Canada Wont Boycott Forthcoming CHOGM
Posted on March 21st, 2013

Ira de Silva London, Ontario, Canada

The Editor
The Island
Colombo, Sri Lanka

Dear Sir:

I refer to the interview given by Senator Segal prior to his visit to Sri Lanka as Canada’s special envoy to the Commonwealth. It is heartening to note that Canada will not boycott the forthcoming Commonwealth meeting in Sri Lanka. Let us hope that Canada will not continue to lead the opposition to the meeting in Colombo. He further states that the Canadian Prime Minister will not attend. It appears that the Prime Minister will not attend because his list of demands of Sri Lanka are not met. It is well known that these demands are been dictated by members of his party led by Ragavan Paranchoty, a well known LTTE supporter, who was a candidate for the Conservative Party at the last election. In other words, Canada’s demands on Sri Lanka are those of the LTTE supporters in Canada so it is not rubbish that the Canadian government goes against Sri Lanka due to the Tamil vote bank. 

Senator Segal states that he is coming to Sri Lanka with an “open Mind”. Let us hope so because the last visit by a minister of the current Canadian government who visited Sri Lanka, Mr. Jason Kenney certainly did not have an open mind. His statements clearly showed that he had come to Sri Lanka to promote LTTE supporter’s demands on Sri Lanka and on his return met with the Tamils to report back to them on his success/failure to get Sri Lanka to take Canada’s demands seriously. In his own words he stated on Twitter that he “did Tamil media roundtable to review my recent trip to Sri Lanka” after meeting exclusively with the Tamils led by Paranthoty. Mr. Kenney stated at his meeting with the Tamils in Toronto that his government acted against it’s own domestic interests in “helping” Colombo by banning the LTTE and claiming that because Canada had banned the LTTE, Sri Lanka should now “reciprocate” by doing what Canada wants. Therefore Senator Sagels claim that “we are not of the view that there’s any Diaspora pressure on Canada with respect to the positions we are taking” does not ring true. Sri Lanka’s foreign minister was correct when he said “the motivation to punish Sri Lanka is diaspora pressure. It is wrong for some countries to be held hostage to the political fortunes of personalities in other countries. That is entirely contrary to the spirit of the Commonwealth.” LTTE supporters in Canada clearly want to punish Sri Lanka for eliminating the leaders of the LTTE and are doing so through the Canadian government that is pandering to their demands based on domestic politics as confirmed by Mr. Kenney. Therefore Canada, by becoming the mouthpiece for the LTTE, is acting contrary to the spirit of the Commonwealth.

 “The government of Canada does not enjoy or has not enjoyed any particular support from the Tamil community,” he said. Perhaps that is why Mr. Kenney meets exclusively with the Tamil community after his visit to Sri Lanka and reports back to them. Further, he openly canvasses the Tamil vote at elections. He seems unaware that there are non-LTTE voters in Canada and that by his actions he will ensure that the Conservatives will not get their vote at future elections. Even the prime minister has made statements regarding his attendance at Commonwealth meetings after having discussions with  LTTE supporters in Toronto which fact was reported in the media.  Let us hope that Senator Segal who says that he is coming as a friend, acts as a friend. At least he is aware that there are communities other than the Tamils from Sri Lanka living in Canada which is a start.

 Mr. Segal states that “Canada takes its opposition to terrorism including the LTTE  extremely seriously” yet it is an established fact that for two decades successive Canadian governments turned a blind eye to fundraising for  the LTTE in Canada and that two million dollars a month were sent to the LTTE from Canada to terrorise Sri Lanka. Politicians attended fundraising events for the LTTE and provided political support to the LTTE both in parliament and out of parliament which is hardly taking the terrorism of the LTTE seriously. 

 It is a relief that Mr. Segal  states “I do not have any view as to what the internal decisions are or should be of the GOSL. That’s for the people of Sri Lanka and the government to determine on their own”. Perhaps he should convey this principle to his colleagues in the Canadian government and other political parties so that they will not continue their campaign against Sri Lanka based on  Canadian politics and realise that  decisions for Sri Lanka should be based on what Sri Lankans want and not by citizens and governments of other countries.  

 Yours truly,

 Ira de Silva

London, Ontario, Canada 

2 Responses to “Canada Wont Boycott Forthcoming CHOGM”

  1. Sunil Vijayapala Says:

    ira, asoka – what’s your obsession with commonwealth, which should have been done with long time ago? what you both should be doing is getting together with shenali and submit a resolution to united nations/unhcr against usa and britain on war crimes, on the lines of a ‘private members bill’ in a parliament. i wonder whether this could be done but its worth the try. we should lead the world taming the ungulate, the anglo saxon ungulate. enough is enough.

    i read once a detail descriptions of war crimes by usa and britain, sent to lankaweb by asoka. that will be a good base or initiate a petition to submit to the that usa puppet ban ki moon. i am sure most lankans and non-lankans will sign.

  2. Voice123 Says:

    At this juncture the Commonwealth is causing us more harm than good. We must relegate it to the bottom of our priorities and treat any gathering of theirs with suspicion.

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