Canadian Tamils join global protest against EU ban

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 30 May 2006, 02:56 GMT]
On the Tamil Diaspora's day of solidarity around the world, more than 4,000 Canadian Tamils stood in front of the federal parliament in Ottawa Monday to protest against the European Union ban of Liberation Tigers, and to condemn the killing of Tamil civilians by the Sri Lanka security forces. Four parliamentarians addressed the crowd, including a member of the governing party. All parliamentarians expressed their solidarity with the Tamil cause, and one of them promised to raise the Tamil issue in the House.

Ottawa Protest
Protesters in Ottawa
The protesters, among whom were many youths and students, called on the Sri Lankan military to stop the recent surge of civilian killings, allegedly by the Sri Lankan armed forces, and the attacks on students. Canada can no longer be silent while many Canadian families fear for their loved ones in Sri Lanka, protesters said. Others asked that the Canadian government recognize Tamils' right to self-determination in Sri Lanka and that the Sri Lankan armed forces should vacate the "traditional Tamil homeland."

Bryon Wilfert, a member of the Liberal Party, accepted the organizers' letter of protest. The recent actions by the current Canadian government have done little to advance the peace process in Sri Lanka, but the Liberal Party will continue to work to find a just solution for the Tamil minority in Sri Lanka.

Toronto Protest
Protest in Toronto
A Liberal member of Parliament, Jim Karygianni, asserted that had his party now been governing Canada, there would have been a better response than that of the present ruling government. He said further that the genocide policy by the government of Sri Lanka should be stopped, citing Armenian and Jewish genocides.

A member of the ruling party, Maurice Vellacott, acknowledged the concerns of his fellow Canadians and made a promise to take issue with the government of Sri Lanka. He was also handed a letter of protest.

Vivian Barbot, member of Bloq Quebecois, also recognised the concerns of Canadian Tamils and shared his point of view. A letter was handed over to him as well.

Many Canadian journalists covered the event.

Ottawa Protest
Ottawa protest


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