Re: The Star Editorial – “Sri Lanka Chooses Wrong Target in Rae”
Posted on June 15th, 2009

Don J. Wick Markham

Letters to the Editor
The Toronto Star
One Young St
Toronto, ON
Re: The Star Editorial – “Sri Lanka Chooses Wrong Target in Rae”
Dear Editor,
 
There was a time that Sri Lanka used to let every international Tom, Dick and Harry – the self-claimed experts on Sri Lanka – to come and lecture Sri Lankans on how to run their internal affairs.. Well, those days are finally over, as Sri Lankans have gotten real smart after defeating the world’s most deadliest terrorists, no thanks to hypocritical West, and their traveling salesmen like Mr. Bob Rae – who is a well-known opponent of the Sri Lankan government and its Military campaign against Tamil Tiger terrorism.

Sri Lanka is tired of so-called, “Foreign Experts” like Mr. Bob Rae – who condemn the actions of the Sri Lankan government, while supporting the pro-LTTE activities in Canada. More importantly, it was the previous Liberal governments, and its members that turned a blind eye to raising millions of dollars by the LTTE fronts in Canada, which contributed to thousands of innocent civilian deaths in Sri Lanka. In spite of relentless appeals by the successive Sri Lankan governments to ban the LTTE in Canada, the Liberals completely ignored such appeals in order to garner the political support of the Canadian Tamil Diaspora. Sri Lanka knows that Mr. Bob Rae is one of the leading Liberal Members of Parliament, who demanded the Canadian government to take strong actions against Sri Lanka. They also know that Mr. Rae went even further by suggesting that Commonwealth Members should kick Sri Lanka out of the Commonwealth for not agreeing to the demands of ceasefire by the West.

After such a hostile attitude towards Sri Lanka, Mr. Bob Rae has the audacity, and a sense of arrogance, to visit Sri lanka on a so-called, fact finding mission, which is nothing but a clever political ploy to score brownie points and the votes from the Tamil Canadians in his constituency. Sri Lanka is fully aware of how these Liberal politicians in the West, especially in Canada, have been exploiting the situation in Sri Lanka to garner their support from the Tamil voters.

Many Liberal MPs in the GTA, supported by the pro-LTTE members in the Tamil community, can no longer deceive the Sri Lankan government. It serves right that Mr. Bob Rae got deported, because Sri Lanka no longer tolerates the “Western Political Experts” to come and lecture on how to run their country, with a hidden agenda of securing the Tamil votes in their constituencies.

Besides, when was the last time a Sri Lankan Parliamentarian barged into Canada to find out how Canada treats its minorities – like the French Canadians and the Natives..? Would Canada allow such an outrages act by a foreign politician..? Now, can we blame Sri Lanka for kicking Mr. Rae out..?

Kudos to Sri Lanka for deporting those who come to lecture them – like Mr. Bob Rae.

Don J. Wick

Markham 

 

EDITORIAL

TheStar.com | Opinion | Sri Lanka chooses wrong target in Rae
Sri Lanka chooses wrong target in Rae
Jun 11, 2009 04:30 AM

Bob Rae is no starry-eyed apologist for Sri Lanka’s defeated Tamil Tiger guerrillas. Writing in the Star a few months ago, he described them as “ruthless at killing their opponents,” undemocratic, suicide bombers and recruiters of child soldiers.

Yet in the eyes of Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s regime, the Liberal foreign affairs critic and former Ontario premier is a Tiger supporter who must be barred from the country.

Rae is a familiar face in Colombo for his past efforts to broker peace in the 26-year civil war that cost 80,000 lives. But when he arrived on Tuesday to “discuss the humanitarian situation and the future of reconciliation,” officials denied him entry on security grounds and sent him packing, even though he had the required visa.

This is outrageous, from a country that got almost $30 million in Canadian aid in 2007 and that hailed Ottawa’s decision to deem the Tigers terrorists despite the large Tamil community here in Canada.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s officials called the decision to bar Rae “unacceptable” and absurd. It is that, and more. It also follows an incident in which a Colombo mob vandalized Canada’s high commission office while police stood by.

Now a distinguished Canadian parliamentarian is unwelcome because he criticized Colombo’s fierce drive to crush the Tigers, amid shockingly high civilian casualties. And who has been, in his words, “a champion of moderate Tamil opinion and Tamil dissent.”

This is no way for the Rajapaksa government to obtain the understanding it seeks from the international community, as the United Nations fields claims of war crimes on both sides.

As Rae says, this looks like Sri Lanka is “afraid of dialogue, afraid of discussion, afraid of engagement.” Or worse, has something to hide.

The UN reports that 7,000 people died in the relentless final assault on Tiger-held areas. The Red Cross says some 300,000 Tamils are now interned in camps. And Colombo has yet to say how it intends to heal the wounds, and redress longstanding Tamil grievances.

The Harper government should pick up where Rae was rebuffed and press Colombo to move Tamils out of camps back into their homes and to respect their rights.   


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