Posted on June 21st, 2009

By Canadian Friends of Sri Lanka, Ontario, Canada, Hamilton, ON. 21.06.2009

The Sri Lanka Consulate office in Toronto invited the Sri Lankan diasporas for a community meeting on the request of HE. Daya Perera the Sri Lankan High Commissioner recently posted to Ottawa in Canada. The invitation was for a Community Meeting and did not include an agenda or was an agenda forwarded when invitees kindly requested for one.

 The Sri Lankan diasporas in Canada have been the most vociferous and vibrant group of Sri Lankans living abroad, far away from their motherland. Home to nearly 100,000 Sri Lankan Tamils, Sinhalese and Muslims and other minorities of Sri Lankan heritage as published by Stat-Canada, a federal institution administering the statistical and census departments of the country, though the media always publishes a much larger number. This is according to Sat-Canada 2007/8 census of the nation.

 Over the last 3 decades, events in Sri Lanka have preoccupied the lives of these people to such an extent that their leisure and free times have been dedicated to the causes affecting them directly or indirectly accordingly to the political idealogy, brokerage representation, influence of the impact of the socio-economic conditions in Sri Lanka affecting their kith and kin or the extended families as expressed in Canada.

 The ethnic conflict and the civil war that has plagued Sri Lanka over these years was always the haunting element of their lives and the Sri Lankan Diaspora were divided in their thoughts and support. The majority were the Tamils and the lesser groups were the Sinhalese, Muslims and the moderate Tamils who had made Canada their land of hope. To the Sri Lankan migrants, professionals and the asylum seekers who belonged to the diverse and multicultural society of Canada , the Tamils and the Sinhalese could not knit themselves into the fabric of society as one community – the Sri Lankan community in Canada .

 The path of progress and the road of struggle made them “supportive divide camps” of the LTTE and the Government of Sri Lanka. While the Tamil Diaspora was occupied in making it possible to fill the war coffers of the LTTE to the tune of nearly $ 200 million contributions annually, the opposing Sri Lankan diasporas of moderate Tamils, Sinhalese, Muslims and others became the representative voice of the Government of Sri Lanka in Canada . Organizations such as Sri Lanka United National Association of Canada – SLUNA, Democratic Tamil Cultural Association of Canada and a few members of the Tamil Speaking Muslim community groups expounded the need for Peace to the conflict an a settlement. The Toronto Mahavihara- Scarborough, West end Buddhist Center- Mississauga, Brampton Buddhist Mission Center, Mahameuna Meditation Center , Aurora became the main centers of gathering for the pro government groups while the Tamils had their own temple networks, community organizations, NGO’s and business establishments that was providing such facilities for their needs.

  In the struggle to achieve their aspirations and inspirations, the international communities, the INGO’s and NGO’s were deceptively supporting militancy and later brazen terrorism in Sri Lanka among the Tamil community. The final victims were the innocent youth of both the communities groups and their populations. Evidence has now been uncovered as to the extent of involvements the international players, specially the INGO’s and NGO’s had contributed to the agony and misery of the citizens of Sri Lanka over these 3 decades. The pains of the Tamil people have to be understood and the government has to be further considerate, but at least there is some time now, away from supporting war, for the Tamil people to sit and look back to what the international players and INGO’s and NGO’s have made them and there kith and kin to be – and what there extended families have been subjected to in the Wanni.

 Certain Western, Nortrh American and specially one Scandinavian country have mislead and deceived the Tamil aspirations in the wrong path of violence and destruction of a nation.

 Though the Sri Lankan regimes before the present government failed to harness and nurse the potential of reach-out and public relation impacts that was needed to send the message of the Government of Sri Lankan and the engagements of the Security forces in their war against terrorism in Sri Lanka, that was needed to counter the powerful publicity impact and PR impact that was created by the LTTE in Europe and North America, the Mahinda Rajapaksa government provided the requirements of networking and interacting with this group to such an extend, that the mighty LTTE propaganda machinery in the latter days of the defeat of the tigers, was dislodged to such an extent that the Canadian Government and politicians began to consult this group on the issues of internal and external relations concerning the bilateral international relations between Canada and Sri Lanka viz-a-viz the ethnic and minority community issues in Sri Lanka.

 To the credit of SLUNA and it members, the Sri Lankan diasporas supporting the Government of HE. Mahinda Rajapaksa were able to “tip the balance of opinion” in favour of their people in Canada . This indeed was a great indirect support for the Government of Sri Lankan in it’s campaign in making it possible for the banning of the LTTE as a terrorist organization in Canada .

 The tireless work of pro-Mahinda government groups supported by the call for Peace and Harmonious living in Sri Lanka by all three communities, which was advocated by the intermediately groups of minorities was polarized and catalyzed with the appointment of an energetic and dynamic Consul General to Toronto a year ago. Deviating from the stereotype outlook and engagement as a symbolic diplomat. Mr. Bandula Jayasekera, a Journalist by profession and known to HE. President Mahinda Rajapaksa, steered the involvements with such understanding that the Consulate General Office in Toronto out beat the status of the Sri Lankan High Commission and it’s activities of out-reach, PR, propaganda and interpersonal relationship, including high profile influential networking both in Ottawa and in Toronto, that the Sri Lankan Canadian diasporas opposing the LTTE activities in Canada, gained much momentum in their activities and recognition for their involvements and engagements, both in Ontario – Toronto, Ottawa and in Sri Lanka in all spheres of socio-political and economic related activities. This enabled the recent visit of Dr. Palitha Kohona, Foreign Ministry Secretary and a series of high level meetings and discussions with the political counterparts in Canada .

 When the representative Lion was sleeping in Ottawa during the last 8 months, the faithful cub was prowling already actively making the kill in Toronto. Teamed with this force was the Sri Lankan Diaspora. The results seen fantastic in terms of the functioning of an efficient Consulate in Toronto, where the largest pro-LTTE Tamil community was domiciled. During the last few weeks leading to the defeat of the LTTE by the Sri Lankan Army and the demise of it’s leader, the battles of journalism and debates in Toronto was so intense, to counter all the allegations of the Western media propaganda, that Canada began to listen at last to the little group of Sri Lankans who were demanding for justice for the people in Sri Lankan who were brutalized by the armed struggle.

 This awoke the representative Lion in Ottawa – the Sri Lankan High Commission from it’s deep sleep, inactivity and slumber of 8 months, during which period the Ottawa mission slipped up so much in competency and vigilance, that it messaged up “due process” issues and “protocol” to embarrass Sri Lankan to such a great extent, that Senior Canadian politicians had to be refused entry on arrival in Colombo and be deported back to Canada.

For the High Commission,  it was a severe embarrassment, a defeat and an exposure of the inefficency of administering an important Sri Lanka Foreign mission, that too in Ottawas, Canada.

 To the Sri Lankan Canadian Diasporas that had grouped to support the Government of HE. Mahinda Rajapaksa, it was a victory in mutual understanding, respect and honour for being vigilant and proactive in the defense of the integrity and sovereignty of  Sri Lanka. It was then that Colombo called upon Ottawa to pull their socks up and start dialogue with Toronto and to reach-out and build connections with the supportive Sri Lankan Canadian Diaspora in Ontario , specially Toronto and the GTA.

 The meeting called for HE. The Sri Lankan High Commission in Ottawa to meet the community was thus the outcome of the above. Yet the meeting did not provide with an agenda and the organizing was pure. The one thing that happened was that the High Commission officials were not welcome by the majority of those present at the meeting. The High Commission officials  without using the opportunity to build connections and friendlier relations, used the podium to personally attack a very proactive and involved Sri Lankan Canadian representing the Tamil Speaking Muslim Community, by making false accusations that this individual was a communalist and telling the audience that this gentlemen addressed the Foreign Affairs Standing Committee meeting on the Crisis in Sri Lankan held at the Canadian Parliament on 1st., April 2009 in creating a negative image of the Sinhala people. The High Commission officials  also attempted to link this patriotic Sri Lankan Canadian to the LTTE and tried to present an e-mail making certain comments which indeed was a conspiracy to drive a wedge between the Muslims and the Sinhalese in Toronto and a wedge between this individual and the Consul General’s Office in Toronto. The High Commission officials  may have also done so to deliberately drive a wedge between the Tamil Diaspora and the Tamil Speaking Muslim groups in Canada. But the fact remains that, representing the Sri Lankan Tamil speaking Muslim community, Mr. Noor Nizam has challenged the Libearl strong men like Hon. Bob Rae, Hon. Derick Lee and others at Sri Lanka Dispora community forums demanding them to “back-off” from deceiving the diaspora by supporting “polarization” of the opposing Sinhala and Tamil communities in the GTA (Greater Toronto Area) for there petty personal gains of building the Liberal vote bank. 13 ridings in the Toronto GTA have a tendency of being “tipping the balance” with the support of ethnic diverse and minority group votes at all elections. The Liberals such as Hon. Bob Rae, Hon. Jim Karigiyanis and Hon. Derick Lee needed these votes to win their riding seats in any elections. Mr. Noor Nizam has been a longstanding Sri Lankan Peace activist and a freelance journalist in Canada while being a teacher in Communication Science in a University, who whemently and agressively was propergating and advocating Peace in Sri Lankan and an honourable non-violence settlement to the conflict.

 Maybe the High Commission officials  were unaware of the involvements of this individual, because it was only last month that this individual flew to Sri Lankan with medications worth $ 35,000/= made available through constributions from all three communitiers and other Canadians which were handed to the GMOA through the Ministry of Health and Nutrition to be used in the IDP camps in the Wanni. Further, this individual was warmly welcomed by many Ministry high level Officials, including the Foreign Ministry Secretary Dr. Palitha Kohona and given special appointments to meet with VVIP political personalities to cordially discuss matters of mutual interests of the Government of Sri Lanka and the Sri Lankan Canadian Diaspora. The outcome of those meetings and discussions are now taking shape formally and some of the activities that are in the pipeline are:

Arrangement of a Trade fair for Sri Lankan products in Hamilton .
The setting up of an alternative environment friendly electricity generation project for the North and East.
Supply of infrastructure material for the reconstruction of the North as bilateral aid.
Enhance further medication donations to the IDP’s in the Wanni.

In this background, the question arises as to – what was the purpose of this “Meeting the Community ” gathering arranged for by the High Commission staff and the High Commissioner in Ottawa ? It is very clear that it was to undermine the sincere and hard work done by the Diaspora that supported the Government and Peace and to attack some of the most committed Sri Lankan Canadian Diaspora members who had given their best and all their free time and leisure to make things happen in Canada and in Sri Lankan for which these seat warming, sleeping and deceptive so-called “Diplomats” wanted to make personal attacks and undermine their commitments.

The attack on Ms. Ira de Silva, a member of the Sri Lanka Canadian Diaspora and the threat in public and through the newspaper and TV interviews made by the High Commission top official  for her patriotic action in the Hon. Bob Rae episode and now the other High Commission official   making personal statements and attacks on Mr. Noor Nizam, a Communication Teaching personality of McMaster University, Hamilton, trying to link him to the LTTE, shows to what level these Ottawa High Commission officials have stooped to.

 The audience at the meeting had only one message to the particular High Commission officials – we do not want you guys in Canada . We strongly request the Sri Lankan Government and HE President Mahinda Rajapaksa to recall these officials immediately. It is now for the Sri Lankan authorities to act accordingly.


  1. Gam Peraliya Says:

    This article sent by Canadian Friends of Sri Lanka is a diabolical lie! First of all, this group of radicals do not have a lwfully registered organization. They live far from Toronto and do not have anything else to do but hit the bottle and write nonsense. I am surprised that the editor of lankaweb does not check the truth of these articles with GOSL before they publish! The people invited for the meeting were 75% members of a Sinhala extremist group called SLUNA which stands for Silly Little Uneducated Nobodies & Asses. None of the real people were invited. It was all a set up by one man against another. Pretty childish, but we understand that this is normal stuff in Colombo. Both on centre stage are darlings of heavy politicians in Colombo. But one tries to outbeat the other. The poor people suffer at the end as they remain divided amongs themselves.

    Come on people – wake up. Our President has won the war for us in Sri Lanka. Try to grow up and work together and behave like decent human beings without acting like hooligans, thugs and animals. This is not good for you, for your children and the community. Shame on all of you!

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