Toronto protest draws the largest crowd despite a transit strike

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 30 May 2006, 07:09 GMT]
Tens of thousands of Canadian Tamils thronged Mel Lastman Square in Toronto Canada Monday inspite of a transit strike in the city to protest against the human rights abuses committed by the Government of Sri Lanka against their relatives in the North and East. The rally in Toronto was the largest of in worldwide demonstrations that were held simultaneously from New Zealand to Canada. The larger venue overflowed and the people stayed on adjoining streets.

A sudden transit strike had crippled movement in the city of Toronto but the Tamil traders closed their stores and laboured throughout the day arranging private bus trips for the attendees. Local Tamil media played a significant role in setting up carpools so that people could attend the event, sources further said.

Canadian politicians and peace activists were on hand to show their solidarity with the Tamil community, sources added.

A petition was handed to the Canada’s federal political parties asking for Canada to play an active and impartial role in the Sri Lanka peace process and deproscribe the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam.

The Petition further asked the Government of Canada to prevail on Sri Lankan government to cease the killing of Tamil civilians and to immediately disarm, dismantle and remove all paramilitary groups in the North and East.

The petition also asked on the Government of Canada to urge the Sri Lankan government to comply with ceasefire agreement by vacating high security zones, lifting the ban on fishing activities and the undeclared economic embargo on the North and East. If the Government of Sri Lanka failed to comply, the petition urged the government of Canada to impose diplomatic and economic sanctions on the Government of Sri Lanka.

Earlier in the day, thousands attended a demonstration in front of the parliament in Canada’s capital, Ottawa.


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