Saturday, 10 May 2008

More on why Sri Lankan Tamils are not real refugees.

The following can be read here in the National Post. It was written by the consul general of Sri Lanka in Toronto so if the reader harbours some skepticism about its content then I wouldn't be surprised since a war of any kind also has a propaganda front. But the same can be said of Sri Lankan Tamils who, as a predominately refugee community in Canada, have a vested interest as portraying themselves as a persecuted people which shouldn't be confused with discrimination.


Let's be clear -- Tamil Tigers are the terrorists in Sri Lanka

Bandula Jayasekara, National Post
Published: Thursday, April 24, 2008


One cannot compare the democratically elected government of Sri Lanka to a ruthless terrorist organization such as the Tamil Tigers (LTTE), which has killed thousands of innocent Sri Lankan Tamils, Sinhalese, Muslims, Malays and Burghers. The Tigers are also responsible for murdering democratically elected Sri Lankan Tamil leaders such as foreign minister Lakshman Kadirgamar, deputy secretary general of the peace secretariat Ketheesh Loganathan, Jaffna mayor Sarojini Yogeswaran and minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle.

More than 60 % of Sri Lankan Tamils today live peacefully among the Sri Lankan Sinhalese. Democratic Tamil United Liberation Front leader V. Anandasangaree cannot even go to his constituency office since the Tigers threatened his life. Another Sri Lankan Tamil minister, Douglas Devananda, has escaped nearly 13 assassination attempts by the LTTE. It is not the Sri Lankan government that poses a threat to Sri Lankan Tamils, but terrorists who claim to speak for them and then resort to brutal violence when Sri Lankan Tamils dare to say otherwise.

I totally and categorically deny Ms. Selvarajah's allegation that the government of Sri Lanka is responsible for widespread abductions and disappearances in the country. Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa is a campaigner for human rights. It is the LTTE which is trying to do such things in the face of defeat and to discredit not only the government of Sri Lanka but the people of Sri Lanka as well.

Sri Lanka will always stand by its people and will protect its citizens against all odds. The world must realize that Sri Lanka is fighting the most ruthless separatist group, one that pioneered suicide bombings and has used pregnant women to carry out such terrorist acts.[...]Misleading the people in Canada and the rest of the world about the nature of the Tamil Tigers and their ruthless quest for power while sitting comfortably in Canada helps no one.[...]

In the war of opinions I have to say I find myself siding with the Sri Lankan government on this one. If Sri Lankan Tamils are such a persecuted people then why do Tamil refugees living in Canada return to Sri Lanka with a frequency to rival the numbers who are feeling it? Sri Lanka's capital city of Colombo is 30% Tamil and was the final home of the late renowned science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke. It is far from the fighting and is a relatively safe place for those fleeing the war. Failing that there is the Indian State of Tamil Nadu. I have been following the civil war in the newspapers and most of the cease fires were broken by the Tamil Tigers. It seems Sri Lankan Tamils are "refugees" because of their alleged freedom fighters, freedom fighters who will turn a future independent Sri Lankan Tamil nation into a totalitarian state run by gangsters.

Those who sit on refugee boards should be better informed of world events. If they were more knowledgeable of Sri Lanka then Canada wouldn't have an acceptance rate of 76-80% for Sri Lankan Tamils, an embarrassment for Canada and an insult to Sri Lanka. It is because of the general ignorance of those in the Immigration and Refugee Board that Canada's refugee system ripe for abuse and Sri Lankan Tamils took advantage of it with a vengeance for quick and easy entry into a first world nation. This is why refugees should be determined before they arrive in Canada, a losing proposition for immigration lawyers because they don't get paid. This is also why Canada should invoke the notwithstanding clause and revoke the disastrous Singh decision of 1985.

See also:Tibetans seek refuge in India or Why Canada should stop accepting refugees from India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka.

15 comments:

Justice said...

Who are you trying to fool?
You are a bloody Sinhalese pretending to be a Canadian and littering this blog with fake ' neutral' opinions.This is what happens when Sinhalese reserve college seats for dull lazy Sinhalese students at the cost of hardworking brilliant Tamils on the basis of birth.
If your Sinhalese Govt is paying you to put up this shabby blog it has failed in its purpose. May the thousands of innocent Tamils butchered in cold blood by the Sinhalese military Death Squads haunt you forever.

PaxCanadiana said...

Why are you here in Canada? What's wrong with Tamil Nadu?

Anonymous said...

I must admit that I'm as far removed from the political affairs in Sri Lanka as I am geographically from that distant nation.

I resent these people who use Canada as an outpost while they conduct their war-mongering practices half-way around the world in a country I'll never visit, nor care about in any way.

As a first-world nation we offer these foreign interlopers the equivalent status of our own First Nations people, but completely without any framework of historical value.

But I hold my worst venom for those pandering and traitorous Canadian politicians who demean themselves by chasing after these block votes while ignoring real Canadians who placed them in their lofty positions to primarily look after our interests.

PaxCanadiana said...

anon:

What irks me the most is how middle class economic migrants abuse a humanitarian system meant to protect people fleeing real persecution. This is tantamount to dressing up like a woman to score a seat on a life boat as the Titanic sinks. And they were rewarded for it with Canadian citizenship so I can't really blame them for what they did. You take the path of least resistance.

The fact that Canada has the highest concentration of Sri Lankan Tamils in the world outside of Sri Lanka should beg questions and it makes sense when you analyze the facts. To compare, the next two countries with high acceptance rates for Sri Lankan refugee claims is Britain and Germany at 4% and 2% acceptance rates respectively. Canada sits in the vicinity of 76-80% and it has been like that for years. Why the discrepancy? We have the weakest refugee laws in the world. When word got out how easy it was to get into Canada with a cooked up refugee story then the abuse begins. We should be stopping this not rewarding this.

My real problem is with refugee scams and I don't care where it comes from. I use Sri Lankan Tamils more so as an example to illustrate how easily Canada's refugee system is abused and not necessarily just to pick on them. They also seem to be the grossest of offenders where there are now more Sri Lankan Tamils in Toronto alone than in any major Tamil urban center, an accomplishment that was achieved in the span of about twenty years. You have to stop and ask yourself what the heck is going on?

SOS Canada said...

Why Sri Lankan refugees need Canadian Govt help to free Tamils from mass genocide by Sinhala Govt.
&&
Amnesty International Document - Sri Lanka: Incommunicado detention/Fear of torture\t

PUBLIC AI Index: ASA 37/018/2007
17 August 2007

The conflict in Sri Lanka between government forces, the LTTE and other armed groups has escalated since April 2006. Heavy combat between the security forces and the LTTE has been accompanied by over 4,000 deaths in the last 18 months. A ceasefire signed in 2002 has effectively collapsed.

The resumption of hostilities has been accompanied by reports of human rights violations by all sides involved in the Sri Lankan conflict. Unlawful killings, abductions and enforced disappearance of civilians are daily occurrences, as is arbitrary detention. Over the past year, over 1,000 people are believed to have been abducted by the security forces, the Liberation Tigers and other armed groups and over 1,000 unlawfully killed.

Anonymous said...

LOL @ justice

Pax a Sinhalese imposter masquerading as a Canadian??

Now that IS funny!

justice denied said...

PaxC,
Even if Canada prevents Tamils from getting asylum,no problem; the Tamils need Canadian Govt support to just survive in Sri Lanka, forget about human rights.Individual acts of cheating the system should not be used to label a whole community as cheats. Remember Tamils are not just fleeing persecution, but extermination.Many early settlers of Canada and USA were also fleeing persecution in Europe remember.Even Nelson Mandela is still labelled a terrorist by USA remember, and the Tamils never touched the hair of a Canadian.Canada should stop supporting the Genocidal Govt in Sri Lanka with money and arms--the flow of refugees would automatically stop.
UN: Reject Sri Lanka’s Bid for Human Rights Council
Don’t Reward Failed Promises to Improve Rights

{Quote passage}
In a letter to UN members, the NGO Coalition for an Effective Human Rights Council (www.hrw.org/effectiveHRC/SriLanka) noted that Sri Lankan Government forces have in the past two years been implicated in a wide range of serious abuses, including hundreds of extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances, widespread torture, and arbitrary detention. Sri Lanka obstructs the work of the council’s own appointed human rights experts, ignores their recommendations, publicly attacks senior UN officials who speak out on human rights issues, and has been unwilling to engage in serious discussions regarding UN human rights monitoring. The coalition noted in the letter that the armed separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam have long been implicated in serious human rights abuses, but says this provides no justification for government abuses.

[full article]http://hrw.org/english/docs/2008/05/06/slanka18757.htm

PaxCanadiana said...

sos canada:

Helping Sri Lanka achieve a peaceful resolution isn't an argument to maintain Canada's high acceptance rate of Sri Lankan refugee claims. By your logic every Sri Lankan Tamil is a refugee. Do you really think we should allow all of them into Canada?

PaxCanadiana said...

Individual acts of cheating the system should not be used to label a whole community as cheats.

What if they whole community are cheats? This is a legitimate question given the available facts. It has been documented that just as many applications are filled for return visas to Sri Lanka as are Sri Lankan refugee claims are made in Canada. This doesn't sound like a people fleeing persecution. Also, Sri Lanka ranks high on the list of refugee producing countries as well as the list of countries for family class applications. This suggests that the refugee claim is made not only for the individual but the whole family, including extended members, as well. The fact that Canada is home to the most Sri Lankan Tamils outside of Sri Lanka is also curious when geographically closer and culturally similar Indian State of Tamil Nadu is so nearby. Also, and I admit anecdotally, evidence was given where Canadian border guards were getting the same refugee story by succeeding Sri Lankan refugee claims. Upon investigation the claims were considered unsupported and the story lost its potency. Well, the story literally changed over night.

I'm sorry to say but I stand by what I write. I don't believe that Sri Lankan Tamils are real refugees. They can make their claims elsewhere but Canada was targeted because it is a first world nation. I don't blame them but it is abuse and it shouldn't be rewarded and that is my real issue.

justice said...

PaxC,
If you label a ' whole community as cheats' while ignoring the reports of Amnesty and HRW showing it otherwise, then you must be a racist Neo-Nazi.This ' whole community' argument was also used by Hitler to exterminate Jews,Ku Klux to persecute Blacks, Neoconservatives to invade Iraq, Protestants to kill Catholics, Settlers to kill native Indians etc.

CONGRATS ,YOU ARE IN GOOD COMPANY THEN.
Just remember, except native Indians ALL Canadians are migrants.

PaxCanadiana said...

justice:

I am asking legitimate questions given the facts that you haven't bothered to address. Aside from lecturing me on the persecution of the Tamils, which I don't contend, you have failed to give any legitimate argument as to why Canada should accept them as refugees when other avenues for flight are open to them the most damning being the flight to Tamil Nadu. Canada has every legal right to turn away every Sri Lankan refugee claim as outlined by the UN Declaration on Refugees.

then you must be a racist Neo-Nazi.

Ah, Goodwin's Law. Second time on this blog. As for being a racist, well, you know what they say about them: they're usually someone winning an argument with a liberal.

I have every right to point out abuse where I see it and I find it shameful when someone exploits a humanitarian program for his or her selfish ends. That's just disgusting and if a people are found out doing this then they should be shamed for it.

As for reports by amnesty and HRW maybe you should read what they have to say about the LTTE.

But most of all, don't bring your war here.

Anonymous said...

Well, I realize as an immigrant I have already become lower than dirt for a majestic native Canadian like yourself, but I'll attempt to make my point regardless.

Sadly, the unreported truth is that Tamils in Sri Lanka are the second tier of importance to the government. Development efforts will go to the Sinhalese areas first, then, perhaps, to the North. The prominent example of outright violence is Black July in 1983, and this was also at a time when Colombo had many Tamils. Sadly, the Tiger rebel group makes up the other half of the problem. The Tamil politicians who have wished to diverge from the LTTE and try to negotiate and settle peacefully with the government are killed. But, obviously, most people do not care about the country or it's people, as it's just some far off place with a weird name.

I'm not too sure where people have gotten the impression that the Tamil community, all of it, is war-mongering in Canada, even though the majority are simply regular people who live their lives. But I doubt this will really change your opinion.

Regardless, I am glad to know that I am a cheat.

Nunzio said...

99.9% of real refugees in Sri Lanka dont have a dime to flee the country. During the 80's and the 90's the Tamil Tigers funded 'boat people' and carried out mass human smuggling rings, people were promised of a better existence in a western country if they were willing to fund the Tigers and support their cause from overseas.

Leave it to our Canadian immigration and courts system, who shake at the first utterance of the word 'Genocide'.

Whilst Canada wasted it's tax payers money on sheltering terrorist the real victims of genocide in places like Dafur and Rwanda were forgotten.

I am a Canadian 100% lived here for generations and we are all of italian origin. I know all too well what the Tamils are doing in Italy.

Mohammed said...

Australia recently allowed a boat load of middle aged Tamil men in as refugees, they will find out in 10 years from now that they allowed a boat load of Tamil Tiger fighters, men who are cold blooded killers! See what the Tamil Tigers did to Muslims of Sri Lanka. They ethnically cleansed Muslims of the north and east for their Nazi like Tamil kingdom called EELAM.

http://www.spur.asn.au/kattankudi_muslim_mosque_massare_by_ltte_1.htm

Virendran said...

Pardon me if this is long but please do read it.

The dangers of Tamil chauvinism - The Hindu

The latest campaign in Tamil Nadu masterminded by a desperate LTTE must not be allowed to undermine the sound policy decision upheld by successive Indian governments since 1991 to stay out of Sri Lanka’s internal affairs.

Time appears to have stood still for most Tamil Nadu’s politicians who seem completely insulated from the complex ground realities that mark India’s new political landscape. India’s political establishment and civil society are anxiously grappling with the enormity of the horrific new threat to Indian society — terrorism — fast becoming an everyday reality on the streets. But oddly enough, seemingly oblivious of the contradiction, political parties in Tamil Nadu, led by the MDMK and the PMK, have recently plunged into high-pitched activity aimed at garnering support for the LTTE, a deadly terrorist organisation.

These parties have launched a campaign in the State ostensibly to express solidarity with the Sri Lankan Tamils trapped in the war zone in northern Sri Lanka but the timing of this campaign which appears to have materialised overnight, is a dead giveaway. The Sri Lankan army, just two kilometres away from the LTTE’s administrative capital, Kilinochchi, has successfully encircled the Tigers and their leader who are virtually trapped in their bunkers. For the first time in years, the Sri Lankan government appears to be on the brink of a major success in its battle with terrorism. There is now the very real prospect of the capture of the elusive LTTE chief, Velupillai Prabakaran, who is behind the assassination of a former Prime Minister of India, Rajiv Gandhi.

Tamil Nadu’s politicians clearly have different standards for India and for Sri Lanka. It would appear that they accept that battling terrorism in India and saving Kashmir from Islamist jihadis are important national tasks but not so in Sri Lanka which has been menaced for more than two decades by the LTTE. It was the LTTE which pioneered terrorism in South Asia and produced two generations of suicide bombers who have claimed numerous high-profile victims. For far too long have the legitimate aspirations of the Sri Lankan Tamils been held hostage to the hegemonic ambitions of the LTTE chief Prabakaran who has consistently sabotaged all attempts to find political solutions to the ethnic conflict.

When Pakistani generals and Islamist militants characterise the separatist uprising in Kashmir as a “freedom struggle,” the collective Indian national consciousness is understandably outraged. Politicians in India are rarely exercised over concerns that the human rights of innocent citizens are often trampled upon in police action against terrorists or their perceived accomplices. There is indeed a broad-based political consensus behind the Indian state when it takes strong steps to root out terrorism.

It is therefore all the more incongruous that the political parties in Tamil Nadu, including the ruling DMK and its principal challenger the AIADMK have decided to work themselves into a frenzy over the alleged violation of the “human rights” of the Sri Lankan Tamils in the context of the military action against the LTTE. Evidently, the game plan of the LTTE and its supporters is to rally Tamil chauvinist sentiment and translate that into pressure on New Delhi to signal its disapproval to Colombo, thereby weakening its moral authority in the eyes of the Sri Lankan Tamil community.

There is a strong sense of déjÀ vu, listening to the rhetoric and speeches of leaders in Tamil Nadu, whose understanding of the Sri Lankan political situation is mired in a time-warp, their images of the ethnic conflict drawing primarily from scenes of two decades ago, particularly the flashpoint of 1983, when the Wellikada prison massacre highlighted dramatically the plight of the Sri Lankan Tamil community and brought thousands of refugees to Indian shores. But after the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi, the Indian national psyche recoiled from a continued engagement with the Sri Lankan ethnic crisis.

Since the 1990s, New Delhi’s policy has been to acknowledge the terrorist character of the LTTE and the imperative of a military confrontation with that organisation, while continuing to offer moral encouragement to Colombo to find a political solution that would provide a framework to empower the Tamil community. Meanwhile, India made clear its utter repugnance for the LTTE by banning it not just because it was involved in the murder of Rajiv Gandhi but because it viewed the LTTE as a terrorist movement that would continuously strive to stimulate the secessionist sentiment in Tamil Nadu as long as Sri Lanka continued to have ethnic strife.

The situation in Sri Lanka itself has undergone profound changes since the 1980s, when it was easier to conceptualise purely political solutions and rule out military responses to the violent dimensions of the conflict. At that point in time, it was indeed possible to sideline the militant groups of Sri Lankan Tamil politics by engaging the political interlocutors in the Tamil community such as the urbane leaders of the TULF, notably Appapillai Amirthalingam, who recognised the key to political empowerment lay in the democratic process. But with the ruthless elimination of every credible interlocutor in the Tamil community by the LTTE which insisted that it was the sole representative of the Sri Lankan Tamils, the space for a political solution has narrowed over the years, rendering null and void the several exercises seeking a devolution of power to the Tamil community.

Yet the Thirteenth Amendment to the Sri Lankan Constitution which was a consequence of the Indo-Sri Lankan Agreement of 1987, envisaging devolution of power to provincial councils has become a touchstone for the resolution of the ethnic conflict. The Sri Lankan President, Mahinda Rajapaksa, has made it clear that he remains committed to a political solution of this sort. In a meeting with the All Party Representative Conference (APRC) last Saturday, Mr. Rajapaksa emphasised that it was the duty of the Sri Lankan state “to ensure to the Tamil people of the North the same democratic rights as enjoyed by the people in all parts of the country.” He also took care to explain that the military action against the LTTE was against terrorism and not against the Tamil community.

The Sri Lankan President has acquired unprecedented political space for his military campaign against the LTTE. Several factors including the rebellion of the powerful LTTE commander Karuna and the fact that there is now in place an elected provincial council in the Eastern Province have rendered irrelevant many of the points in the earlier Sri Lankan Tamil political platform. That there is a credible and workable political solution now in sight has made it easier for Colombo to launch military operations against the LTTE. It is indeed the sovereign right of Sri Lanka as it is of India to eliminate any terrorist organisation that poses a fundamental threat to its survival as a nation.

The parties in Tamil Nadu which have strong ties to the LTTE such as the MDMK and the PMK are in the forefront of this new campaign which has sprung to life overnight after decades of silence. Their rhetoric is dated and wearily familiar. The MDMK’s Vaiko, brimming with moral indignation, has lashed out at the Centre for allegedly sending military assistance to Sri Lanka which was “unleashing a genocidal attack on the Tamil race”. Likewise the PMK’s leader S. Ramadoss has alleged that “the situation on the island threatens to eliminate the entire Tamil race”.

That the LTTE’s shadow lurks behind this new campaign is evident in the demand of Dr. Ramadoss that the Union government recognise the “Eelam Tamils struggle for their rights.” There is also an implied acceptance of the LTTE’s claim to be the only authentic representative of the Sri Lankan Tamils in the declaration of Dr. Ramadoss that the LTTE is “acting as a fortress for ethnic Tamils.”

As the LTTE has presumably calculated, this binge of competitive chauvinism has compelled Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi to up the ante on this issue, adding for good measure, his own dramatic assertion that unless the Centre cooperates in stopping the attacks on the Sri Lankan Tamils, not only would the Sri Lankan Tamils perish but so also would the “Tamils in Tamil Nadu.” The strategic design behind the campaign to “express solidarity” with the Sri Lankan Tamils that is now under way in Tamil Nadu should not be underestimated.

For the last decade or so, New Delhi has successfully resisted the various attempts made by the LTTE and its supporters in Tamil Nadu to force it to intervene in the Sri Lankan ethnic crisis. If New Delhi were to express its disapproval, even implicitly, of Sri Lanka’s sovereign right to recapture its own national territory from the LTTE, it would weaken the moral authority of India’s own actions in regard to its struggle against terrorism and the separatist agitation in Kashmir. This latest campaign in Tamil Nadu masterminded by a desperate LTTE must not be allowed to undermine the sound policy decision upheld by successive Indian governments since 1991 to stay out of Sri Lanka’s internal affairs.