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Has Canada unwittingly helped kill 15,000 people in Sri Lanka?

Sarath Bulathsinghala

In the early days Canada was considered a country which helped poorer countries like Sri Lanka with no strings attached. Later on when it started work on the Maduru Oya project in Eastern Sri Lanka it started meddling in the internal affairs of Sri Lanka by making highly opinionated comments about how land allocations should be done in the Eastern Sri Lanka. Recently when the Canadian High Commissioner in Sri Lanka referring to the LTTE leader Prabhakaran, asked from a journalist whether Prabhakaran is a Terrorist. Now Canada in the wake of the September 11th terror attacks and under seeming duress from the US has labeled LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) as a terrorist organization. I wonder what euphemism the Canadian High Commissioner would like to attach to Prabhakaran now.

Under the circumstances it is surprising for us to find the reluctance of Finance Minister to include FACT(Federation of Associations of Canadian Tamils) - the leading front organization for LTTE in Canada as a terrorist support group. This is beside the fact that CSIS and federal justice lawyers have identified FACT as a part of a global support network that provides political and economic backing to the Tamil Tigers.

It is estimated that up to 25% of funds for the LTTE coffers are made from Canadian sources. Now Canada has listed LTTE's as a terrorist organization and its property was ordered frozen by the superintendent of financial institutions. The LTTE has been responsible for the death of over 60,000 people in Sri Lanka during the last 18 years. Would it not be reasonable to assume that Canada has unwittingly helped and subsidized the killing of at least 15,000 people in Sri Lanka.

We hope Canada will accept its mistakes in the past and come out clean to make the world free from Terrorism. FACT should be included in the list of Terrorist Support Organizations. Sooner it is done the better it is for the innocents in Sri Lanka.


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