Sunday, March 8, 2009

Liberal MP hit for appearance at Tamil Tigers rally - Canada

Jason Kenney, the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, told reporters that while there was nothing illegal about the rally it was "highly inappropriate" for an MP to appear. "We should not be encouraging public manifestations of support for a terrorist organization," he said, "in this instance one that has been condemned by UNICEF for their practice of recruiting child soldiers and forcing them into military service and an organization that invented the tactic of suicide bombings and is responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands of civilians."

A Liberal MP was criticized yesterday for speaking at a rally on Parliament Hill surrounded by flags bearing the militaristic emblem of the Tamil Tigers, a banned terrorist organization in Canada. A video posted on YouTube shows Gurbax Singh Malhi, MP for Bramalea-Gore-Malton, telling demonstrators waving Tamil Tigers flags that, "I'd like to let you know I'm helping you guys. I'm behind you because you are fighting for a right cause."

The protesters then chanted: "Freedom fighters, Tamil Tigers."

During Question Period, Peter Kent, the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, said he was "sickened by the pandering of a Liberal member on the front lawn of Parliament to a flagrant display of the symbols of a listed terrorist organization."
Reached by phone last night, Mr. Malhi said he had not planned to speak at the rally but was passing by and decided to say a few words. He said his comments concerned the plight of civilians caught in fighting between the Sri Lankan forces and the Tamil Tigers. "My concern is innocent people, you know. They are killing the civilians," he said. "I just came out of the bus and I think what's happening?

"My concern are civilians, where the human rights violation is happening, I'm against that, but I have nothing to do with anybody, I don't know anybody who was there, I don't know the name of the people who were there."

Asked about the many Tamil Tigers flags visible at the event, he replied: "I came out of the bus, I don't even know. I don't even notice anything."

Mr. Malhi attempted to clarify his position in a statement issued last night: "I deeply regret that my attendance at this rally was misunderstood by some as a demonstration of my support (expressed or implied) of terror, or of a terrorist organization. There is no excuse for terrorism and attacks on civilians, and the world has to show its concern for the protection of the civilian population."

Jason Kenney, the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, told reporters that while there was nothing illegal about the rally it was "highly inappropriate" for an MP to appear. "We should not be encouraging public manifestations of support for a terrorist organization," he said, "in this instance one that has been condemned by UNICEF for their practice of recruiting child soldiers and forcing them into military service and an organization that invented the tactic of suicide bombings and is responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands of civilians."

Source National Post

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