Email
Password
Remember meForgot password?
    Log in with Twitter

article imageAn interview with Toronto-Tamil Magesh Ananth Special

By Andrew Moran     Nov 13, 2009 in World
On Friday, Magesh Ananth spoke to Digital Journal regarding his background, what actions he wants the international community to take in Sri Lanka and the global media coverage of the situation.
205 days have passed since Magesh Ananth first set up camp in front of the United States Consulate in downtown Toronto at University Avenue and Queen Street. Ananth, a 67-year-old Sri Lankan Tamil born in Jaffina, is demonstrating every day because he wants "global murders against humans" to cease.
Digital Journal reported that the Coalition to Stop the War in Sri Lanka has carried out several demonstrations in front of the US and Indian Consulates to show their frustration of governments around the world for their apathy and decisions, or lack thereof, against the Sri Lankan government over the internal displacement camps. Currently, 300,000 Tamils are placed in these “concentration camps,” which have been called “appalling” by officials such as Secretary General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon.
Ananth, a former lecturer in accounting and management who stands every day in the area for four or five hours, first started his demonstrations after realizing the atrocities being carried out by the Sri Lankan government and wanted to do something. Generally Ananth, as he explains, does not get involved in the political aspect of geopolitical affairs but he wants the murders to stop and wants to let the Canadian, American and other important governments to understand what Tamils are going through in the “barbed-wire camps.”
“I was unhappy about my life,” said Ananth. “I have to help my people, so that’s why I started the demonstration here.”
In May of this year in Toronto, roads and major highways were shutdown in protest of the crisis in Sri Lanka, which upset thousands of Torontonians but Ananth has continually said that Canadians have been generally supportive of the movement. Also, during the war Canada remained muted and Tigers were labelled as terrorists alone and nothing else. But now since a lot of the violence is becoming public, Tamils across the globe are making more people aware of the dangerous circumstances being conducted against the Tamils in the region.
Several hundred Tamils protest in Toronto
As the growing public becomes aware of the conditions of the Tamil displacement camps in Sri Lanka, more are protesting and demanding the international community take proper action.
Andrew Moran
There has been only handful of news outlets covering the Sri Lankan crises and Channel 4 released footage of two Tamils being executed, in a field filled with other executed Tamils, by Sri Lankan paramilitary forces. Ananth feels that the Tamils across the world are acting peacefully and keeping to the rules of protesting but the silence is wrong. “That is why we are here to demonstrate peacefully to ask the world to give freedoms to the Tamil people in Sri Lanka.” He further adds that the world has to come to a solution because “they have to understand our history, traditions and own determination because otherwise the government is not going to give rights to Sri Lankans.”
He concludes that demonstrating is not enough and that everybody has to come out and ask the whole world to give them their freedoms, “That’s what we’re expecting.” He further adds that the Tamil-Canadian community is tired because the last six months they practice their peaceful protests.
Several hundred Tamils protest in Toronto
As the growing public becomes aware of the conditions of the Tamil displacement camps in Sri Lanka, more are protesting and demanding the international community take proper action.
Andrew Moran
Ananth adds that on Saturday November 21, several organizations, such as Canadian Academics for Tamil Rights, United Steelworkers Toronto Area Council and Canadian Center for Victims of Torure, will hold a demonstration in front of the Sri Lankan Consulate at Yonge Street and St. Clair Avenue at 12:30 p.m., which is expected to have thousands of Tamil-Canadians and Canadians. As usual, Ananth will motivate others to be peaceful and bring the message of peace to Canadians and Sri Lankans.
At the end, a Toronto Tamil demonstrator handed Digital Journal a flyer quoting Noam Chomsky who recently stated, "There is no protection for any people who it doesn't do any good [to the west] to protect, and basically Sri Lankans [Tamils] are in that unfortunate position."
More about Magesh ananth, Tamils, Sri lankan internal displacement
More news from
Latest News
Top News