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When Tigers are caged

The past few weeks have seen four major public demonstrations in Ontario by Tamil-Canadians demanding that the federal government do something to stop what they describe as a genocide against their people by the Sri Lankan Government.

Three of those demonstrations were legal. The first was a sit-in on Parliament Hill in Ottawa that lasted more than two weeks and did not attract much attention, even from the Tamils’ usual political patrons in the Liberal party. It was only after the demonstrators folded up the flags representing the terrorist organisation the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam that politicians would even acknowledge them — the Tigers, although a banned organisation, are believed to a have a large presence in the Canadian Tamil community.

Two other peaceful protests — one that saw demonstrators block a downtown Toronto street and another in Queen’s Park, outside the Ontario legislature, also failed to move governments or opposition parties, provincial or federal, to give into Tamil demands to intercede on behalf of the estimated 50,000 civilians who are trapped in the Tamil Tigers’ last redoubt in Sri Lanka. The Tigers are soon destined to fall to Government Forces unless ill-advised international voices can intimidate the Government in Colombo from finally wiping out the pox that the LTTE has become on the face of humanity.

In a world that has no shortage of ruthless terrorist organisations, the LTTE is without peer for violence. In fact, the 50,000 Tamil civilians at risk in Sri Lanka today are at risk only because the Tigers are holding them as hostages and human shields to stay the hand of Government Forces. There is strong speculation that the civilian casualties being protested in Ontario and elsewhere are, in fact, being inflicted by the Tigers on their own Tamil people to inflame world opinion. This week, Canadian public opinion became inflamed, or, perhaps more properly, heated up a little bit, by a fourth Tamil demonstration that was neither legal nor peaceful — the takeover and shutdown of the Gardiner Expressway in Toronto. That angered many people — motorists because it is immensely inconvenienced them; police because it endangered lives, including the lives of children dragooned into the demonstration; and Canadians in general who wondered who these other Canadians are who wave terrorist flags from an old country here in their new one.It also got the attention of opposition politicians, who are now demanding that Ottawa intervene with the Sri Lankan Government. Unfortunately, they got it exactly backwards. Ottawa, Government and opposition alike, and the Tamil-Canadian demonstrators have the wrong target — they should be demanding that the all-but-defeated Tamil Tigers lay down their arms and surrender, ending this bloody, brutal civil war once and for all. Winnipeg Free Press, Canada, May 13, 2009

 

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