I am very disappointed that all our parliamentarians deserted us, Tamil Canadians, on Tuesday April 21 2009, in Ottawa, except NDP Leader Jack Layton. I was particularly disappointed that Liberals also did not show up. Only a representative from the Liberal office read a pre-written statement from Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff.
Canada is not a neutral country, as it took side with the Sri Lankan government by banning LTTE in 2006, and it must be noted, in the same year Sri Lanka withdrew from the ceasefire unilaterally, then officially in 2008. This month, Sri Lanka removed Norway from the role of a broker.
I only went to the protest in Ottawa during weekends and I did not go to the Tuesday’s protest. But I definitely feel left alone by the Conservative Canada government. With that I also felt my democratic voices were ignored and rejected.
There are many young and old Tamils who took part in this two week old protest, day and night continuously. People took great effort to not even stop for a minute of the slogan chanting. People took turns and Tamils all over Canada came on their expense willingly to take part. Many voluntarily gave food, short eats and coffee free of charge in support of the protest. In a nutshell this was a spontaneous grassroots efforts.
Yet, Conservative Government of Canada let Canadian Tamils down. I was very much saddened that government officials did not even listen to the hungry strikers. Canadian Immigration Minister Jason Kenney said Canada will not bow to pressure to remove the Tamil Tigers from the list of banned terrorist groups. That was not one of the demands of the hungry strikers or the protest in whole. This shows how Conservative Canada is not even willing to listen to the protesters. Protest was about asking Canada to demand immediate ceasefire, and if the Sri Lankan government does not listen, then put economic sanctions and/or recall our ambassador. Yet, Conservative Canada was not even willing to listen to the protesters and they assumed our demands were something else.
Canada is built on immigration and is continually being built on it. There are many in this country that has some sort of ties with their mother land. I think it became evident that Tamils should enter Canadian politics and support and raise their voice for all those oppressed who have no country and long for one.