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article imageCanadian Tamils vote for sovereign Tamil state within Sri Lanka Special

By Andrew Moran     Dec 21, 2009 in World
On Saturday, thousands of Tamils across Canada voted in a referendum that would support a sovereign Tamil state within Sri Lanka.
Over the past year, Tamils have experienced emotional roller coasters over the situation occurring in Sri Lanka. Since spring, Tamils across the globe have been protesting for the closure of internal displacement camps that housed 300,000 Tamils and accusations of human rights abuses caused dire concern among Tamils who had families inside the barbed-wire camps.
Canadian Members of Parliament also showed their support for the Tamil community by protesting in front of the Sri Lankan Consulate in Toronto. MPs Jack Layton, Bob Rae and Olivia Chow all showed up to the demonstration last month and called for Prime Minister Stephen Harper to “open the doors of Canada.”
Digital Journal reported last week that Canadian Tamils would hit the polls to test the Vaddukkoaddai Resolution and thousands showed up and unanimously voted in the referendum to setup a separate sovereign Tamil state within Sri Lanka.
According to CBC, the Coalition for Tamil Elections in Canada said 99.8 per cent of the near 50,000 people who voted on Saturday supported a sovereign Tamil state, while similar votes and results took place in France and Norway.
Since the 1970s, Tamils have fought for a separate state in the north and east of Sri Lanka, notes The Canadian Press. For months, the Tamil communities across Canada have provided information all across the the country.
A spokesperson for the Coalition for Tamil Elections Canada, Darshika Selvasivam, said, reports the Press Times of India, “There have been various voices and opinions heard on the issue, whether for, whether against, and some undecided, but (political) agency isn't available for those in Sri Lanka. The basic freedoms and rights that we have here in Canada are not being upheld in Sri Lanka.”
However, the coalition did not state whether or not there will be any future referendums in Canada but the general aim of this specific vote was to bring a general consensus for the international community and think-tank groups to bring Tamil sovereignty for discussion to the table.
Dev Fakruddin, a Toronto Tamil demonstrator who voted in the Greater Toronto Area, told Digital Journal in an e-mail on Monday morning that he was pleased with the turnout but wanted to see a lot more of Tamils take part in this democratic vote, “I read the press release and they said they were expecting roughly 100,000 Tamils nationwide. But the 50,000 number is just half of their expectations.” He added that he was optimistic about the referendum but expected a very slow process for any decision or even talks.
“What I’ve learned in life is that whenever it comes to something very important to the international community then it’s going to be a very, very long process. But I’m optimistic in the future of the Tamil people, especially since the internal displacement camps. We brought up our issue to the leaders and officials around the world and they heard us and they agreed with us.” Fakruddin concluded that he doesn’t want the Tamil community in Canada to cease their movement and to continue and fight the good fight.
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