Lawrence Cannon: Your Canadian Sri Lanka Policy
Posted on September 4th, 2009

Asoka Weerasinghe Kings Grove Crescent . Gloucester . Ontario . K1J 6G1 Canada

September 3, 2009

Hon. Lawrence Cannon
Minister of Foreign Affairs
House of Commons

Dear Lawrence Cannon:

Your Canada policy on Sri Lanka deeply concerns me as we are acting like a bunch of circus clowns pirouetting to the tune of Western Sri Lanka Hate Arias.  That’s a God damn shame.

We watched how the Parliament was turned into a Tamil Tiger Blarney Gong Show on the evening of February 4th, with the gallery sardine-packed with Tamils mainly from the GTA, when you all acted like a bunch of bullies going after Sri Lanka accusing them to be rapists, ethnic cleansers and genocidal soldiers against Sri Lanka’s Northern Tamils just to please the Tamils in the gallery.  You and the rest of your colleagues had difficulty to appreciate that the Sri Lankan Government was engaged in a liberation war, having their men and women soldiers, 6,000 of them die to save 300,000 Tamils who were taken hostage as a human shield by the Tamil Tigers that we had banned as a terrorist organization.

The crunch came for me, when you put out a pathetic press statement when the brave Sri Lankan Armed Forces finally wiped out the Tamil Tiger terrorists after 26 years of fighting which killed 100,000 persons, the terrorist outfit which even the UN recognized as the most ruthless terrorists in the world. 

While most of the western world congratulated the Sri Lankan Government for its achievement you had to pander to the Canadian-Tamils and ignored any congratulatory words for this single handed achievement, when we have our soldiers fighting with other NATO forces in Afghanistan to wipe out the Taliban terrorists, the third rung of terrorists in the world.  And I protested  to you saying that as a card carrying Conservative and a Sustaining Donor that I will give you my vote but not a penny to the election readiness fund for the rest of 2009.  I will keep my word as I am a man of principle, and will say “Hell with you Conservatives and you better grow up and be honest when it comes to your Sri Lanka policy and stop pandering to the Tamils”.

And now I read your statement of concern condemning Sri Lanka’s sentencing a Tamil journalist to hard labour. Canada is “deeply concerned”, you say.  That’s  full  of cod’s wallop, Lawrence!

For Christ’s sake Lawrence, what blithering western hypocrisy are you preaching?   Did you know that this reporter was put behind bars for high treason and the violation of the Prevention of Terrorism Act?”

Why is Canada penalizing and undermining Sri Lanka’s independent judiciary because J.S. Tissanayagam was sentenced to 20 years hard labour for violating the Prevention of Terrorism Act.   This man was intelligent, he could read and he could write and yet he decided to challenge the Sri Lankan Government and violated its laws.  He was tried in High Court and he was given the opportunity to have his own lawyer defend his case,  he was found guilty and he was sentenced.  So what is Canada’s problem to have the audacity to undermine the judicial process and the integrity of Sri Lanka’s judicial officers?  Let’s just cut out this partisan foolishness and don’t be silly.

Was it because he was a Tamil and that if it were a Sinhalese, a Muslim or a Burgher, Canada wouldn’t have cared two smelly capelin rotting on the summer beaches of Newfoundland.

You obviously forgot that our War Measures Act which was invoked in October 1970 during the FLQ crisis smothered the Press Freedom.  The “Site Historique  FLQ” also named censorship of the press as one of the consequences of the War Measure Act law.  So what are you griping about Sri Lanka, Lawrence?

It is almost worth it to follow the present Human Rights Tribunal case against Ottawa lawyer Richard Warman which has challenged Section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act on the Hate Speech Law.  Canada too is looking into Hate crimes just like Sri Lanka which sent Ernest Zundel packing back to Germany not so long ago.  Remember?  So why are you looking so righteous about such a law and penalizing Sri Lanka?  It certainly doesn’t wash well with me and others who see that Tissanayagam’s case was right on spot.  There shouldn’t be one interpretation of the PTA Law for a press person and another interpretation for a John- Q-public like Asoka Weerasinghe.  Damn it, who said that journalists are above the law, Lawrence?

The Indian Constitution while not mentioning the word “press” provides for “the right to freedom of speech and expression (Article 19(1) a).  However this right is subject to restrictions under sub clause (2), whereby this freedom can be restricted for reasons of “sovereignty and integrity of India, the security of the State, friendly relations with foreign States, public order, preserving decency, preserving morality, in relation to contempt of court, or incitement to an offense.”  Laws such as the Official Secrets Act and Prevention of Terrorist Activities Act (PoTA) have been used to limit press freedom.  Under PoTA, a person could be detained for up to six months for being in contact with a terrorist or a terrorist group.

Lawrence, are you going to get up on your high horse as Canada’s Foreign Minister and challenge or be critical of India’s PoTA, or is she not  too puny enough like Sri Lanka to try to bully her and preach to India saying that “We are Holier than Thou”.  Did you not know that Tissanayagam had accepted monies from the Tamil Tigers to publish treasonous materials against the Sri Lankan Government in the now defunct Northeastern monthly which he was Editor as well as the Publisher in 2006 and 2007?

Just look at the Valerie Plame affair in the US. That is the reason why I said earlier that we are part of the western hypocrisy when it comes to Sri Lanka.  Vice President Dick Cheney’s Aide “ƒ”¹…”Scooter Libby  had to fall on his sword because he broke the law by outing  Valerie Plame.  He was found guilty of four felony counts in March 2007 related to Valerie Plame leak and sentenced to 30 months in Federal prison and a fine of $250,000.

The Texan Jonathan Pollard , the former intelligence analyst  was convicted of spying for Israel and was sentenced for life in 1987 with a recommendation against parole.  That was harsh, wasn’t it?  But the Americans did it anyway, didn’t they?  To hell with the world opinion they said, and that world opinion includes us Canadians.  So what’s your gripe about Sri Lanka, Lawrence?

 Law breakers are punished in the West. And no one seems to question such punishing by the law.   The question that goes begging is, are laws in the West somehow superior to other country laws, especially that in the East.  Sri Lanka’s laws are Roman-Dutch and not the mythical Eelam’s Kangaroo Court based laws.  What arrant nonsense are you spouting, Lawrence?

Stop embarrassing Canada with your policy on Sri Lanka which you seem to be aligning with the damn neo-imperialist carping from Western journalists who have been nourished with snake-oil fed by the Eelam industry.

Today, Saad Khalid, a member of the so-called Toronto 18 was sentenced to14 years in prison for his role in a terrorist plot to bomb targets in the city’s downtown.

This story would have read differently if Saad Khalid was a Tamil and sentenced in Sri Lanka.  I would bet my last dollar that Hon. Lawrence Cannon, Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister would have put out a statement which would have read thus “”…”

Canada condemns Sri Lanka’s sentencing of Saad Khalid

Ottawa- Canada is “deeply concerned” by Sri Lanka’s sentencing of an alleged terrorist plotter who presumably had targets in the core of the capital Colombo.  Canada is a strong proponent of vibrant and free access to defend the alleged terrorist plotter, an essential element of a democratic and independent judicial system.”

Let’s be honest Lawrence.  You go on spitting at my Motherland Sri Lanka with the intention of stealing  GTA Tamil votes from the Liberals,  and I might have difficulty to drop my ballot into the ballot box with an “ƒ”¹…”X’ against the Conservative candidate for Ottawa-Vanier the next time around however much I like this Haitian-Canadian lawyer.   That is how the cookie might crumble.  And that is a warning.  You can take it or leave it, Lawrence.


Asoka Weerasinghe

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