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Sinhalese restaurant bombed in Toronto

By Ajit Jain in Toronto
May 23, 2009 20:02 IST
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Lanka Gardens, the only Sinhalese restaurant in Greater Toronto Area, was fire bombed early on Friday morning, according to Sri Lankan Consul-General Bandula Jaysekera.

When queried why the restaurant had been targeted, owner Ranjit Tllarane retorted, "Then you don't know the politics in the community here."

Consul-General Jaysekera has been provided with round the clock protection by the Royal Canadian Mounted Polices.
Lanka Gardens was fire bombed at approximately 2.30 am on Friday morning.

The Sri Lanka United National Association of Canada termed the firebombing incident as a hate crime. 'Hate crime is taking place against our Sri Lanka Community by Tamil Tiger terrorists in Canada. This morning Lanka Gardens restaurant was firebombed.  Last week, the Sri Lankan Buddhist temple in Kingston Road (Toronto) was firebombed,' the association said in the media release.

In an indirect reference to Canadian government's concerns about the Sri Lankan crisis, the association said, 'Our (Canadian) Politicians are only worrying about things happening outside the country while ignoring things happening under their nose'.

Canada's Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon and International Cooperation Minister, Bev Oda, who recently visited Colombo, had called on the Sri Lankan government 'to allow full, safe and unhindered humanitarian access to all civilians affected by the conflict in that country and to ensure the safety and security of humanitarian workers.'

They also called on the government of Sri Lanka 'to move forward immediately with the President's vow to launch a political process that is inclusive of all communities in Sri Lanka.'

Even though the government of Sri Lanka has declared victory in the three-decade long bloody conflict, with the death of Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam chief V Prabhakaran, protest marches outside the United States Consulate in Toronto and elsewhere continue, with the Toronto police keeping a close watch over the protesters. 

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Ajit Jain in Toronto