SRI LANKA UNITED NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF CANADA

                                                                                        Box 55292, 300 Borough Drive, Toronto, Ontario M1P 4Z7 Canada

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By E-mail                                                                    December 18, 2009

 

MEDIA RELEASE

 

Tamil Diaspora seeks Mandate in Canada to Pursue Separate State in Sri Lanka  

 

A newly formed ‘Coalition for Tamil Elections in Canada’ is holding a referendum in cities across Canada on Saturday, December 19, 2009 to seek a mandate to form a Trans-national Government of Tamil Eelam to pursue the setting up of a separate Tamil state by carving out territory from the existing state of Sri Lanka. 

 

They are apparently acting in accordance with the ‘Vaddukoddai Resolution’ adopted by Tamil political parties in 1976 declaring their right to establish a separate state called “Eelam” comprising 1/3rd of the island’s land spread over 2/3rd of the coastal regions in the north and east for Tamils numbering 12.8 percent of the total population, since reduced to around 8 percent following large scale migration to western nations.  This resolution was based on false premises claiming Tamil occupation of these areas since the dawn of history, whereas historical and archaeological records including nearly 3000 rock inscriptions prove the presence of the indigenous Sinhalese from the earliest of times in all parts of the island. The only authority that is cited by the Tamils is a minute made by one Hugh Cleghorn attached to the British colonial administration who mistakenly also stated that the Sinhalese are descendants of the Siamese people in the same minute.  The Tamils of South India who initially invaded the northern parts of the island remained for short periods till they were forced to withdraw, and only arrived as settlers in the 11th Century AD with the majority arriving as indentured labour for work on new tobacco, tea, cocoa, coffee plantations during the Dutch and British colonial periods which goes back roughly 350 years.

 

A political exercise of this nature could rightly be conducted by the Tamils residing in Sri Lanka and not those who have migrated to Canada and other distant lands where they have acquired permanent residence and citizenship in those countries.  This is an exercise in futility, which aims to mislead the Diaspora into continuing on the destructive path that has already cost an inestimable price in loss of life and damage to valuable property. It is a move to keep a stranglehold on the Tamil community and extract funds as before to seek the mythical separate state called “Eelam”, which could not be realized despite a three decade long armed struggle including suicide terrorism.  This would naturally be seen as a hostile act by the government and people of Sri Lanka where expatriate Tamils who are essentially foreigners are illegally seeking to intervene in the internal affairs of that country.  Any elected Canadian representatives or other officials who lend their support towards the holding of this referendum too will be answerable for all associated issues and related developments.   

  

 

In Sri Lanka today, the majority of Tamils comprising 54 percent reside outside the north and east in mixed ethnic surroundings.  In fact, the Tamils form the largest single ethnic community in the capital city of Colombo where they make up 39 percent of the city’s population.  The thorny issue relating to the 294,000 internally displaced Tamils who were rescued by Sri Lanka’s armed forces from the grip of the Tamil Tiger Terrorists as of May 2009, who were being used as a human shield, is being resolved speedily with nearly 70 percent being re-settled in their former villages after de-mining the land and rebuilding of their homes and necessary infrastructure.  The remaining 120,000 IDPs have been granted freedom of movement outside the relief camps pending their re-settlement expected to be completed by January 2010.  Despite the freedom to move out of the camps, the vast majority have opted to remain inside where they are provided with three meals, free health care, schooling and vocational training.  Those being re-settled are given a grant of Rs.50,000.00 per family, plus seed paddy, dry rations and bank credit guaranteed by the government up to a limit of Rs.200,000.00. Even the 11,000 former Tamil Tiger fighters who surrendered are being re-habilitated and provided with vocational training and educational opportunities to enable them to adapt to society and lead normal lives.

 

Whilst Sri Lanka is taking steps to reconcile the differences with the Tamil minority and move forward. It is sheer madness on the part of the Tamil Diaspora in Canada and elsewhere to stoke the flames and create a hostile environment which could hamper the task of nation building in Sri Lanka.  

Yours very truly,

 

Mahinda Gunasekera                                                                                                    

Honorary President