The Conflict of Sri Lanka and Tamil Eelam in the island of Ceylon

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It's Me D

Good to meet you Tamildeqken.

Tamildeqken wrote:
I am a Tamil. This is not my flag. Tigers are not my leaders. They are the cause of the current assault on the Tamil people. Tigers have done this before in Jaffna. They cut and ran and mingled among the people when the army came for them. Civilians died.

Could you elaborate on the statement "they are the cause of the current assault on the Tamil people"? I'm curious what you mean.

 

News:

Tamilnet reports on two leaked UN documents  - UN withheld civilian casualty figures to protect Sri Lankan state

Quote:
The UN had internal documentation for 9,924 civilian casualties including 2,683 killings and 7,241 injuries since 20 January to 07 March 2009. "Now it appears that unlike in other conflicts from Darfur to Gaza, the UN withheld the Sri Lanka figures, in effect protecting the Sri Lankan government from criticism," the Inner City Press reported Wednesday.

UN Document #1 - Civilian casualties in the Vanni

Quote:
Between January and February 2009 the combat area was reduced from 100 square km to 45 square km, including the NFZ of 14 square km. As the combat area reduces, the daily average shows an increase in the number of killed (from 33 to 63) and a slight decrease in the number of injured (from 184 to 145). This is due to increased density, the use of heavy weapons which continue to strike the NFZ and inadequate medical treatment.

UN Document #2 - Food Delivery to IDPs in the Vanni

Quote:
After several weeks of reports of food shortages, it's highly predicted that mortality could set in as a significant number of the IDP population is reportedly weakened and the likelihood of malnutrition across the same population group could translate into a rapid increase of nutritional and health deterioration.

Tamildeqken Tamildeqken's picture

It's Me D........... Good to meet you Sir 

The tigers consider themselves to be the saviors of the tamil people and want the respect of the tamils. They should not hide behind the civilians and use them as shields. They are not strong enough, emotionally, financially or intellectually to withstand the perils of war, they have no business hood winking the tamil people in Sri Lanka or abroad and claim to be the leaders of Tamil people. The Tamil people are dying because the Tigers consider them disposable commodity.. Just cut and run.

"Tamilan Canadavillayum uthai vangaporan". Not only have we lost to the sinhalese we are well on our way to disgracing ourselves with the international community.

We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools. Martin Luther King Jr

thirusuj

"Tamilan Canadavillayum uthai vangaporan"

Translation: Tamils are going to get kicked in Canada as well

 ---------------

What do you mean by that?

Ze

Rabble's front page ran an article along those same "Tigers don't speak for me" line recently (linked in rabble news features forum). 

 --

"One law for the lion and the ox is oppression" - Blake

thirusuj

‘The Tamil Tigers don’t speak for me’

http://www.thevarsity.ca/article/17608

 ---------

Ze,

I couldn't find the article on rabble so I posted the one found on the net. I like to get some feedback on this article.

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture
It's Me D

I had trouble finding the article Ze mentioned to, thanks for posting it RP. Having read both articles I have a couple comments:

The Varsity Article:

Quote:
“Somehow because of the current trial, people just assume that anyone who’s taking a stand on a humanitarian issue that’s happening is automatically a terrorist,” said Naganathan.

I think its simpler then this unfortunately, like this other interviewee from the article, Milly Thanagarajah, says,

Quote:
“Canadians think we all belong to the Tigers,” she said.

The Tigers and the trial referenced in the article have little to do with it, its simply the Sri Lankan conflict's situation within the "War on Terror" which makes all Tamils terrorists; you're either with us or against us and all that bullshit. I don't think its so different from the treatment of Arabs. Here in rural Nova Scotia I'm afraid you'd be hard pressed to find many white folks who differentiate between brown folks, racism is easy to propagate when you rarely get exposed to other cultures.

The comments to this article are good though, in just three comments they manage to state,

Quote:
Maybe the Varsity doesn't deem it necessary to even dedicate a paragraph to the humanitarian issue? Or is an article on the 'Tamil Tigers' much more appealing than an article on a humanitarian crisis?

Quote:
If we're serious about stopping violence, then we should be imposing arms embargoes and sanctions on all sides. As it stands now we're only doing it on the weakest sides of a conflict and therefore letting the weak be slaughter by states.

Which are both excellent points I think.

 

The Rabble Article:

It often occurs to me, when I visit rabble, that babble is shamed by association with that publication. This time is no exception.

Quote:
Protesters directed their outrage and demands at the Sri Lankan state -- rightly so. However, what was being left out was a demand for human rights from the Tamil Tigers, or Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

Quote:
As a result, the protests are simply perpetuating the problems behind the war rather than shining a light on potential solutions.

And the organizers of Israel Apartheid Week left out criticism of Hamas... and well they should have. Rabble should leave these pathetic arguments to Stockholm.

Quote:
It is only now that the Tamil Tigers are being wiped out after losing their de facto state and political capital, Kilinochchi, that the diaspora is reacting.

I find it hard to believe that the diaspora has been ignoring the plight of Sri Lanka's Tamils until just now... I agree the MSM has ignored Sri Lanka for too long, however they are just stepping in now to provide damage control and spin services to the Sri Lankan government to ensure Canada's Tamil community is thoroughly discredited and disenfranchised.

Quote:
The Tigers then restarted the war in late 2005 with a series of civilian and military attacks.

Perhaps I am misinformed but to the best of my knowledge this is a statement of opinion and not fact; numerous violations have been commited by both sides.

The high point of this article IMV is the following statement by interviewee Sujith Xavier,

Quote:
"The movement has a life because of repression and Sinhala racism,"

 

I'm as suspicious of this article as I am of calls for "balance" in criticism of Israel's actions. That said I am not a Tamil and I would love to hear more feedback from others on these two articles.

Ze

If we're going to talk around the rabble article, this thread's already over the limit, we could move over [url=">http://www.rabble.ca/babble/rabble-news-features/protests-and-missed-opp....

(As an aside: the disconnect between rabble and babble is bigger than I thought, since no one on this thread had even seen the article on the front page! That's not a criticism of anyone, I don't often read the rabble front page myself, it's just an observation.)

Strikes me that this is a Tamil voice, and so I'm interested in hearing how the Tamil voices here respond. It's an internal criticism I've heard before, so maybe a chance to learn from the debate within the community....

-- 

"One law for the lion and the ox is oppression" - Blake

thirusuj

It would be nice if Tamildeqken can respond to the question I asked so that we can move forward from there.

Tamildeqken Tamildeqken's picture

Thirusuj Sir

"Tamilan Canadavillayum uthai vangaporan"

Translation: Tamils are going to get kicked in Canada as well

This was a comment from an Indian Tamil from Chennai, at my workplace after the protest march and the Tiger Flags. Meaning, that we have no Idea how to run a revolution to get what we want. Also the problem with raising awareness of the atrocities of SL government is that, as soon as someone opens his/her mouth about the Tamils, they are called, Tigers (Architects of Suicide bombers, Killers and Cowards). I am not a Tiger. and the The flag is not my flag. There is another Tamil lady from SL who works with me. She suffers from the pain that is causing the Tamils, but has suggested and remains quiet, because she is a Tamil and not a Tiger.

We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools. Martin Luther King Jr

Ze

[url=http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5gVoaDFmbCYS-Usz9ACDRIe... civilians killed in "no fire zone"[/url]

[url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/7961088.stm]Sri Lanka govt accuses aid NGOs[/url]

thirusuj

Is your Indian Tamil friend also admitting that the Tamils in India are getting kicked as well for agitating to bring about an honorable political solution to the Tamils who are suffering?

If the Tamil Eelam national flag is not yours, what is the flag that represents your heritage?

Tamildeqken wrote:

Also the problem with raising awareness of the atrocities of SL government is that, as soon as someone opens his/her mouth about the Tamils, they are called, Tigers (Architects of Suicide bombers, Killers and Cowards). 

That is because for too long we have let the Tigers carry the "Terrorist" label in the eyes of the international community for fighting on our behalf and saving us from annihilation. We need to explain to them the circumstance in which the Tigers adapted to such tactics instead of shying away from it. We also need to ask everyone, if what the Tigers do is terrorism, what do you call of the actions of the Sri Lankan (Ceylon) government which has existed much longer then the Tigers? What legitimacy does the Sri Lankan government have to claim that they represent us?

 

The majority of the Tamil people have realized over a 61 years of history since independence that Tigers are the only one that have stood with the Tamil people without being bought out by anyone.

Tamildeqken Tamildeqken's picture

Sheik's in India have a problem, we don't hear of protest marches on Canadian Streets. They quiety but surely move themselves into politics and powerful possitions.  Whereever they live they use  this stratergy to minimize the damage that is done to their community. People don't loose their lives for the cause.

We as Tamils don't deserve to loose our lives over this issue. No Tamil should die for the Tamil cause. The Tigers made it their business to kill. Now that they are being hunted, they hide behind the Tamil population. SL government is hunting the tigers. During this process they are killing the Tamil people. It is as simple as that.

Tigers can't win this for the Tamils. They will kill anyone who opposes them and comes to the aid of  the Tamils. The International Community is fed up with the Tigers and now synonymously Tamils. 

We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools. Martin Luther King Jr

thirusuj

Tamildeqken wrote:

Sheik's in India have a problem, we don't hear of protest marches on Canadian Streets. They quiety but surely move themselves into politics and powerful possitions.  Whereever they live they use  this stratergy to minimize the damage that is done to their community. People don't loose their lives for the cause.

 

Yes, they have a problem. But India does have a constitution that does not discriminate them just because they are Sikhs and India does not have laws that treat Sikhs differently form others. India is not so centralized, India is a Federation. India does not use bombs on it own civilians.
Same thing cannot be said about Sri Lanka, so your comparison holds no value.

The Tamils don't have the time to get into powerful position when a mad government is help bent on destroying them quickly as possible nor the Sinhalese extremist going to let them have any power (the whole system is designed in a way that Tamils cannot have a say in anything). Then again would you also like to explain what happened to the Tamil politicians and the agreements that the Sinhalese leaders signed too when they were in the so called position of power? Would you like to explain how JR Jayewardene threw an official opposition party (the Tamil party) from their position by just adding the Sixth Amendment to the constitution?

Tamildeqken wrote:

We as Tamils don't deserve to loose our lives over this issue. No Tamil should die for the Tamil cause. The Tigers made it their business to kill. Now that they are being hunted, they hide behind the Tamil population. SL government is hunting the tigers. During this process they are killing the Tamil people. It is as simple as that.

 

Did you forget all the lives we lost when the Tamil politicians protested peacefully long before the existence of LTTE or does that seem irrelevance and unrelated to you? Tigers made it their business to see the Tamil people's political aspiration of 1977 gets fulfilled. The Sri Lankan government has been killing the Tamils since independence and they won't stop even if the Tigers are completely destroyed.

Accusation that Tigers are hiding behind them should be proven first by sending in International media and International monitors.

Tamildeqken wrote:
  

Tigers can't win this for the Tamils. They will kill anyone who opposes them and comes to the aid of  the Tamils. The International Community is fed up with the Tigers and now synonymously Tamils. 

Oh they could, they have done it before but the International community was not aware of the problem to recognize and seal the victory. The situation was so twisted in the Main Stream Media (also due to the 9/11 mentality) that the International community ended up fueling the conflict instead of putting an end to it. If any countries got involved genuinely instead of putting their geo-political interest the Tigers and the Tamils would have welcomed then with open arms. Can you name anyone that got involved without putting their geo-political interest in the front?

Tamildeqken Tamildeqken's picture

I lived in Jaffna most of my young life. All I can remember is the attrocities and the killings. Killing Tamil people, killing other groups who wanted to speak for the tamils. Calling Tamil people traitors and killing them. I do not need, International media or the International monitors to tell me what the tigers are doing. I am a Tamil. I was there, when the tigers hid amongst the population and did their terrorist activities and killings. The army, IPKF took revenge on the Tamil population. More killings. More dead people.... Tamil dead people.

Thank you but no thank you to the Tigers. Tamil people can manage their affairs without killing Tamil people and those who oppose our views. After all we are doing ok in Canada without killing people. A generation will rise out of the diaspora and will resolve the Tamil Crisis.

 

We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools. Martin Luther King Jr

It's Me D

Quote:
A generation will rise out of the diaspora and will resolve the Tamil Crisis.

Thats very hopeful but don't you worry that, if its not happening now, it will be too late? I assume you don't feel this sea-change in the views of young Tamils is happening now, since your perspective on the conflict doesn't seem representative of most diaspora Tamils.

thirusuj

Tamildeqken wrote:

Killing Tamil people, killing other groups who wanted to speak for the tamils. Calling Tamil people traitors and killing them.

Did these other groups uphold the political aspiration of the Tamil people as expressed in 1977?

Tamildeqken wrote:
I do not need, International media or the International monitors to tell me what the tigers are doing.

Of course you don't need international media and monitors because it would make it harder for you to vomit what ever you want.

Tamildeqken wrote:
I am a Tamil.

You keep on insisting that you are a Tamil gives me more doubt if you really are Tamil.

Tamildeqken wrote:
I was there, when the tigers hid amongst the population and did their terrorist activities and killings.

Every group started as a guerrilla force and mingling among the civilians is part of the tactics. If the Tamil people didn't want that to happen, they wouldn't have offered support, wouldn't have fed these youths with arms and would have reported them to the army. When the LTTE gained the trust of the Tamil people, they empowered them to become a conventional force.

What is your definition of terrorism?

Tamildeqken wrote:
 The army, IPKF took revenge on the Tamil population.

The army took no revenge but they did what they did to protect the Sinhalese interest and subdue the Tamil people. The army was doing this long before the existence of LTTE or any other militant Tamil youths.

As for the IPKF, the Indian politicians who came to secure their geo-political interest used the Tamil issue as a pretext to set foot on the island. The Tamil people rebelled when the agreement on which they set foot on the island was not implemented paving the way for the Tigers to rearm. IPKF unable to tame the Tigers as well as other militants because the Tamil people protected them; IPKF decided to use violence on the Tamil people, which included, mass shelling of civilians, rape, torture, shoot at sight and many other methods to intimidate them so that Tigers would lose the protection of the Tamil people.

Tamildeqken wrote:
Thank you but no thank you to the Tigers. Tamil people can manage their affairs without killing Tamil people and those who oppose our views.

So who killed Tamil people before the Tigers came into existence? Who opposed the Tamil peoples desire for self-governance?

Tamildeqken wrote:
A generation will rise out of the diaspora and will resolve the Tamil Crisis.

That generation has raisin, all these agitations all around the world are being carried out by the Tamil youths. And we don't have much time left.

thirusuj

Tamildeqken,

There are question that are directed to you in post # 112 and 114, can you please give a reply?

It's Me D

thirusuj wrote:
That generation has raisin, all these agitations all around the world are being carried out by the Tamil youths. And we don't have much time left.

These "agitations" are unlike anything we've seen from the Diaspora Tamils before so I'm inclined to agree. I think Tamildeqken is hoping for a generation who won't undertake this kind of actions, since he does not appear to support them. I'm not sure what that would look like but I am sure you're right when you say there is no time left to find out.

Thirusuj you say these "agitations" are being carried out by the Tamil youth, how much of the impetus comes from the youth? Maybe you don't know this kind of detail but how much influence do youths have in the Diaspora groups behind these rallies, etc.? I'm not just talking about whose boots are on the ground and whose fists are raised (because the energy of youth is often harnessed without enfranchisement in return), I mean who's behind the actions in the first place.

In Canada, like most places, the system is set against the young, who are consistently disempowered. I'm curious if this dynamic differs in the Tamil community here or elsewhere, to the best of your knowledge.

thirusuj

It's Me D,

I would disagree with the system in Canada is actually to discourage the youths. Youths need to make time to give back to the community rather then enjoying the material wealth all the time. As youths we have our own lives like socializing, studying, working and so on.

It is hard to find time to commit to a cause unless your profession encourages you to do so (most of the Tamils youths have profession that has nothing to do with social works in terms of mingling in the political world of the national parties, unions, etc). The Tamil youths are putting at least 2 hours a week to organize or help out.

The elder generation is still there, but doing rallies in downtown Toronto or going public to support the Tigers, trying to remove the stigma attached to the Tigers or the Tamils is something that is encouraged by the youths (the previous generation was shy and very worried about the results or making it worst). Also the older generation lacked the language skills to interact with mainstream organizations, unions etc....All that is changing with the youths taking up these issues with grassroots movements in Canada.

The leadership role and positions of many of the Tamil Canadian organizations are gradually being filled by the youths. Given another 2 to 5 years, you are going to have a totally new generation with a totally new approach for the entire community. At the moment brining this war to an end and to get international involvement is in full force. If you get a chance to look at Tamil Canadian media, feedback on the current performances of youths by elders, involved youths trying to purse the non-involved youths, etc are common flash in the community media. Other tools like facebook, emails, text messaging, discussion through clubs etc..are all flooded with brainstorming new ideas and recruitments for Tamil Canadian organizations as well as participating in mainstream organizations.

As for the youths in other countries, they are way ahead of the Tamil Canadian youths. We definitely are envy of their performance.

And one thing that is going to be unchanged is the right to self-determination issue. Tamils are totally against the current unitary system of Sri Lanka. The Tamils youths are less favorable to even the federal setup witch was seen as acceptable to the Tamils. The Tamil youths have no association with Sri Lanka or the Sri Lankan flag, they are more attached to Tamil Eelam and the Tamil Eelam flag.

Tamildeqken Tamildeqken's picture

I will pass on the rhetorics and adress the issues at hand.

Out of the ashes a Tamil will rise. A Tamil individual who will speak the three languages eloquently. Who will take the case of the Tamils to the Sinhalese people (not thru killing and murder, not from a bunker). There must be ashes and a Tamil will rise. We should not kill such an individual. We should allow for many to rise. Many with different views and thoughts. We should not kill them. When we as Tamil people can do that, we will know that the salvation of the Tamils is at hand.

 

Then we will have the eyes and ears of the  International Community. We will have their respect. They will stand behind the Tamils. Violence never won anything. Just grief.......... more grief.

 

We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools. Martin Luther King Jr

thirusuj

We had that person who did all the things you listed and more. His name was SJV Chelvanayagam and the Tamil people refer to him as Thanthai Chelva (Father Chelva).

Here is one article you can read about him and there are many more all over the net.
http://www.tamilnation.org/hundredtamils/chelva.htm

He had many others as well, the government assassinated them all. We still have few, but the Sinhalese people and the government don't want to listen to them.

thirusuj

This was but one of a series of Gandhian protests conducted by the Tamil politicians of that era to focus attention on Tamil grievances and get the governments of the day to remedy them. Even before the Lankan Tamils , leaders of the Plantation Tamils like Thondaman, Azeez, Velupillai and Subbiah had launched a Satyagraha protest against the citizenship and franchise laws.

 

With India gaining Independence through a non - violent struggle the Tamils heavily influenced by the Mahatma tried to follow suit. But the Sinhala rulers were not the British. Brute force both official and unofficial was unleashed against unarmed peaceful protestors. When the FP led Satygraha of 1961 virtually crippled the civil administration of the North - East and a parallel postal service with its own stamp was established, the Government of Mrs. Bandaranaike cracked down hard. The military was called in. Demonstrators were beaten, curfew declared and political leaders placed under house arrest.

 

This refusal of Sinhala Governments to take note of Tamil grievances and aspirations when articulated through non - violent modes of protest was deeply resented by the community. This in turn spawned a new generation of Tamils who believed that the Sinhala dominated Governments do not understand the language of non - violence and that the only lingo they would respond to was violence. This was the genesis of the Tamil armed struggle. What began as a "cottage industry" has now reached gigantic proportions.

 

- Peaceful protests of Tamil Parliamentarians By D.B.S. Jeyaraj

It's Me D

Thirusuj:

Thirusuj wrote:
I would disagree with the system in Canada is actually to discourage the youths.

Well I don't want to derail the thread with another discussion. I am very grateful for your detailed response to my question, and very glad to hear such positive things. The following statement for example,

Thirusuj wrote:
The leadership role and positions of many of the Tamil Canadian organizations are gradually being filled by the youths. Given another 2 to 5 years, you are going to have a totally new generation with a totally new approach for the entire community.

I can assure you that is not the case in this rural white part of the country so your community's situation is quite different from mine. Perhaps its the language skills you mentioned... I don't know about the demographics there but they might also play a role, if there are more young people relative to older people. Suffice to say the relative levels of encouragement versus discouragement we're seeing should go a long way to explaining our disagreement about whether our system is anti-youth; in your community it seems young people are getting many real opportunities to be meaningfully involved, which is great!

Thirusuj wrote:
If you get a chance to look at Tamil Canadian media, feedback on the current performances of youths by elders, involved youths trying to purse the non-involved youths, etc are common flash in the community media. Other tools like facebook, emails, text messaging, discussion through clubs etc..are all flooded with brainstorming new ideas and recruitments for Tamil Canadian organizations as well as participating in mainstream organizations.

I will try to read more, as I'd certainly like to see more of this. Pity TO is so far away, I cannot be a part of anything myself; just wishing well from afar, raising awareness in a very unaware place

Thirusuj wrote:
The Tamil youths have no association with Sri Lanka or the Sri Lankan flag, they are more attached to Tamil Eelam and the Tamil Eelam flag.

Interesting observation. On a somewhat related note I've noticed you often use Ceylon (to refer to the island?), and at other times Sri Lanka (the state?), I'm hoping you can help me find the right terminology.

________________________________________________________ 

Tamildeqken:

Tamildeqken wrote:
Then we will have the eyes and ears of the  International Community. We will have their respect. They will stand behind the Tamils.
 

Given what Thirusuj has posted, where was the respect of the international community the last time the Tamil's tried what you're propossing? Why didn't they "stand behind the Tamils" then? 

thirusuj

It's Me D wrote:

Interesting observation. On a somewhat related note I've noticed you often use Ceylon (to refer to the island?), and at other times Sri Lanka (the state?), I'm hoping you can help me find the right terminology.

There are two nations on that island which is called Ceylon (it has many other names as well, Ceylon being widely recognized). The two nations are Sri Lanka and Tamil Eelam. The bigger Sri Lankan state which is powerful in regards to manpower and diplomatic support trying to annex the smaller Tamil Eelam state by force.

 This is one way of putting it.

thanks

hi, thanks for all of the information here.  i went to the protest on March 16th, was in the city, but didn't know anything about the background before i went.  i'll share some of my perceptions here because they may be relevant. 

I get a sense from Tamildeqken here that there is a concern over how the international community perceives the Tigers, and the aspirations of Tamils.  

As a regional resident, visiting family in the city, I felt very much welcomed by Tamil demonstrators, from the moment i got off the subway.  In fact even in the subway on the way downtown, filled with families going to attend the event, there was an atmosphere of community which made me feel right at home.  This was interrupted for a few minutes when some racist idiots barged in.  'Change is glacial' says Maysie.

Getting off the subway, I joined up with a small family group who eagerly began talking about the situation.  The youngest with deep clear eyes held a poster with pictures of children in bandages.  She spoke up quick as a blink and told me the children there were getting hurt and there was no medicine.  I spoke with her family for a bit, walked further down and grabbed a Tiger flag. 

This produced lots more conversation.  One group of young women was particularly helpful,  they filled me in on their priorities; a) ceasefire, the Singalese should stop attacking, b) end of occupation, c) Tamil Eelam self-determination -they wanted their own country and government back, d) material help for the suffering.  On this latter point there was some debate amongst the women, whether aid would actually bring with it more harm than good.  But there clearly was agreement that there was need.

On a) they said that 2-3,000 people had been killed, and still no let up in the attacks.  This was the first priority.  And on down the list.

When we got to the Eaton's Centre, I went to the other side of the street and started reading the flyer that the group had produced, and was intrigued by the time line drawn on it; two nations, forced together by the British, under one of the two nations.  Yup, recipe for disaster in any case.  And writers here have elaborated on that.

Intriguing also was the map.  Tamil Eelam, the ancient lands, were represented by a semi-circular swath around the west, north, and east shores of the island coast.  "With offshore rights," I thought. It wasn't spelled out on the map, but i said as much to the police who happened to be hanging out in Dundas Square.  "That's probably why they're getting attacked...wonder which oil company is feeding $ in to Sri Lanka...". Anyhow, thirusuj has confirmed some of this, above.   When I mentioned this to the young women whom I caught up with again on the way down to Union Station, one nodded and said, 'probably'. 

This young woman and her friends, who turned out to be part of a volunteer communications team, did a great job informing me of the various parametres, all very similar to what people have described here in this series of babble postings. 

The event was very carefully organized, and to be honest it hurt to see how hard the activists were trying to stay off the roads, to prevent disrupting Canadians hurrying home from work...it took a very long time for the tens of thousands to squeeze along ONE sidewalk, as people moved back to a gathering at Union Station, while the road and the opposing sidewalk were intentionally left free for pedestrians.  

So tens of thousands stopped at every single traffic light, walking only with the green signal, hoping Canadians would care about the thousands who were being slaughtered in their homeland. 

Meanwhile, the next street over was kept Completely Clear of any road traffic, so that Special Services and regular police vans and buses and communications vehicles and other sundry over-the-top appliances along with horses could assemble to properly hem in the citizens.  Which they did with utmost efficiency. 

The minute I turned onto that street, having left the friendly conversation and the usual kind of comraderie one experiences at these kind of events, it got very cold.  A homeless man asked for change and i gave him what i could.  The wind whipped down the street.  I wandered a bit more around down to the theatre district, and the chill hit my bones.  Fancy restaurants, a few business people uptight in their suits... I headed back for the subway and found refuge again with families heading home from the event. 

From the faces of observers that day downtown, I got a sense there was a lot of support for the activists.  It seemed like it was a very useful day of education for the Canadian people.  I certainly learned a lot, and thanked the youth and their elders who filled me in, as i thank those who've written here with more background. 

I hope that Canadians understand when peoples feel they need to defend themselves against violent assault.  Canadians should understand that- they wouldn't lie down and let others bomb and slaughter their families, why would the Tamils allow that? 

People in this country need to push the Harper government to stop helping the Sri Lankan government in its assault of Tamils.  We need to call for ceasefire and end of occupation, for self-government of Tamil Eelam, and for international support in this direction.  This is what the Tamil youth told me, and I agree.

 

 

thirusuj
kthiruna

Human Rights and Sri Lanka Conference which is organized by the Canadian Human Rights Voice (CHRV).  CHRV is a not-for-profit, non-governmental, and independent organization committed to the protection and promotion of Human Rights. Conference will be held in downtown Toronto on April 3rd, 2009 at North York Civic Center from 8am to 5pm.

 For More Info (Just Added Now, May not appear till approved):

http://rabble.ca/whatsup/human-rights-and-sri-lanka-conference

Also, I forgot to add that the Dress Code is Formal

thanks

thanks thirusuj for that article by Arundhati Roy.  gives a much more clear sense of the horror and urgency of the situation.  this should be in our calls for peace.  we may not have our military soldiers there, but our government and we in our silence are complicit in supporting the massacres of Tamil people.

thanks

Yesterday, 88 more Tamils were killed including 21 children; 

http://www.tamilnet.com/ 

"Sri Lanka Army (SLA) shelling on Monday claimed the lives of 70 civilians as Fifty Caliber gunfire from the SLA positions across the lagoon also killed 18 civilians on the road, which links the makeshift hospital with IDP settlements. 21 of the slain victims and 31 of 156 wounded civilians were children. 63 tarpaulin huts were destroyed in SLA attacks. TamilNet correspondent witnessed that four children were orphaned as they lost both their parents and siblings. The civilians were struggling to take their wounded to the hospital as the entire stretch of the road has come under 50 Caliber machine gun fire. Four civilians, including a worker of the fishing union that arranges boats to transport the patients from the coastal point Thidal to the ICRC ship, were wounded in SLA gunfire."

[students at the protest on Mr.16 said this was a good website, as people here have already noted. ]

thanks

if there is a recommended letter-writing approach set up somewhere by involved groups, can someone please post it? thanks.

 

thirusuj
Maysie Maysie's picture

This thread is way too long. Closing.

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