tamil civilians in northern Sri Lanka.

Long before 9am, a 2-block section of University between Dundas and Queen streets was completely blocked by the large demonstration and surrounded by police barricades, bikes and agents. The police presence did not seem to bother the energetic crowd, chanting slogans such as "Stop the Genocide!" and "Tamils Want a Permanent Ceasefire! When Do We Want it? NOW!"

One participant commented that while mobilizations in Ottawa have been much larger, there have nevertheless been consistent actions in Toronto over the past three months or so. Another explained that just this morning, there were more than another 200 people killed. "It's a very difficult situation," he added.

A Human Rights Watch report states that recently "obtained information places total civilian casualties at 7,000, with 2,000 deaths... All displaced persons crossing to the government side are sent to internment centers in Vavuniya and nearby locations. These are military controlled, barbed-wire camps..."

Along with an immediate permanent ceasefire, demonstrators demanded a two-state solution, and immediate Canadian and US action. All Canadians were encouraged to learn more about the situation and to get involved, reminded by a banner that 'Our Silence - License to Kill.'

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if western countries didnt

if western countries didnt stick their nose in every issue in asia, or othe rparts of the world, perhaps no one would want them to come clean their mess up.

Don't listen to ur white boy news too much. Read others.

fight your own battles.

These immigrants come here, then when trouble starts in thier own country they want the white boys to go over there and get killed trying to spare thier people.

Fuck that shit, do your own dirty work.

Listen to me Hear!!!!

I am on the YES side beacuse The Tamils are Canadians just like you and I and they deserve a say too. Just imagine not beeing able to contact your love ones and not to know it they are dead or alive....thats pretty harsh... I think Stepen Harper should atleast look into what they are trying to say, not everyday someone comes and protest at his door. As mayor he need to talk with citzens,and find peace with them or come to and conclusion with the Tamils...

fighting "our own battles"

Thanks for your comments, Anonymous. I appreciate your sharing them.

In many cases, "these immigrants" and others leave their own country and come here or elsewhere precisely because of the trouble in their own country. However, also in many cases, this trouble does not "start" in their own country. I'd encourage you to read a great Dominion article by Stuart Neatby about the ongoing protests, the situation in Sri Lanka, and the role of Canada, the International Monetary Fund, and other international actors: Did Canada Help Dismantle Sri Lanka's Peace Process?

As far as I know, no one wants "the white boys to go over there." As is illustrated in the banner in one of the photos accompanying the blog post & also from speaking to people on University Ave, the demands of Canada and the United States are for diplomatic and economic sanctions.

I look forward to your and/or others' response.