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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

MPs can show their colours

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I refer to this article, ‘Covid bonanza for….’ by Shamnidra Ferdinando.

It was obvious that the LC could not easily be cancelled. It will be interesting to know when the LC was actually opened; before or after Cabinet approval? The answer will be revealing.

Now that the vehicles will come in, come hell or high water with burning ships, there is a simple solution.

If the government is sincere in its intentions to reverse this totally unnecessary expenditure, which the country cannot afford,  scraping the bottom of the vangediya as it is, then the vehicles can be sold in the open market, in a transparent manner and at a profit, too, and the wasted  funds reimbursed to the Treasury. Personally, I know this will not happen, seeing what we are helplessly seeing being enacted in the country yesterday, today and alarmingly, tomorrow, too.

The next best option is for those MPs who oppose this criminal waste of public funds, to work out a method by which they can sell the vehicles presented to them by the starving masses, in a transparent manner and utilise the proceeds again in a transparent manner to uplift the lives of the millions of poor citizens in their electorates.

ACabinet given opportunity for Members of Parliament to show their true, even if highly faded and smudged, colours!

 

CITIZEN FERNANDO

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Opinion

Gazette Bill in blatant conflict with Constitution

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The Colombo Port City Special Economic Zone (SEZ) Bill had been gazetted on March 24 after Cabinet approval, and placed in the order paper of Parliament on April 9. Normally, before placing a Bill on the order paper of the Parliament, it goes through the levels of the Legal Draftsman, Attorney General, Ministry of Justice, and the Cabinet of Ministers.

According to a news item that appeared in the Daily News, on April 27, the Attorney General has informed the Presidential Secretary that the Port City Economic Commission Draft Bill is not inconsistent with the Constitution. But the same Attorney General has advanced the submissions and amendments in court, during the hearing of 18 petitions filed by members of civil society alleging the Bill is inconsistent with the Constitution.

The Supreme Court has found more than one third of its clauses are conflicting with the Constitution – the supreme law of Sri Lanka. Thus, it has been proved the Gazette Bill was in blatant conflict with the Constitution.

High officials of the Ministry of Justice, the Attorney General and the Legal Draftsman who are supposed to have been involved in the drafting of this Bill are professionals of recognized capability. They are committed to follow the best practices of their professions and should adhere to standards in procedural manuals and professional codes of conduct and ethics. They are bound by the oath taken by them in line with the Constitution and the accountability of the offices they hold. They also would have been supported by several legal eagles and experienced politicians in the Cabinet.

Citizens are confused as to how on earth such a Bill, in blatant conflict with the Constitution, could have been approved by the Attorney General and be drafted by the Legal Draftsman. 149 Members of Parliament have voted to amend 26 clauses of 75 clauses of the Legal Draftsman’s Bill. This is tantamount to a No Confidence Motion on the Legal Draftsman.

JUSTIN KEPPETIYAGAMA

jdkgama02@gmail.com

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Opinion

Probe into expressway construction and floods

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The news item appearing in your issue of 10th June, regarding the Expressway Construction and Floods, is of interest to me, as I had handled Road Projects when attached to the then Department of Public Works [PWD] and later the Ministry for Highways.

It’s stated that Minister Johnston Fernando had instructed his Ministry Secretary to investigate immediately, whether there was any truth in the claim that some areas in Gampaha were inundated owing to the construction work, in the first phase of the Central Expressway, from Kadawatha to Mirigama; and continues to say ‘Yahapalana adjustments to the construction master plan may have lead to the present situation’, which could be insinuated as placing the blame on the previous Yahapalana government. This is the usual blame-game adopted by bankrupt politicians. It will not be surprising if the present government will be blamed when a new government is formed, for mismanagement of projects carried out now.

As far as I know, while construction is on, there comes up certain problems, which may necessitate altering or deviating from the original design. Hence the responsibility lies entirely on the Engineer, and not on any politician or government in power. Here the integrity of the Engineer counts. Sad to say, there have been accusations where professionals have given way to political pressure and projects have become failures. I would like to quote Moeller’s theory “One of the major reasons for a country to be subjected to bad governance is when its professionals do not speak out, but worst still, these professionals actually gang up with those committing anarchy for their own benefit. What the professionals do not realize is that in the long term, they too would be subjected to the worst treatment by these despotic dictators whom they were keen to protect. Moeller’s theory being proved time and again consorting with an autocratic regime is a worst act of treason against one’s own country and its people”

To the credit of Minister Johnston Fernando, he also mentions the likelihood of this flooding by saying “We must keep in mind that the highest rainfall in the known history was reported from this area”. Whatever, the findings of the investigations be, the accusation should be taken as fault finding of Engineers, and they should now come forward to protect their prestigious profession and give reasons, which lay, incompetent politicians, do not have the capacity to understand. Hope the Sri Lanka Institute of Engineers will expose the viles of politicians to steer this country in the correct direction. This goes for other professions as well.

G. A. D. SIRIMAL

Boralesgamuwa

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