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.

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