Interview with M.Selvaraja of Canadian Tamil Congress
Posted on August 21st, 2010

Ira de Silva London, Ontario, Canada

Mr. Dan Matheson. CTV
Dear Sir:
I am writing regarding your interview with the spokesperson for the Canadian Tamil Congress. Are you aware that this organization prides itself as the front organization of the Tamil Tiger terrorist organization and is now the chief component of the Trans National Government of Tamil Eelam which was formed to further the goal of the Tamil Tigers after the defeat of the Tamil terrorists militarily? If you do not, I would suggest that you read their announcements regarding their role in these organizations and question their affiliation with these latest arrivals.
Regarding your question as to why these Tamils paid so much to get on that ship when they could easlty have got on a plane indicates that you are somewhat confused. Selvarajah’s response was that it was because they were desperate. What were they desperate about? Is it because the UN has declared that Sri Lanka is no longer a refugee producing country or because they had been an integral part of the LTTE in Sri Lanka? Giving the lie to Selvarajah, I refer you to a report filed by the Toronto Star reporter Raveena Aulakh on Aug. 14,2010. In an interview with one of the arrivals on the ship in October, 2010 one of the men had stated that he was a 33 year old farmer, had bribed a soldier at a camp and got a fake ID, left the camp and within three days FLEW out of Colombo to Malaysia  and paid $45,000 to join the ‘Ocean Lady’. Since you seem to have little knowledge of Sri Lanka, I would like you to know that the average farmer in Sri Lanka is not the same as farmers in Canada with thousands of acres. They have small plots and are just able to make a living. They do not have $45,000 in their bank accounts – that kind of money has to given to them by an organization to which they belong.

As for Selvarajah’s assertion that they had no option – did it not occur to you to ask if they had flown to Thailand to get on the ship they would have had travel documents issued by Sri Lanka. Therefore the reason they chose to come as they did was because they did not want the scrutiny of the Canadian High Commission either in Sri Lanka or Thailand. People who are law abiding citizens in Sri Lanka and other countries who want to immigrate to Canada have to provide security clearances, undergo medical examination, provide detailed information of their qualifications and show that they have the ability to work in Canada as well as have sponsors. Obviously they chose this route because they could not provide that information.
As all of them are Tamils why did they not go to Tamil Nadu, India?  This lot did not go that route because again they would not probably pass scrutiny in India or because they were given $45,000 each for this trip – the question you should have asked was how poor desperate people who lived in hardship (if Selvarajah is to be believed) came up with this amount of money when even the average Canadian can not afford such a sum. Did the Canadian Tamil Congress who are promoting their admittance, have any influence?
As for Selvarajah’s disparaging remarks regarding the Sri Lankan High Commissioner, if these people provide valid documentation that they are Sri Lankans then I have no doubt that if they request help from the High Commissioner as Sri Lankans in a foreign country, I feel sure that she will provide them with whatever assistance they need. The fact is that these people have paid this amount of money not because they were poor and desperate but because they want to get into Canada bypassing scrutiny.  However, I hope that if any of them do apply to the High Commission for temporary travel documents so that they can travel back to Sri Lanka for holidays, births, deaths, weddings, birthday parties as has been documented by the thousand from previous bogus refugees, I trust that she will take note. 
To most Canadians these people should be sent back to where they came from, in this case Thailand because they unlike you, are not fooled by  Selvarajah’s spin. No matter which way she spins it she can not have it both ways. The facts are clear – Sri Lanka after the terrorism of the Tamil Tigers was ended has ceased to be a refugee producing country. The 300,000 Tamils who fled the clutches of the LTTE who held them as a human shield after having driven them from their homes and filled their lands with landmines have been rehabilitated and only about 25,000 remain. According to the UN the remaining number are being resettled at the rate of 3,000 a week. Of the two million Tamil population in Sri Lanka over 54% live outside the areas that were claimed by the LTTE and live, work and prosper among the other communities. Either this lot do not want to work or have close ties to the LTTE which they do not want made public. It is too bad that you did not ask Selvarajah what her connections with these people given that others who came on earlier ship loads and applied for refugee status give interviews to say that they are awaiting their friends and relatives on this boat. Does it not occur that this is a well organized scam? Your fellow Canadians have.
In the spirit of fair play I believe CTV should give other Sri Lankan Canadians the opportunity to provide your listeners with the other side of this story, not just Selvarajah’s push to get high paying Tamils into Canada. 
Yours truly,
Ira de Silva
London, Ontario

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