Misguided Tamil protesters
While all Canadians must be concerned about the killing of Tamil civilians in Sri Lanka, there should be no misunderstanding about the objectives of the demonstrators who blocked the Gardiner Expressway in Toronto on Sunday. If their primary concern had been the safety of Tamil civilians, they would have been calling on the Tamil Tigers to allow those trapped in the war zone to flee to safe areas, instead of using them as human shields. Clearly, however, the objective of the demonstrators was to bring about a situation that would allow the Tigers to preserve their fighting capability and prolong the insurgency.
When one of the demonstrators was asked by an interviewer why she was carrying a Tamil Tiger flag, she replied that it was because this was the only group that was fighting for the interests of Tamils in Sri Lanka. To the extent that there is any truth in this statement, it is a reflection of the fact that the Tigers have relentlessly hunted down and murdered moderate Tamils dedicated to achieving justice for their community by peaceful and democratic means. These include people I knew and admired, such as lawyer, human rights activist and member of parliament, Neelan Thiruchelvam, and the head of the Tamil United Liberation Front, Appapillai Amirthalingam, along with many other Tamil political leaders.
Martin Collacott, former Canadian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, the author of this article,strongly disagrees with the demonstrators using children at these demonstrations.
As brought out on different occasions, it is difficult to ascertain as to why children, some of whom have never been or have migrated to Canada when they were ver young are brought to these demonstrations. Unless there is a vast baby sitting problem in the approximately 400,000 strong Tamil community in Canada, the children should be left at home and not taught to voice the opinion of their parents without knowing the situation.
The Tamil Tigers are credited with introducing the suicide bombers to the world. Likewise, considering all the protests carried out by these terrorist flag carrying protesters, the world will have to be prepared to see future protests taking the shape of violence and pure disregard to the laws of that particular land.
All host countries of these demonstrations or protests will have to buckle up and decide to take firm action against the violators of the law of the land.