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A huge challenge to integrity of Canadian laws

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An Open Letter to Canadian Leaders

Impact of Ontario’s Bill 104, Tamil Genocide Education Week Act, 2021 and GTA Mayoral Proclamation of Tamil Genocide Remembrance Day on May 18th

Right Honourable Prime Minister, Honourable Ministers, Premier of Ontario, Honourable Members of the Federal Parliament/ Ontario Legislature and GTA Mayors,

A private member’s bill by one MPP Vijay Thanigasalam of the PC Party, apparently an active supporter of the internationally designated terrorist movement, known as the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), so designated by the UNSC Resolution Number 1373 of September 2001 and proscribed by 32 countries, including Canada, the USA, the UK, India, the EU, etc., as seen from material carried in his Facebook, which, has since been deleted following exposure, presented this Bill with a host of false statements which are unproven and unsubstantiated, which, unfortunately was passed into law on May 6, 2021, without even hearing the objections presented by the public, thereby seriously affecting the integrity of the laws of this province of Canada.

Furthermore, the Ontario Provincial Legislature does not have the authority to determine the actions of any party in an armed conflict anywhere as being ‘genocidal’ in nature, as this authority rests with the United Nations, following the Genocide Convention held in 1948 as per the ruling given by the International Criminal Court, following the adoption of the Resolution by the Member States of the UN. Neither the UN nor any of its agencies has to date declared the military actions taken against the separatist terrorist movement, the LTTE, as being genocidal in nature.

This opens the door for an officially recognized Tamil Genocide Education Week from May 11th to May 18th each year in Ontario Schools, allegedly committed by the Sri Lankan authorities during the latter stages of the armed conflict between the security forces of the Sri Lankan Government and the armed terrorist forces of the LTTE, concluded on May 18, 2009, with the defeat of 30 years of terrorism and the dawn of an era of peace and the restoration of the ‘Right to Life’ which had been hijacked by the terrorists that targeted both the military and civilians in the country. This is bound to cause intense pain, and suffering among the children in Ontario schools from the rest of the constituent communities making up the Sri Lankan nation, such as the Sinhalese, Muslims, Malays, Burghers, including Tamils that opposed the terrorist ways adopted by the LTTE such as suicide bombings, ethnic cleansing, night attacks on remote villages with machetes and guns, etc. They could even become victims of harassment and violence in the school environment.

The armed conflict was thrust on the Sri Lankan state by the armed separatist terrorist group that sought 30 percent of the island’s land and 66 percent of the coastline and adjacent territorial waters of the Indian ocean in the north and east, for 12.8 percent of Tamils of whom less than half lived in the region with a larger number living outside in mixed ethnic surroundings. By cutting off drinking and irrigation water at the Mavil Aru anicut in Sri Lanka, to 30,000 farming families dependent on the same, for almost two weeks in July/August 2006, compelling Sri Lanka to use her Army to restore water to the affected people.

Refer the Human Rights Watch report of March 15, 2006, wherein it is stated that the LTTE extorted large sums of money from expat Tamil individuals and businesses to launch their so called final war of liberation. The LTTE forces were later forced to withdraw from their bases on the northwest coast and the Vanni to their strongholds in the northeast, compelled the Tamil civilians to accompany the retreating LTTE forces to be exploited for their labour, conscripted to replace fallen cadres and used as a human shield. 

Sri Lanka rescued a total of 295,873 persons, including 12,600 Tamil Tiger fighters who surrendered, kept them in welfare camps in Vavuniya, fed them three meals a day, provided medical and psychological treatment, access to education, vocational training and new livelihood skills, and resettled them in their former villages after demining the land of nearly 1.5 million landmines, restoring infrastructure, including building 1,000 schools, hospitals, roads, replacement homes, re-establishing the rail links by replacing almost 150 km of rail track destroyed by the Tamil Tigers within a space of about 1 – 3 years.

The Justice Maxwell Paranagama Commission on Missing Persons in Sri Lanka was assisted by a team of international legal and military experts in matters relating to International Humanitarian Law (IHL) and War Crimes issues in respect of the military operations against the LTTE, where they concluded that the Sri Lankan forces had not violated IHL or committed war crimes. These experts were internationally recognized authorities, many of whom had served as legal advisers or prosecutors in the International Criminal Courts. The team of experts was led by Right Honourable Sir Desmond de Silva, QC. (UK), together with Professor Sir Geoffrey Nice QC. (UK), Professor David M. Crane (USA), Mr. Rodney Dixon, QC. (UK/ South Africa), Professor Michael Newton (USA) Vanderbilt University, Professor William Fenrick (Canada), Professor Nina Jorgensen of Harvard University, Mr. Paul K. Mylvaganam (UK) and Major General Sir John Holmes, DSO, OBE, MC (UK) former head of the British SAS. The ignorance inscribed within this simpleton reading is underlined when set in contrast with an assessment provided after a careful review in 2015 by the retired SAS officer, Major General Sir J.T. Holmes after: “the SLA did not rush in, but instead took its time to plan and adapt its tactics to take account of the civilian presence. It was, in the view of the author, an entirely unique situation and the fact that 295,000 people escaped alive is in itself remarkable.” Refer the blogsite of Prof. Michael Roberts of Adelaide, Australia for more pertinent information: https://thuppahis.com/2018/10/16/the-western-worlds-cumulous-clouds-of-deception-blanketing-the-sharp-realities-of-eelam-war-iv/.

The Tamilnet, a propaganda arm of the LTTE reported total of 7398 being killed during the period January 1 to May 18, 2009, the UN Resident Representatives Office said that 7721 had been killed between September 2008 and May 13, 2009, the US embassy in Colombo estimated 5,000 deaths, while Col. Anthony Gash, the UK Military Attache in Colombo, reported a total of between 7,000 and 8,000 to the FCO in the UK, saying that about 2,000 of whom were done to death by the LTTE per Lord Naseby of UK. The Sri Lankan Government carried out a census using Tamil school teachers and public officials as enumerators to arrive at a figure of 7,432 deaths due to the conflict. The ICRC reported having ferried 18,439 injured for treatment to hospitals outside the final battle theatre, which number is usually 2 to 3 times the number killed based on global averages.

MPP Thanigasalam cites the figure of 40,000 deaths estimated by UNSG’s personally appointed panel, not sanctioned by the UNGA or UNSC, headed by Marzuki Darussman which later recommended that the information mainly gathered from pro-LTTE supporters be locked away for 20 years till 2031, the UN’s Charles Petrie’s internal review of the Darussman report where he estimated 70,000 deaths, the LTTE propagandist Yasmin Sooka’s estimate of 100,000 deaths, and yet others who like Darussman and the rest estimated a total of as much as 146, 679 deaths from outside Sri Lanka without visiting the country. These figures quoted by the MPP are fictitious and not proven, and therefore cannot form part of the legislation.

It has been established that half the LTTE fighters did battle in civilian attire deliberately to blur the distinction between combatant and genuine civilian. They prevented these Tamil civilians from leaving to safety during two 48-hour ceasefires implemented by the Sri Lankan forces in February and April 2009, and in fact fired on those that attempted to flee their control killing large numbers, which was captured by UAVs and shown to foreign diplomats based in Colombo. Nor did they agree to surrender, despite numerous offers made by the state to ensure the safety of the internally displaced Tamil civilians, expecting western countries to intervene and spring them to an African country to continue their terrorist warfare in pursuit of a separate state.

It is hoped that the political leaders of Canada will rectify this serious anomaly in the law, and restore Canada’s honour and integrity.

 

MAHINDA GUNASEKERA

 



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Opinion

Mrs Paripooranam Rajasundaram- A Gracious Lady

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I first came to know Mrs Pariapooranam Rajasundaram, who was born in Singapore on October 25, 1935 while serving a short stint in Jaffna with police intelligence. Her late husband who called her “Pari” was my very close friend, Mr. Vaithilingam Rajasunderam, the former principal of Victoria College, Chullipuram who was introduced to me by my friend and police batch mate, late Tissa Satharasinghe, who was the Personal Security Officer, to the late Mr T.B. Ilangaratne in 1971.

Mrs Rajasundaram was blessed with three sons and a daughter and several grandchildren and can be truly described as a very faithful spouse and dedicated mother, mother-in-law, grandmother and a great grandmother to the family of which she was matriarch.

My short spell in Jaffna in 1973 brought me closer to the Rajasunderams who celebration their 25th wedding anniversary in 1974. Theirs was an open house and my wife and sisters too came to know them well.

Mrs Rajasundram and her husband were good hosts and his assassination was a shock to all of us. It was then she became part of our family as she lived with us briefly till she obtained a UK visa to join her daughter and son-in-law there.

Many years later when she was living in England, I had joined KLM Royal Dutch Airlines and my family used to spend vacations with them in Cockfosters in North London. Mrs Rajasundaram treated us to sumptuous meals lavishing attention on us. She was very fond of my wife and two children and had a heart of gold. A devout Hindu she never failed in her religious obligations, lived within her means and was never greedy for what she could not afford. She firmly believed in being patient and willingly gave to those in need.

She was a lady who was selfless, full of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, very virtuous, and full of love and character. I can say of her: “People may forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel!”

My prayer as a Christian is that God grants you eternal rest.

NIHAL DE ALWIS

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Independence celebrations for whose benefit?

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Celebrating what? Bankruptcy, corruption and nepotism to name a few. Surely isn’t there one MP among 225 who feel we have nothing to celebrate. We say we cannot pay govt. servants’ salaries in time, the pensioners’ their entitlements. A thousand more failures confront us.

In our whole post-independence history such a situation has never arisen. We should be mourning our lost prestige, our lost prosperity our depleting manpower. Our youth in vast numbers are leaving the country for greener pastures. We should be conserving every cent to live, not to celebrate a non-existent independence. We should be mourning, walking the streets in sack cloth and ashes in protest at this wanton waste of money by an irresponsible government.

I can’t understand this mentality. The forces are also our young men who feel for their fellow men and women. Maybe their lot is a little better than the rest of us. But how can you order them to go parade? They cannot refuse. It is an unwritten or written code that they have to obey orders without question. I feel sorry for them. All that spit and polish – for whose benefit? Definitely not ours. We will be mourning in silence in our homes.

Padmini Nanayakkara.

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Aftermath Of Mr. Ranjan Wijeratne’s Assassination

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It was on Saturday March 2, 1991 when that fateful LTTE bomb blast shattered the life out of Mr. Ranjan Wijeratne, Minister of Plantations and Deputy Minister of Defence, in front of the Havelock Road University Women’s Hostel opposite Keppetipola Mawatha.

Mr. Wijeratne used to take the same route from home to office every day. The LTTE had monitored his movements and found that it would be easy to target him on his way to office from a strategic point after receiving the information of his departure from home.

The LTTE targeted his vehicle right in front of the University of Colombo Women’s Hostel opposite Keppetipola Mawatha. The suicide bomber crashed into the Deputy Minister’s vehicle and killed the Minister instantaneously.

I had dropped our elder son at Royal College for scouting and then went to the public library to return some books and borrow new ones. After having done that, I was returning home when I saw a large cloud of black smoke going up from somewhere on Havelock Road. As I neared Thummulla junction, a university vehicle (I was Registrar of the Colombo University) was going in the opposite direction.

I stopped it and asked the driver what had happened. He said the Shanthi Vihar restaurant at the Thummulla had been set on fire. The police did not allow vehicles into Havelock Road from Thummulla. I parked the car on Reid Avenue between Thummulla and Lauries Road and walked down the Havleock Road to see what exactly had happened.

As I got onto Havelock Road, a policeman accosted me and told me that I cannot be allowed to proceed. Fortunately, at that moment the OIC of the Bamabalapitiya Police station, Mr. Angunawela, came to that spot and recognizing me told the police constable to allow me to proceed.

As I walked down I saw the damage caused. But there were no signs of any vehicle or any dead bodies as the police had got everything removed. There was a large gaping hole on the road where the blast had occurred. But immediately this was filled up and that section of the road carpeted.

I do not know who had ordered it and why it was done in such a hurry. There were pieces of human flesh hanging from the overhead telephone wires. The blast had also affected the house in front where there was a P& S outlet and a lady who had come to buy something had got her eyes blinded by the shrapnel thrown by the blast.

The parapet wall and the Temple flower (araliya) trees that had been grown just behind the wall were all gone. As I went into the hostel, I saw that the front wall of the hostel building badly damaged. When I went in the girls in the hostel were looking terrified and shivering with fright.

Two of the undergraduates who had gone out of the hostel as they had to sit an examination in the university had got very badly injured and they been rushed to the national hospital. Later one girl who was from Kobeigane, a remote village in the Kurunegala area, succumbed to her injuries. The university paid for her funeral. The security guard who had been close to the gate was thrown up and landed back on the ground. Fortunately, he had no injuries other than feeling groggy.

The next job was to evacuate the hostelers from the building. I telephoned the university office and found the Senior Assistant Registrar in charge of examinations was in office. I told her what had happened and to come to the hostel in a van. Thereafter both she and I packed all the hostelers in the van and sent them to the Bullers Lane Women’s hostel. This was done in three trips.

On inspecting the damage done to the hostel I thought the building would have to be demolished and a new building constructed to replace it. However, I contacted an Engineer, Mr. Upasena, at the Central Engineering Consultancy Bureau (CECB,) who came, inspected the damage to the building and stated that he will get it repaired to be stronger than what it was.

He stated that it might cost around Rs, 20,000/- to get the repair done. I contacted NORAD and they agreed to give the funds required for the repair and renovation. Mr. Manickam from NORAD came and inspected the building and agreed to get much more done than what we wanted repaired and renovated. The repair and renovation were done very quickly and the hostelers were able to move in again.

The reopening ceremony was attended by the then Ambassador to Norway, Mr. Manickam and the Vice-Chancellor. The Vice- Chancellor thanked the Ambassador, Mr. Manickam and the CECB for getting the hostel repaired and renovated to be used again. He never mentioned what I had done to get this hostel repaired and habitable again. That is gratitude!

HM NISSANKA WARAKAULLE

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