Monday, May 25, 2009

Pacifists wanted. Flag waving louts: hang on a bit please....

I agree, the defeat of the LTTE militarily is without doubt is the best thing that has happened in Sri Lanka's in recent history. However what's with the louts and their flag waving ways people?

I understand the jubilation and the need to express elation at finally being rid of the terrorist that was on everyone's back. If I were in Sri Lanka I'd probably feel happy too and like most, might smile benevolently at the local banda's staggering about waving flags and lighting fireworks; but really is that stuff helping anyone?

I mean crowds of predominantly Sinhalese and Muslim crowds driving around Sri Lanka chanting pro-government slogan and taunting the LTTE is at best intimidation; is it not? It can't be nurturing towards the fragile peace in Sri Lanka can it? It can't be nurturing towards a promised democratic solution to the conflict can it?

Lets say I'm Tamil, and lets say I supported the LTTE and lets pretend for a minute that I also lived in Canada. I'd be super pissed at the fact that something I believed in so strongly was destroyed and I'd want revenge. Since, unlike in Sri Lanka I'd be part of the majority here in Canada, the roles would be reversed and I'd want to drive around Toronto shoving my foot up the ass of every flag waving drunk Sri Lankan I'd come across or at the very least; since the police here would squash me like a bug if I really did do that, I'd want to wake up in the middle of the night and stealthy firebomb the local Buddhist temple or a restaurant or two wouldn't I, Eh? Okay, sorry, I'm exaggerating. What's happening in Sri Lanka isn't as bad or as cowardly, but you all get the drift right?

Celebrations are great, a bit patronizing towards the defeated perhaps, and in regards to the big picture in Sri Lanka are maybe uncalled for; but Banda's will be banda's, and I suppose it had to be worked out of their systems. Arrack was for the drinking and flags were for the waving, however amidst the waves of celebratory flags I hope that everyone understands the second phase, the trickier more delicate phase of the peace process, is yet to begin?

What the Banda's need to realize is that the underlying reason for the civil war have to be met to the satisfaction of both parties in order for this delicate peace to be sustainable.

We can't take peace for granted, defeating the LTTE Terrorist group militarily was certainly a step towards the process; but its serves as no grantee. We need to reach out to the Tamil community and seek their advice. We need to show them that we are ready to listen to their concerns and give legitimacy to their suggestions.

Even more important than reaching out to the Tamil community in general; is perhaps reaching out to the pro-LTTE community in Sri Lanka as well as the pro-LTTE expatriates. The government of Sri Lanka and the people it represents, need to show these pro-LTTE elements that they are willing to provide them with a better alternative than what the LTTE Terrorists did. Only then will the peace and the promise of democracy that has spread over Sri Lanka like a nice fluffy duvet, be sustainable.

Duvets smell wonderful right out of the dryer, but they burn just as easily....We can't take peace for granted. We need to think beyond the military victory and hastily take the next step towards sustainable peace.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

And now......?

Vino Raja weeps for missing family members in Sri Lanka as she attends a Tamil demonstration on University Avenue yesterday (Craig Robertson, Sun Media) .....she pretty much sums up the sentiment I get from the pro-LTTE protesters here in Toronto: concern. They are shocked by the swift fall of the LTTE in Sri Lanka and believe Tamils in the conflict areas will now be victimized by the Sri Lankan army. Most are skeptical that the Tamil people from LTTE controlled areas will be treated fairly in Sri Lanka. Interestingly what most pro-LTTE protesters omit or choose to ignore is that the majority of Sri Lanka's Tamil population actually live and work in Government controlled areas. Even when the LTTE was at the height of its dominance and had established a defacto state in the northern and eastern parts of Sri Lanka only 43% of Sri Lanka's total tamil population chose to live there...but I digress; the protesters on the streets of Toronto are concerned.

They are concerned for their friends and family who might be amongst the mass of displaced civilians now dependent on outside forces for food, shelter, medicine and basic needs. They are concerned and so am I.

I fear for the civilians not because I believe they will be victimized or denied food and shelter but because of the sheer numbers involved. I fear medical and relief organizations in Sri Lanka won't be able to cope with the immense numbers of displaced civilians and think the Government of Sri Lanka urgently needs to seek the collaboration of international relief agencies if a catastrophe is to be avoided.

Whether the pro-LTTE diaspora's fear of the Sri Lankan Government is ludicrous or otherwise; their concern for the displaced civilians is certainly one I support.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Am I happy that the LTTE is defeated?

Its Victoria day here in Canada and as the firecrackers are being lit my mind wanders to the elation in Sri Lanka and the military defeat the LTTE Terrorist Organization faced this weekend. Certainly there are firecrackers being lit aplenty back in Sri Lanka and the friends and family that I spoke to are all happy. Personally I don't know whether its happiness that I feel, but I know its definitely not sadness.

Unlike some of my fellow expatriate Sri Lankans here in Canada I'm not privy to the inner workings of the LTTE; as such I'm not fully aware of the depth of commitment and representation they have amongst the expatriate Tamil Community here in Canada. I always thought the LTTE Terrorist movement was a clandestine movement funded by select numbers of misguided expatiate Sri Lankans and affiliated street gangs but over the past few weeks my opinion has changed. The protests opened my eyes to another side of the LTTE: The complex face of the international diaspora that funds them.

I have seen how regular everyday expatriates I wouldn't look twice at, support the LTTE. I watched as they thonged the streets of Toronto with their families; hundreds strong at times and chanted along with students from York, Toronto and Ryerson Universities. I saw how they waved the red and yellow LTTE flag and passionately protested their cause. I feel a bit uneasy at the sight of such strong visible support for a banned Terrorist organization in the city that I call my own; but like many Canadians I understand their right to freedom of speech.

But I don't understand why they support the LTTE. I don't understand why they were protesting for a ceasefire to save civilians caught in the crossfire when it was the LTTE that was holding them hostage all along. I don't understand how they claim the LTTE is any better than the government of Sri Lanka. And I don't understand how they claim genocide when its the undeniably the LTTE that has killed and victimized all the other ethnic groups that lived in the areas they controlled including Buddhists, Muslims and Christians.

I do however understand the fear that the LTTE instilled in us Sri Lankans and the way in which they targeted civilians so as to have their demands carry weight. I remember how news of suicide bombings in Colombo sent chills down my spine and how waves of phone calls would flood the phone lines as friends, relatives, parents and children called each other. Calls to check on people, inquire on their safety and inquire after common friends. I understand the panic that the air attacks caused in the Sri Lankan capital and the pandemonium that each raid flung the city into. I understand how the war drove up our cost of living and how the average Sri Lankan struggles to make ends meet.

So do I feel happy that the Terrorist Organization which the pro-LTTE diaspora here support got defeated militarily? I don't know. But I hope this now means they will address their concerns democratically instead of through acts of terror.

Am I happy at the opportunity of re-unification that this now offers Sri Lanka? Of course. Am I looking forward to supporting a democratic solution to the underlying issues that lead to this conflict in the first place? Yes, absolutely....

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Arson at the Scarborough temple in Toronto

Arsonists set fire to the temple in Scarborough, Ontario this morning amidst news that the war in Sri Lanka was coming to an end. Its not really known whether the arsonists had prior knowledge of the latest developments in the Sri Lankan conflict, but despite the situation in Sri Lanka; regardless of whether the LTTE Terrorist leaders were encircled by the Sri Lankan army and were contemplating suicide or otherwise, setting fire to a temple building was low.

Its my understanding that the act was an act of frustration at the situation in Sri Lanka and a punitive effort at revenge against the Sinhalese community here in Toronto by pro-LTTE elements. I understand that pro-LTTE protesters in Toronto are skeptical of the news that the war in Sri Lanka is coming to an end; but they must really be frustrated if vandalizing a place of worship is to be their response to those events.

It serves no purpose, really and only deepens the divide amongst Sinhalese Canadians and Tamil Canadians here in Toronto. I'm glad the Sinhalese community is acting with restraint and lets hope that its only the extremist elements of the pro-LTTE supporters that endorse such acts. The majority of them will I hope, be more democratic as they interact with their fellow Sri Lankans here in Canada.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Pro-LTTE Terrorist news sources

I've always been miffed by how Canadian news coverage and certain elements at York University tend to sensationalize unverified press releases by pro-LTTE sources. Doesn't it occur to them that they might be getting hoodwinked by what's accepted as one of the most ruthless Terrorist Organizations in the world?

Would you read and accept what Al Aqaeda publishes without verification? The LTTE is considered just as ruthless as Al Aqaeda, so why are members of the Canadian media and York University student groups unquestioningly accepting information from pro-LTTE sources?

Shown here is an image released by the LTTE as proof that the Sri Lankan government was shelling the No Fire Zone in Vellamullivaikkal. The uncropped image that subsequently surfaced later on clearly shows a group of individuals calmly standing next to a white mini-van and photographing the proceedings with a digital SLR.

I'm not making allegations, but the only groups who currently have access to mini-vans, fuel and digital SLR cameras in the conflict areas are the LTTE Terrorist organization and the Sri Lankan Army.

Now I don't know about you, but I for one don't think its likely that the Sri Lankan Army gathered a group of civilians together, staged this scene, photographed it, edited it and then posted it up on a pro-LTTE website in support of allegations that the LTTE Terrorists are making; do you?

I'm not saying that this should a reason to accept any press releases made by the Sri Lankan Army without verification either; for that would be just as irresponsible...wouldn't it?

Pro-LTTE Protest shuts down the Gardiner

The Pro-LTTE Terrorist protests have been getting really disruptive of late.

Running up the Spadina on-ramp and causing the Gardiner Expressway to be shut down last Sunday for six hours or so was insane. We're lucky this didn't happen on a weekday for the city core would have literally shut down.

Kudos to Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair for curtailing the use of excessive force against the mob and getting the situation back under control while ensuring that the safety of the protesters was given first priority.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Ask the LTTE to grant the civilians safe passage

I just came across this video: True, its taken by Sri Lankan government forces but what it shows can not be denied.

The video shows the LTTE blocking civilians from crossing over to cleared areas and designated no-fire safe zones by firing at them.

aren't the red-LTTE terrorist flag waving protesters demonstrating at Queens park right now not talking about this? Why are they not demanding that individuals close to the LTTE terrorist organizers in Canada address such concerns and work to free the trapped civilians?


Protests in Toronto by pro-LTTE groups have been the rife these days and have really jumped into media view due to the disruption being caused to our city. Most Canadians don't really understand the reason for it, but swivel around and pay attention when they hear the word "Genocide" being brandied about by a crowd that's 12,000 strong.

Genocide? By whom? Genocide is the deliberate and systematic destruction, in whole or in part, of an ethnic, racial, religious, or national group. That's NOT what's happening in Sri Lanka although the red-LTTE terrorist flag waving individuals that are holding the city of Toronto hostage will tell you otherwise. What's happening in Sri Lankan is the entrapment of civilians in a war zone.

These civilians are unable to cross over to safe zones away from the fighting that is occurring between the Government of Sri Lanka and the LTTE terrorists. They are trapped in-between the two groups and are caught in the cross fire.

So why aren't these civilians being allowed to leave and are escourted off the war front you ask? Why are they getting caught in the cross-fire? Well that's exactly what I want to ask the red-flag LTTE terrorist flag waving individuals that have been protesting at Queen's park all day today.

So far all fingers point to the the LTTE terrorists. The UN and other international 3rd party sources have verified that the civilians in the warzone are actively being prevented from leaving.


Why doesn't the LTTE allow these civilians free passage to safer areas? Why are they actively contributing the the death of innocent civilians and why are the red LTTE flag waving protesters not demanding the Terrorist organization that they support; grant these individuals free passage to safer areas?

WHY are they clogging up our streets when in actuality its the LTTE terrorist group that is in actuality, actively causing all these civilians deaths?