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Pro-LTTE supporters protest outside Canadian parliament

By Ajit Jain in Toronto
April 11, 2009 04:41 IST
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Some anti-Liberation Tigers of  Tamil Eelam groups have widely circulated an e-mail applauding Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper on the third anniversary of banning the Tamil Tigers, saying 'Thanks you Prime Minister for making Canada Terrorist Free Country'.

The group that has circulated  this message calls itself 'Canadians Against Terrorists'.

While this is happening on one side, members of Toronto's Tamil community have joined hundreds of other people in a daily protest to shut down Ottawa's main Wellington Street, which is the main access road to Parliament Hill.

During the last 4 days, since they started their demonstration, the traffic in the capital city's main artery has come to a stand still with commuters complaining loudly but the police have decided to do nothing unless some kind of violence breaks out in the streets. 

These Tamil protesters are carrying placards of all kinds--asking Ottawa to stop the genocide. They want Ottawa to intervene to ensure 150,000 civilians who are trapped, now that the military there has surrounded the left over pocket of the LTTE's area in North Eastern Sri Lanka and there are concerns that many of these people trapped may not be able to come out alive to move to safer parts of the country.

'We want economic and political sanctions against Sri Lanka to stop the genocide,' says Stephen Nada of Toronto. 'The government has done nothing.' They are demanding immediate cease fire as they fear safety of their loved ones in Sri Lanka. 

And the Sri Lankan diplomats in Ottawa are frustrated over such protests and so they are complaining that  Tamil protesters are openly supporting a banned  group.

'There's a very simple solution to the cease fire they are demanding,' says Chandra Wijeratne, Sri Lankan deputy high commissioner "We have asked for an immediate cease fire," says Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon: "We have asked for an immediate cease fire.  We're very worried , of course, of the hostilities that are taking place, but particularly worried for the civilians that are in the combat zone."

He has asked the Sri Lankan government to let civilians escape from the war zone. But Sri Lankan government is against any cease fire: "Any  cease fire gives LTTE time to regroup which we wouldn't now allow,"  Sri Lankan Consul-General in Toronto, Bandula Jaysekera recently told

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Ajit Jain in Toronto