Saturday, May 23, 2009

Canada must protect Sri Lankan Canadians: Consul General

Sri Lankan Consul General in Canada Bandula Jayasekara urges the Canadian government to protect peaceful Canadians of Sri Lankan origin from LTTE attacks.

“The Government of Canada and provincial police forces must take immediate steps to protect peaceful Canadians of Sri Lankan origin, says Sri Lankan Consul General in Toronto.

“A Sri Lankan restaurant in Brampton was firebombed by suspected Tamil Tiger supporters. Last week the Sri Lankan Buddhist Temple in Scarboroughwas set on fire, again by the same extremists, causing damage to the tune of some $40,000.

Other Sri Lankan community establishments (as opposed to Tamil Tiger fronts) are under significant threat in Canada, especially in the Greater Toronto Area. Peaceful Canadians of Sri Lankan origin cannot even gather at places of worship in Toronto. Their children are under threat in their schools and other places. Many of them have received hate mail and threatening phone calls. Some say that they are scared to organize cultural or sports events because they fear Tamil Tiger operatives.

“The threat level has increased significantly since the Tamil Tigers and their leader Prabhakaran were eliminated earlier this week. This follows a worldwide pattern; Sri Lankans have been attacked and injured and Sri Lankan establishments, including many embassies, in Great Britain, Europe and Australia have been attacked and damaged.

It is with regret that I say that nothing has been heard from government officials, provincial or federal, subsequent to the attacks and threats in Canada on Sri Lankan establishments except for Minister Jason Kenney’s condemnation of the burning of the Scarborough Buddhist Temple. I am especially dismayed by the silence of the Premier of Ontario, Mr. McGuinty.

“There is no point in issuing anodyne statements by Canadian politicians. What is required is action. What is required is proactive police protection of establishments that the community has identified and that should be 24/7 until the threat passes. What is required is active intervention in schools to remove the threat of Tamil Tiger thuggery within.

“It is terrible that innocent, law-abiding Sri Lankan Canadians are being subject to these outrages. As Consul General for the Government of Sri Lanka I have been approached by many with their stories. It is not within my power to protect these people. I can only appeal to the Canadian authorities to put a stop to the Tamil Tiger operatives who threaten the people whose homeland I represent.”

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