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article imageTamil Canadians vote in global transnational government election Special

By Andrew Moran     May 3, 2010 in World
Toronto - Thousands of Tamil Canadians took part in a worldwide election to choose members for a transnational government but the Sri Lankan government says it was illegal.
Tamils in Canada, who mostly sought refuge after being displaced in the war-torn nation of Sri Lanka, have been active participants in bringing awareness to the Canadian general public, sending messages to the international community and leaders and still fighting for important issues in their home country.
The transnational government election for Tamils worldwide
On Sunday, thousands of Tamil Canadians took part in a worldwide election to choose members for a transnational government of a non-existent Tamil state within the Sri Lanka. The election was described as both controversial and illegal by the government of Sri Lanka.
“The proposed project to establish the Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam is by far the best, most hopeful and exciting thing that has happened to Tamils in a long while,” said S. B. Sri-Skanda-Rajah, PhD in piece published on the Tamil Canadian website.
The purpose of the transnational government is so the Tamils can have direct communications with international officials because during the atrocities in Sri Lanka, the world community remained silent and this would serve as a “channel of communication.”
Patriotic Candidates of Tamil Eelam (PCTE) running in the May 2nd 2010 Canadian TGTE Election.
Patriotic Candidates of Tamil Eelam (PCTE) running in the May 2nd 2010 Canadian TGTE Election.
Patriotic Candidates of Tamil Eelam (PCTE) running in the May 2nd 2010 Canadian TGTE Election.
Patriotic Candidates of Tamil Eelam (PCTE) running in the May 2nd 2010 Canadian TGTE Election.
The election format and candidates involved
According to the Globe and Mail, voter turnout was high in Toronto, which is home to more than half of the country’s Sri Lankan Tamil population of 200,000.
There were three district elections being held in Ontario: Electoral district 1 was in the Greater Toronto Area, Eastern Ontario was the electoral district 2 and the third one was held in Western Ontario. There were five candidates in each district and 33 polling stations in total.
In Cabbage Town in Toronto on Sunday, the polling took place at the Cabbage Town Youth Centre near Parliament and Wellesley. The candidates in electoral district 1 were Tharani Prapaharan, Piraba Nallaiah, Thiru Thiruchelvan, Joe Anthony and Deva Sabapathy.
Patriotic Candidates of Tamil Eelam (PCTE) running in the May 2nd 2010 Canadian TGTE Election.
Patriotic Candidates of Tamil Eelam (PCTE) running in the May 2nd 2010 Canadian TGTE Election.
Flyers were posted in the windows of a lot of stores near the polling stations.
The transnational government election took place all over the world, including Norway, the United Kingdom, the United States and other parts of the world.
Although, the results in Canada have not been released yet, Norway Tamils voted for their three representatives and they were: Jeyasri Balasubramaniam, Murali Sivanandan and Sivakanesan Thillaiampalam. The three candidates campaigned as a cohesive unit instead of separately.
Canada’s results are expected to be released this week.
Minor issues in its first election
Despite optimism from voters and public officials, such as Chitranganee Wagiswara, the Sri Lankan High Commissioner in Ottawa, who said the election is continuing the movement of peace, there were several complaints of intimidation where voters were being pressured into voting for certain candidates by supporters of the World Tamil Movement, which was labeled at a terrorist group by the Canadian government in 2008.
Tamil response
Dev Fakruddin, a Toronto Tamil demonstrator who has been an active community member, believes this is a good first step for international Tamils. Fakruddin feels governments around the world have remained apathetic and the best way to solve the issue in Sri Lanka is to apply pressure to the Sri Lankan government by the Tamils themselves, "wherever they are."
“I’m glad that Tamils are taking action, not just in Toronto but in countries like Norway and Great Britain. I was disappointed a few months ago when we voted for a sovereign Tamil state within Sri Lanka and there was such a low voter turnout. But what I see so far here, we have a lot of happy faces and enthusiastic youth.”
The Toronto Tamil protester concluded that he has grown optimistic over the past few months, mostly because of the young people getting involved, “You know, in Canada the young people generally don’t care about politics and hardly vote. But young Tamils are protesting, they’re trying to send messages to people they know and most importantly they’re joining organizations and working hard for something they believe in.”
May is the month of remembering the massacre
Between May 1 and May 19, according to the Canadian Tamil Youth Alliance, Tamils will mark May as the first year of remembrance of the Tamil genocide committed by the government of Sri Lanka.
The group urges people to take a few minutes of your day to remember what occurred and imagine what the victims have gone through and are still going through.
“Can you imagine the mental state of watching all your loved ones, neighbors, and friends being killed in the hundreds? Only if you can imagine the atrocities, will you be able to work towards creating a solution. During the month of May, try to remember and imagine what these victims have gone through,” the group said on their website.
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