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article imageCanadian Tamils rally against escalation of violence in Sri Lanka Special

By Andrew Moran     Jan 11, 2011 in World
Toronto - In front of the Sri Lankan Consulate in uptown Toronto, a dozen activists and members of the National Council of Canadian Tamils gathered in order to rally against the increase of violence and murders against Tamils.
A new report from Journalists for Democracy in Sri Lanka highlights recent killings in the northern part of Sri Lanka – an area dominated by Tamils but engulfed in military presence. It reports the killings of a chief priest, a Deputy Director of Education an environmentalist. Even a school teacher was abducted.
“Within the last two weeks of 2010 the violence against northern Tamils were reported from a region with a disproportionate military presence where independent media and voluntary organizations are barred,” stated the report.
National Council of Canadian Tamils (NCCT) spokesperson, Krisna Saravanamuttu, states that “forced disappearances and killings” have become a “daily occurrence” for the Tamil people in Sri Lanka. Furthermore, Saravanamuttu believes it’s “our responsibility” to take action and report of the various alleged human rights violations taking place.
But why has there been an escalation in violence in recent weeks in Sri Lanka?
On Monday, a dozen of protestors and NCCT members rallied outside of the Sri Lankan Consulate at Yonge and St. Clair Streets. The activists urged the Sri Lankan Consulate to hear them out and demand members of government to take action.
“This is about the people killed in Sri Lanka every day. Even civilians or people who work for the government are killed,” said Arul Nalliah, NCCT Chairman of Ontario. “Journalists are killed but people who go throughout the world are disappearing. We don’t know where they are.”
Nalliah went onto explain that the people in the camps still have no food or water and “nobody knows what’s going on there.”
Despite governments around the world are not acknowledging the situation in Sri Lanka, including Canada, Nalliah says “we have proof. Channel 4 has more proof published but nobody is listening.”
When asked if the escalation in violence is due to the backlash from last month’s published video that shows Tamil civilians being executed, Nalliah explained that the Rajapaksa government “wants everyone to be quiet.”
“These things are happening. If someone talks against the Sri Lankan government then he is no longer.”
The consensus among the Tamil people is to push for a separate state for the Tamils in the north. That is the prerogative of the Tamils, including the NCCT and Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam. However, when asked about the Tamil National Party in Sri Lanka vowing to erase their push for independence, Nalliah said they moved in that direction to avoid backlash by the Rajapaksa government from such a policy direction.
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