Anti-LTTE protest: Noor Nizam’s role in Canada
Posted on December 13th, 2015

By Bandula Jayasekara  Courtesy Island

So many people came forward in Canada to help Sri Lanka. They faced the wrath of LTTE terrorists long before I went to Toronto. They were harassed, threatened. They fear for their lives. Some of them continue to fear for their lives , I am told. They never gave up. I like to refer to them as the real Sri Lankan Canadians. Among them were Sinhalese, Tamils, Muslims, Malays and Burgher Sri Lankan Canadians. The names that come to my mind are of Ira de Silva, Asoka Weerasinghe, Mahinda Gunasekara, Daya Hettiarchchi, Noor Nizam, Hasaka Ratnamalala, Asoka Yapa, Lenin Benedict, Mithran, Menaka Karunanayake, Sivam, young Prathap Perera and Kamlesh Karunanayake and several others. We dedicated three columns to tell the world about Asoka Weerasinghe. I will write about others as I go down my Toronto Memory Lane to give them the credit and praise they deserve for standing up for Sri Lanka.

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Noor Nizam contacted me from Canada soon after he had heard of my appointment and the email came to the Foreign Ministry if I remember right. He offered to help me and had even worked out a plan for me in his electorate Hamilton. He was one of the first to visit me at the Consulate Generals Office. Noor had a package to offer his motherland to build bridges. He introduced me to Conservative MP David Sweet, who went out of his way to support me and the cause of Sri Lanka. David was a gentle understanding Canadian politician. Noor helped me to arrange a very fruitful luncheon meeting with over eight politicians when foreign secretary Kohona made an official visit to Canada.

I remember how a MacMaster International Liaison Officer Ni Jadon tried to boycott my visit to the university and tarnish the image of Noor. He called it a conspiracy after Noor arranged a very good programme for me and to meet important people at the university. It failed and there was an inquiry into the conduct of Jadon. I supported Noor all the way since I had emails sent by Jadon. Noor’s name was cleared. I also heard that Ni Jadon was propped by some LTTE backers.

Noor also introduced me to a professor by the name of Alison who he had arranged to visit Sri Lanka to show the real situation. When Alison met me with Noor she spoke glowingly of her visit to Sri Lanka. However, I had certain doubts about her which was proved right no sooner one of my articles appeared in The National Post. It was in response to a side kick of the LTTE mouthpiece, Canadian Tamil Congress, David Poopalapillai. Alison was quick to send a email to Noor and another person named Rob which was forwarded to me by Noor. It read “Dear Noor and Bob, I am not sure if you are both on the Consul Generals mailing list- but, this is an article he just wrote to the Toronto Star (she had mistaken the paper) This kind of writing in Canada will inflame the Canadian Diaspora-and cause problems HERE. This is a serious problem. BJ has outright denied any human rights violations on the part of the government -then why won’t the government allow the UN to speak to the leaders of the Tamil parties? (she had mistaken leaders of Tamil parties to the LTTE) I think we need to distance ourselves from this guy. He is NOT in ANYWAY a moderate. And he is not interested in Peace for Sri Lanka. He is supporting the government’s mandate to eliminate the LTTE – and will then systematically trample the rights of Tamils in Sri Lanka. I am VERY worried about this guy and his position. – Alison”

I was right about Alison who was some sort of a she wolf in a sheep’s clothing, though Noor had trusted her. That man Noor as I like to call him was quick to hit back. He was very angry and he saw the true colours of Prof Alison. Here are excerpts of Noor’s very long email to Alison which explains it all.

I am really at a loss to understand why you have made such a hasty conclusion about BJ. I feel it is wrong for you to say that ‘He is not in any way a moderate. The most important thing is that he has shared his views/stand with us too. On the other hand you have NOT read the full article written by Manjula Selvarajah.

The fact seems very clear to me now please. The world opinion about the atrocities of the LTTE is taken for granted by world opinion the similar way in which you have concluded please. My wife’s uncle, a Minister was killed with a 5 year old child on his lap along five other extended family members in Errakkakandy. I myself had the experience of being hunted down in many instances due to my political engagements and you are aware of it as I have told you some of them. OUR VOICE HAS NEVER BEEN HEARD IN THE “NOISE” MADE TO THE WORLD MEDIA of the likes of Manjula Selvarajah over the years.

I am happy that – when a person like Bandula Jayasekara writes, the Canadian Media, for that matter, the World Press “LISTENS” and publishes the comments/REBUTTALS.

If I had read the article before BJ, I would have written a much stronger “comment” and also drawn a lot of reference to the LTTE violence that have been perpetrated against the “minority of minority TAMIL SPEAKING Muslim community in the North, and Eastern provinces since 1973. BUT THE NATIONAL POST WOULD HAVE NEVER PUBLISHED MY COMMENTS/REBUTTALS. That is how the Canadian press has been. I had written many comments in the past and they have never been published.

The BJ I know about BJ is not what you have concluded please. BJ is a journalist and knows how to “play in the playing field of Media and Journalism”. What he is – he is a great asset to Sri Lanka and the Peace Process. It is only fair to call a “spade an spade” and NOT call it something else just to please some people.

The ISSUE here is NOT who is violating HR – rather it is the violations HR done by the LTTE which is swept under the carpet by the so-called International Community and NGO’s.

Your statement –

“He is supporting the government’s mandate to eliminate the LTTE – and will then systematically trample the rights of Tamils in Sri Lanka”. is totally UNACCEPTABLE .

I know that you have a close attachment to the Canadian Tamil Congress and the article has been written by a office bearer of the CTC. But I had warned you many times of how certain Tamil Organizations within the Tamil diaspora work as “FRONT ORGANIZATION” of the LTTE. I had also made many requests to you to keep the CSIS, RCMP and the Canadian POLICE informed of any “Peace Round Table” engagements RAI is planning to organize, so that RAI and those involved should not be for a moment – doubted as supporting a “BANNED TERRORIST ORGANIZATION”. Ms. Manjula Selverajaha’s article clearly shows that the Canadian Tamil Congress is a “front organization” of the LTTE. In my opinion, BJ has responded very correctly .

But when you say “I think we need to distance ourselves from this guy” (BJ) who is the head of the Diplomatic Mission for Sri Lanka in Toronto, then I have enough room to suspect that you are also very biased to the LTTE cause. I am shocked to learn that now please.

As such, it is my opinion that RAI as a humanitarian assistance organization should NOT indulge in any “Peace Promotional” activity concerning Sri Lanka. This does not mean that you – as a person cannot do so and you are free to do what you wish to do and you have a right to your opinion too . I respect that very much indeed. In my opinion, BJ is tracking the most effective path of “Diplomacy” in respect to expose the LTTE’s violations of HR and Fundamental Rights of the Tamil Speaking Minority Community and the Nation of Sri Lanka”

Noor like many others stood by me till the end and even later came to Sri Lanka and worked here.

There was a good response to last week’s article ‘SF makes uproar . Enter, Stewart Bell’ it was based on the interview given by the then Army Commander General Sarath Fonseka to journalist of the National Post , Stewart Bell. First to respond was retired Major General, Udaya Nanayakkara, who was the military Spokesperson at the time. After I sent the link to him, Stewart Bell wrote back ” Hi, Thanks. But, You didn’t send me to Sri Lanka. That kind of wording will be used by some to attack me. Your Consulate processed my visa application and you helped with contacts in Sri Lanka. And neither did I hold anything back from my reporting on Fonseka because it would have caused a bigger uproar. I don’t know where you got that impression.”

What I have to say is Stewart is right that we processed the visa and of course I did more than helping to make contacts in Sri Lanka. Let me say went out of my way because of my respect to Stewart as a good journalist. As for the last line of his email I recall that morning when Lalith Weeratunga called me and how I called Stewart from my Young and Sheppard residence. Lalith said what I wrote last week. That is my memory though Stewart says otherwise. I would say it is a clash of memories!

One Response to “Anti-LTTE protest: Noor Nizam’s role in Canada”

  1. Lorenzo Says:

    Noor was a fearless patriot during war time. Earlier he was the former SLFP Trinco district organizer. A very tough job.

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