Your Sunday Star Editorial: Sri Lanka’s telling exodus
Posted on August 18th, 2010

Martin Walker, P.Eng (Ontario) Thornhill, ON Canada

The Toronto Star
One, Young St

Re: YourƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Editorial: “Sri Lanka’s telling exodus” – Sunday Star, Aug 15, 2010

Dear Editor,
It is with great interest I read your coverage of the newest arrival of the Tamil migrant ship, for the past few days.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  Your editorial above clearly shows thatƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ the Toronto Star has gone toƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ great lengths to justify the flight of these boat people,ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ while ignoring a very important matter that majority of us Canadians, are concerned about – theƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ international human smuggling operationƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ by the Tamil Tigers, and potential securityƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ threat to Canada, andƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ to the Sri Lankan-Canadians.
WhatƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Sri Lanka has (or had..), was not a Tamil problem,ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ but aƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ genuine terrorist problem created by the Tamil Tigers.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  On the other hand,ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Canada definitely has a Tamil problem -ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ in spite of your denial -ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ when thousands of Tamils are parading the street of Toronto, carrying theƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ flags of a vicious terrorist group thatƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ banned in Canada and else where, while blockingƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ busyƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Gardener Express WayƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ usingƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ small children and women.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ 
AsƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ anƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Anglo-Canadian married to a Sri Lankan-Canadian, I have aƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ very goodƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ understanding of the Sri Lankan conflict.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  Besides,ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ I had the privilege of spending pastƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ four years in Sri Lanka,ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ as a seniorƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ engineer/consultant for aƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ development project,ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ funded by the Asian Development Bank(ADB).ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  During that period, I also had the unenviable opportunityƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ of witnessing some of the unspeakable human horrors of terrorism, such as blowing up innocentƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Tamils, Sinhalese, and Muslims, by the LTTE suicide bombers at railway stations, on busy streets in Colombo, and at various army checkpoints in many part of this beautiful island, killing hundredsƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ of innocent men, women and children.
True, Sri LankaƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ mayƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ not beƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ an easy place for many people, especially for thoseƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ citizensƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ who got caught between LTTE terrorists and the brutal force of the Sri Lankan Army, whichƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ crushed the Tiger terrorism.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Many in Canada, especially the media,ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ do not seem toƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ realize, or ignoreƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ the fact thatƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ after 30 years of brutal terrorism and violence, things are not going to change magically over night, especially forƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ thoseƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ citizens in the war-affected north and the east, whereƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ uncleared landmines are stillƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ a deadly threatƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ to theƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ resettlingƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ IDPs.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  In fact,ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ United States is leading this operation byƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ assisting the Sri Lankan militaryƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ with necessary expertise and equipment.
It is unfortunate that the Canadian media,ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ especially Toronto Star, has failed to coverƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ many positive developments in Sri Lanka, after the war had ended last May.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  For an example, there are more than 250,000 out of 300,000ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ IDPs have been releasedƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ and resettled so far – quite an achievement for a country that has been devastated by civil war for almost 30 years.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Something that NATO allies, including Canada,ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ had failed to achieveƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ inƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ war-ravagedƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Afghanistan, or post-warƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Iraq.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  Not to mention the activeƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ rehabilitation of former LTTE fighters,ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ including child-soldiers,ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ whichƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ rarely mentioned inƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Toronto Star.
Your editorialƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ insistsƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ that Canada hasƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ a right to intervene in Sri LankaƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ because Canada banned the LTTE, a few years ago.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  Unfortunately, that view is foolish and not shared by Sri Lankans at all.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  If anything, they accuse Canada for turning a blind eye to raising millions of dollarsƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ by theƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ LTTE,ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ for the last twenty years – thanks to pro-Tamil stand taken by theƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Liberal politicians, and their governments in the past.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Whether right or wrong, theƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ perception in Sri Lanka is that Canada has been the major supporter of Tiger terrorism in Sri Lanka, due to its soft and weak laws,ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ and by providing a sanctuary for a large number ofƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ LTTE supportersƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ to settle in Canada.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  As a result, Canada is not trusted and hasƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ no clouts in influencing Sri Lanka, especially when its come to reconciliation issues.
The only way Canada, or anyƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ other western countryƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ able toƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ influenceƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Sri Lanka is to stop preaching western hypocrisy and double standards of human right violations, war crime accusation, and reconciliation based on unrealistic standards set by the west.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  Instead, Canada must try to help Sri Lanka to build its war-ravaged area,ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ develop its infrastructure, shelter for the IDPs,ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ etc, just like whatƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ China, India and, RussiaƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ are doing – without any strings attached.
Besides, Sri Lanka knows who helped themƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ to eradicate 30 years of terrorism, and who facilitated the LTTE, by turning a blind eye to their illegal fund raising.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  Unfortunately, Canada falls into the latter.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  No amount of rantingƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ orƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ rhetoric by theƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ editors of Toronto Star, and the Tamil DiasporaƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ isƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ going toƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ bring any positive changes to the people in Sri Lanka..
Thank you,
Martin Walker,
P.Eng (Ontario)
Thornhill, ON

(A comment to the Editor:

Many in the Sri Lankan-Canadian communityƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ feel that Toronto Star has a deep bias against Sri Lanka andƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ the Sinhalese-Canadians, and as a result, the Star neverƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ publish their letters unless its sympathetic to the Tamil community.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  I hope that is not the case, and as a responsible news organization you will provide a fair and a balance hearing to both sides… Thank you.)


2 Responses to “Your Sunday Star Editorial: Sri Lanka’s telling exodus”

  1. helaya Says:

    Well said Mr. Walker. You are absolutely right. These people called themself journalist. They should have heads examined.

  2. Sri Rohana Says:

    Mr. Walker thanks so much for exposing racist tamil terrorism to the world. You have realized the real future problem in Canada. Many tamil human smuggling ships will come near future. Send them back to tamil country (tamil nadu) in South India. It is 6 times bigger than Sri Lanka and the native place for 65 million tamils. Tamils can go there on ancestral right. In tamil nadu they can fulfill their aspirations.
    My question to world tamils is this? Since tamil nadu is tamils original country. Why don’t tamils go to tamil nadu?( nearly 30km and just an hour journey from Sri Lanka’s north). In Canada they cannot work in tamil language, they cannot study in tamil language, they have to live with majority Christians, The legislations are in English so tamil may feel discrimination! Canadian government forms and official languages are English and French so tamils it is against the tamil aspirations. Tamils have to demand that tamil language also accept as official language in Canada if not it will be a grievance to them. In Canada parliament representation 50% must give to tamils if not tamil will consider it as a discrimination also a grievance to tamils. Wherever tamils live in Canada has to accept as tamil home lands. So Toronto has to declare as a tamil homeland. In Toronto others should not allow to buy lands except tamils on thesawalme law (tamil law).
    Mr. Walker in future Canadians also have to find solutions to above mentioned tamil grievances and aspirations.

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