SLUNA ACTIVITY NEWS
Toronto Star Editorial captioned "Dangerous Crusad" on October 1, 2000
October 4, 2000
The Toronto Star
1 Yonge Street
Toronto, ON M5E 1E6
Re: Your Editorial captioned "Dangerous Crusad" on October 1, 2000
We refer to your editorial published in the Sunday edition of October 1, 2000, under the caption "Dangerous Crusade". You are highly critical of the objections raised by the Canadian Alliance leadership in the House of Commons, with regard to Finance Minister Paul Martinís attendance at an event organized by the Federation of Associations of Canadian Tamils (FACT) in May. You also confirm that as an umbrella group, FACT has been identified by the U.S. State Department as a conduit for the Tamil Tiger guerillas who resort to terror tactics.
You fail to mention that both the RCMP and CSIS have extensively reported on the activities of FACT and its affiliates engaging in criminal and other means of raising funds for the Tamil Tigers war chest. In fact, Macleans Magazine of August 5, 1996 and other media repots have stated that 60 tons of explosives paid for by Canadian Tamil front organizations of the Tamil Tigers have been used in bombing Sri Lankaís Central Bank, the World Trade Centre, the Sacred Buddhist Temple of the Tooth and rush hour public transit, killing several hundred innocent civilians and maiming numerous other persons. The same plastic explosives have been used by suicide bombers to assassinate Sri Lankaís former President, R. Premadasa and many other Sinhalese and Tamil leaders, and even used in the killing of the Late Rajiv Gandhi, Indiaís former Prime Minister.
The present President of FACT, Mr. Sitta Sittampalam is quoted in the New York Times of July 16, 2000, that he regards the Tamil Tigers suicide bombers to be " heroes of the highest order", whose murderous deeds are commemorated in Canada by FACT every July.
Furthermore, Mr. Martinís explanation that he attended a community event celebrating the Tamil New Year on May 6, 2000, is unacceptable, as both the Tamil and Sinhalese New Year is celebrated on the 14th of April and not one day later. According to Mr. Stockwell Day, Mr. Martin had also ignored the advice of Canadaís High Commissioner to Sri Lanka on this matter.
You also fail to realize that Canada is one of the chief architects of the United Nations Convention on the Suppression of Financing of Terrorism, and is required to draft laws to conform with the U.N. Accord, and monitor organizations such as FACT that function as conduits for international terrorists.
Your position is far more dangerous than the criticism leveled against a senior minister in the government, as you advocate a soft approach towards terrorist front organizations in Canada who are funding terror overseas, and still pretend that Canada is a leading peacekeeping nation in the international arena. If Canada were to follow your policy and not curb groups such as FACT from funding terror outside our borders and instead encourage them as Ministers Martin and Minna did, Canada would soon be regarded as a pariah nation which disregards the rights and freedom of people of other nations.
Opening Ceremonies of the Olympic Games in Sydney
September 20, 2000
Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
Re: Opening Ceremonies of the Olympic Games in Sydney
We would like to draw your attention to the live broadcast carried over your network in the English channel on the opening ceremonies of the Olympic Games being held in Sydney, Australia. We are aware that your organization has a special crew in Sydney to cover the Olympic Games, and we are at a loss to understand the reason why the Sri Lankan Athletic Team alone was shut out from the broadcast. The Sri Lankan team was announced, but the camera was hurriedly moved to another part of the stadium thereby depriving the viewers from seeing the team from Sri Lanka. The camera went back to the parade of athletes after the Sri Lankan team moved out of focus, to continue with Surinam and the rest of the participating countries.
We are aware that there are lobby groups made up of Sri Lankan Tamils who have migrated to Canada operating under the Tamil Eelam Society of Canada, The World Tamil Movement (WTM) and the Federation of Associations of Canadian Tamils (FACT), who are carrying out a campaign to discredit Sri Lanka, as they support an armed insurrection mounted by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), to establish a mono-ethnic separate state for the exclusive use of the Tamil community, by dismembering the unitary state of Sri Lanka. The Liberation Tigers have been listed as a terrorist movement by the U.S. State Department, and furthermore, the WTM and FACT operating in Canada have been named as front organizations for this terror group. We are left to wonder if terrorist front organizations such as the WTM and FACT are in a position to influence the CBC or its employees in such a manner as to shut out coverage of the Sri Lankan contingent participating in the Olympic games. It is not a far fetched idea to persons who are knowledgeable of their activities which have been extensively reported on by the RCMP and the CSIS.
We are deeply disappointed with the action to shut out the Sri Lankan athletes from the CBCís coverage, and shall be glad to know the reasons for this unusual step taken by the corporation. To say the least, it is an utterly unsportsman like act on the part of the CBC to single out a particular country to be taken off the air especially in a program covering the Olympic games. We shall be glad to hear from you at your earliest convenience.
SRI LANKA UNITED NATIONAL ASSOCIATION
Independence Day Celebrations in Toronto
On Saturday February 5th Sri Lankan's and their friends living in and around Toronto gathered at the Scarborough Civic Centre to celebrate Sri Lanka's 52nd Anniversary of National Independence. The ceremony was organised by SLUNA.
The ceremony was opened with the playing of ceremonial drums, lighting of traditional oil lamp by the invited guests and singing the Jayamangala Gatha (Devotional songs). Many distinguished guests and religious dignitaries addressed the gathering.
Among the guests were the High Commissioner for Sri Lanka His Excellency Ananda Goonasekara, Hon. Derek Lee M.P., Hon. Jim Karygiannis M.P. and Inspector Gary Allis representing the Chief of Police of Toronto.
Messages from the President of Sri Lanka, Prime Minister of Canada, Premier of Ontario, Minister of Citizenship, Culture and Recreation and the Major of Toronto were also read.
Ceremony ended with the singing of National Anthems of Canada and Sri Lanka (both Sinhala and Tamil).
- SLUNA MEDIA RELEASE
May 7, 2000
SLUNA replys to article titled "Martin to dine with terrorist 'front'" on National Post
December 22, 1999
Canadian Tamil Funded Plastic Explosives Claims Yet More Sri Lankan Lives
Plastic explosives stuffed into the body suit worn by a Suicide Bomber belonging to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), were set off by the Killer at the final rally held in Colombo for the Presidential Elections addressed by the incumbent President, Madam Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunge, in an attempt to assasinate her and several senior Ministers of her Cabinet on Saturday, the 18th of December 1999. The Suicide Killer succeeded in causing serious injury to the President, Hon. G.L. Peiris, Minister of Constitutional Affairs, Minister Alavi Moulana, and further killing twenty one persons including the President's body guards and her driver, whilst injuring over 100 others who had attended the election meeting.
These explosives are part of the 60 tonnes purchased from the Ukraine by the LTTE with a sum of $ 7.2 million paid for by Canadian Tamils, as published in an article written by the investigative reporter, Paul Kaihla in Maclean's Magazine of August 1994. These explosives have caused immense damage to life and property including the bombing of Sri Lanka's Central Bank, the World Trade Centre building, rush hour train explosion at Dehiwela, bombing of the Most Sacred Temple of the Tooth Relic in Kandy where the Buddha's Tooth Relic is enshrined, killing over 400 persons, injuring and maiming several thousand other innocent civilians, and destroying millions of dollars of valuable property. These same explosives have been used in the killing of Rajiv Gandhi, former Prime Minister of India, Ranasinghe Premadasa, former President of Sri Lanka, Gamini Dissanayake, Presidential Contender and several other leading politicians of Sri Lanka.
It is ironic that the latest bombing took place soon after the much publicised call for Peace Talks by Velupillai Prabhakaran, the leader of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, and an international lobbying campaign by the LTTE to seek a foreign mediated negotiation process. To those who are knowledgeable of the Tamil Tigers propagandist stance, it is not surprising that this double tongued terror group have no interest in serious peace negotiations, as they seek nothing short of a separate state called 'Eelam' to be carved out of the north, north central and eastern regions of Sri Lanka ,comprising 1/3rd of the land area and 2/3rd of the island's coastline or territorial waters for approximately half of the Sri Lankan Tamil population numbering 12.8 percent of the island's inhabitants residing in that region. This region is being sought as a homeland for the Tamils, when a homeland already exists in the State of Tamilnadu in South India , more than twice the size of Sri Lanka, where an estimated 57 million Tamils live. They continue to resort to terrorism and ethnic cleansing massacres of non-Tamil residents in the area sought for the second homeland they seek to establish.
They previously reneged on the Indo-Lanka Peace Accord of 1987 brokered by the Late Rajiv Gandhi, where they undertook to surrender their weapons and enter the democratic process with Sri Lanka proceeding to establish semi-autonomous Provincial Councils including one for the north and one for the east where the Tamils are in a majority. They have entered into peace negotiations at various times whenever they were militarily weak, merely playing for time to re-build and re-group their forces to commence renewed hostilities.
The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), have been declared a terrorist movement by the U.S. State Department since the 1980's, and in 1998 they have proscribed the LTTE and its front organizations in America. Most western countries including the U.K. are taking similar measures against the Tamil Tigers fundraising and propaganda operations within their respective jurisdictions. India and Malaysia have proscribed the LTTE as well.
Canada still has to take any meaningful legislative measures against the more than sixty associations directly linked or controlled by the Tamil Tigers, headed by the World Tamil Movement (WTM) headquartered in Toronto, the Federation of Associations of Canadian Tamils (FACT) and the Tamil Eelam Society of Canada (several of whom have in fact received and continue to receive both federal and provincial funding), despite Canada's endorsement of the Resolution passed at the 40th Sessions of the U.N. General Assembly specifically relating to curbing international terrorism. Canada has also been a prime mover resulting in the Ottawa Declaration and the G7 Resolution on this very issue.
We call on Canada to act without delay to rein in on terrorist movements using Canada as a base for their fundraising and other illicit activities, ranging from drug smuggling, gun running to human smuggling operations, in order to safeguard Canada's international reputation as a peace keeper, and at the same time preventing death and destruction overseas.
Mahinda Gunasekera Daya Hettiarachchi
Hony. President Hony. Secretary
- Following is the letter sent by the President of SLUNA to the Toronto Star with reference to the picture and caption "Tamil Community Remembers Fallen Heroes" appeared on Nov. 28th.
December 8, 1999
1 Yonge Street
Toronto, Ontario M5E 1 E6
Re: Tamil Community Remembers Fallen Heroes
We refer to the picture published in the Sunday edition of November 28, 1999 with the subject caption appended thereto. The large gathering of Tamil Canadians were reported to be remembering the 15,000 Tamil Tigers who had died in clashes with Sri Lankan government forces in the past 16 years.
Are they really heroes? The Tamil Tigers belonging to the group known as the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) are regarded as terrorists by most western countries including Canada, whilst the USA and India have proscribed the LTTE and its front organizations. Britain is taking similar steps to proscribe the Tamil Tigers and their affiliate organizations.
The Tamil Tigers have killed thousands of identified, innocent members of their own Tamil community both within Sri Lanka and outside, in order to silence them and keep a tight hold over the Tamil populace. Furthermore, thousands of innocent non-Tamils have been massacred in their ethnic cleansing manoeuvres to drive out members of the majority Sinhala and minority Moor (Muslim) community from regions in the north and east of Sri Lanka sought for their mono-ethnic separate state of "Eelam", comprising nearly 1/3rd of the island's land area and 2/3rd of the coastline or territorial waters, for less than half of the total Sri Lankan Tamil population numbering 12.6 percent.
They continue to abduct Tamil children, some as young as 10 years, whom they brainwash and conscript into their fighting units, about which the United Nations and Amnesty International have vehemently protested to no avail. Their suicide killers known as Black Tigers have caused immense damage to life and property using plastic explosives (paid for by the Tamil Canadians) in their special body suits, including the deaths of Rajiv Gandhi, former Prime Minister of India, R. Premadasa, former President of Sri Lanka, several other leading Sri Lankan politicians, and more recently, Neelam Thiruchelvam, the moderte Tamil leader who was seeking ways of resolving the conflicting issues within a united Sri Lanka.
Events such as their 'Heroes Day' are held under the auspices of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam for the express purpose of raising funds for their terrorist violence in Sri Lanka as they go about their maniacal killing sprees wearing cyanide capsules around their necks.
The LTTE has not lived up to their undertaking of surrendering their weapons and entering the democratic process, with Sri Lanka devolving power to newly created Provincial Councils in terms of the Indo-Lanka Peace Accord of 1987. Instead, they have at all times manipulated the free will of the Tamil people through threats and violence, and continue remain outside of the democratic framework, claiming to espouse peace but seeking nothing short of a division of Sri Lanka, with them in charge of a separate mono-ethnic state to be called "Eelam".
In the circumstances, we shall appreciate if you would as a responsible news media and opinion maker, refrain from giving publicity to events organized by the front organizations of the LTTE in Canada, as they are flouting Canada's good name as a peacekeeping nation, by raising money for terrorism and violence both here and overseas.
Yours very truly,
Copy to: Mr. John Honderich
Publisher, Toronto Star Newspapers
Opdateret d. 6/10/00
- On Sunday the 7th of November 1999 a group of Sri Lankan Canadians living in the Toronto area gathered on short notice to welcome the Sri Lankan team participating in the "Variety Village Winter 1999 Disabled Games".
The three participants were a swimmer from Kekirawa Fauz Mohammed (16), and two athletes Jayantha (15) from Nittabuwa and Indika (14) from Mathugama.
They were accompanied by Maj. Rajitha Ampe Mohotti of the Sri Lankan army who is also disabled. He was disabled by a LTTE gun shot some years ago in Palaly. Everyone had the opportunity to listen to his experience in the army. He answered many questions from the audience about the situation in Sri Lanka.
On the opening day of the competition, Fauz who is deaf had won three gold medals, Jayantha who is blind two gold medals, and Indika who is also blind a bronze medal.
They will be leaving Toronto on November 15th. We congratulate them on their victories and wish them all the best in future event. We salute Maj. Mohotti for the great contribution he has made and his continuing service to our mother land.
- SLUNA PROTESTS TRINCOMALEE PAVILION RUN BY THE TAMIL EELAM SOCIETY OF CANADA UNDER THE AUSPICES OF THE FESTIVAL
CARAVAN MANAGEMENT IN TORONTO
Following is the letter sent by the President of SLUNA to the Chairman of the Metro International Caravan.
August 29, 1999
Major General B.J.Legge, CMM, CM, KStJ, ED, CD, QC
Metro International Caravan
263 Adelaide Street West
Toronto, Ontario M5H 1Y2
Re: Festival Caravan 1999 - Trincomalee Pavilion at 861 Broadview Avenue
Organized by the Tamil Eelam Society of Canada since the year 1995
We are writing to bring to your attention the real risk of tarnishing the image of Festival Caravan built up over a period of 31 years, as a result of granting recognition to such groups as the Tamil Eelam Society of Canada whose bona fides are highly questionable. We wrote to the Founder, Ms. Zena Kossar on June 22, 1995 expressing our concerns about the Tamil group that had been awarded the right to host a pavilion named after a city located in the eastern part of the island of Sri Lanka. This was followed by several phone calls to the Festival Caravan's office at Adelaide Street with messages left for Ms. Zena Kossar, but to our deep regret, we were neither afforded the courtesy of a written reply nor even a phone call to discuss our concerns.
As pointed out in our previous letter, the Tamil Eelam Society of Canada is attempting to portray to the Canadian public the existence of an independent state called "Eelam" in the north and east of Sri Lanka encompassing about 30 percent of the land space and nearly 2/3rd of her coastline and territorial waters. They are also trying to make out that Trincomalee is the capital of this mythical state of "Eelam". No doubt, they have been raising funds in Canada both through legal and illicit means including extortion, drug trafficking, passport forgery, etc., in order to supply arms and explosives for the terrorist group known as the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, who continue to carry out ethnic cleansing massacres of non-Tamil residents and the most brutal terrorism to carve out the territory sought to establish their mono-ethnic separate state of "Eelam", through the dismemberment of the island state of Sri Lanka by force of arms. A copy of the material distributed by the Tamil Eelam Society in their pavilion which is submitted in attachment confirms the propagandist stance taken by them.
We would like to point out that the President of the Tamil Eelam Society of Canada also heads the Federation of Associations of Canadian Tamils (FACT), whose office is also located at 861 Broadview Avenue. The latter oganization referred to as FACT and the World Tamil Movement of Toronto have been repeatedly named as front organizations for the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, since proscribed by the United States of America as a terrorist movement. You could further ascertain their status from the Canadian Security Intelligence Services such as the CSIS and the RCMP in order to satisfy yourself.
The Sinhalese community from Sri Lanka were earlier turned down on the grounds that there was a conflict in Sri Lanka which may give rise to unwelcome problems at this end. Despite your rejection of the Sinhalese community's participation, we are fully supportive of the Festival's aim of giving special recognition to the many cultures making up the multi-ethnic community of our city. Unfortunately, the Tamil Eelam Society is making use of this opportunity to promote their political agenda by pushing their divisive and separatist cause of a mono-ethnic separate state called "Eelam" to be carved out of Sri Lanka by force of arms.
We would like you to review the position even at this late stage and take corrective action, as the spirit of the festival is not to promote division or separatism within the communities living in Toronto or elsewhere. We trust you would take the right action to safeguard the amity and goodwill of the larger community which we believe is a goal of your festival. Copy of our previous letter is enclosed.
Copy to: Ms. Zena Kossar, Founder, Festival Caravan
" " Mme Hilary Weston, Leiutenant Governor of Ontario (Patron, Festival Caravan)
- HELD A CONFERENCE IN TORONTO. THE TOPIC WAS '' WORKING TOWARDS
ELIMINATING LTTE OPERATIONS IN CANADA."
- MET WITH MR. JOHN ARGUE OF AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL AND DISCUSSED MATTERS OF COMMON INTEREST.
- ATTENDED A MEETING ORGANIZED BY THE ASIA WORKING GROUP
(COALIATION OF CHURCHES). THE GUEST SPEAKER WAS MR. JAVID YUSUF, FORMER
SRI LANKA HIGH COMMISSIONER TO SOUDI ARABIA AND CURRENTLY A COMMISSIONER
OF HUMAN RIGHTS. HE MADE A PASSSIONATE PLEA FOR RECONCILIATION OF THE
ETHNIC GROUPS FOR CO EXISTENCE. WHEN FR. FRANCIS XAVIER, A WELL KNOWN
LTTE ACTIVIST MADE REFERENCE TO KOSOVO, HE WAS INTERUPTED AND WAS TOLD
THAT PRABAKARAN WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE ETHNIC CLEANSING IN NORTHERN AND
EASTERN PROVINCES IN SRI LANKA..
- Little bit of 'Ceylon' in Canada: SLUNA visit
by Kirthi Abeyesekera
There's a little bit of 'Ceylon' in Canada - not quite the same though
, as the 'little bit of England' Sir Oliver
Goonetilleke saw in Nuwara Eliya. How Canada's 'Ceylon,' with a centur
y's history, got its name is fascinating. The
story goes that, way back in 1899, confusion arose about the identity
of a portion of land surrounded by Halterville,
Virginia and Flesherton in the Province of Ontario.
Walter Latimer, owner of the only store in the area, called his proper
ty Walterville, after his name. Two spinster
sisters who owned the adjoining land called it Virginia. When the rail
way was built, the station was named
Flesherton. To make confusion worse confounded, mail was arriving with
conflicting addresses, creating a problem
for letter carrier of the Postal Service.
An investigation was conducted at the store. Noticing some tins marked
'Ceylon Tea,' the officer probing the matter,
asked the store owner where that was from. When told it came from Ceyl
on, the little British colony that produced
the world's best tea, he had said, "Let's call it Ceylon." And so it w
as that 'Ceylon' was included in the Canadian map.
The store was also named 'Ceylon General Store.'
I accompanied Daya Hettiarachchi, the 'discoverer' of 'Ceylon' on the
two-hour drive north-east of Toronto, curious
to know about the place named after what we once called home. Located
in Grey county, Ceylon is a little hamlet of
1600 people living in the peaceful solitude of rich, verdant farmland
beside the waters of Lake Eugenia.
We drove direct to the store to a warm welcome by Jerry MacKenzie and
his wife, Donna, a charming Scottish
couple. Originally from the province of Nova Scotia, named after their
Homeland, they had moved to Toronto. Two
years ago, they saw the store being advertised for sale and bought it
up. "You must come again," Donna said as we
were leaving. Yes, we responded. "After all, we are all Ceylonese."
The MacKenzies had not given much thought to the name of the village t
hey lived in until a few weeks prior to my
visit when Hettiarachchi, the general secretary of the Sri Lanka Unite
d National Association, SLUNA, had taken two
bus loads of expatriates on a picnic to Ceylon.
A reception had been held at the MacKenzies' store, led by the provinc
ial Member of Parliament, Bill Murdoch.
After an exchange of greetings, SLUNA president, Mahinda Gunasekera pr
esented Donna with the Sri Lankan flag.
Hettiarachchi, Neville Fernando and Indra Jayasinghe gifted her with s
ome packets of Ceylon Tea, while Lionel
Dissanayake, a community activist, conducted a rendering of 'O Canada'
and 'Sri Lanka Matha' - giving the lie to
Kipling's 'Never the twain shall meet.'
The MacKenzies were overwhelmed at this second visit by us, so soon af
ter the first. They were taken in by the
affection we showed for 'Ceylon.' We explained that though our Home is
now called Sri Lanka, the name 'Ceylon'
brings nostalgic memories to those of us who grew up when the country
was known by that name.
'Ceylon' - the name stirs many Sri Lankan expatriates whose hearts are
still at home.