Tamil rebels' capital falls
Tigers respond quickly with suicide attack in Sri Lankan capital, killing 3, injuring 37
Jan 03, 2009 04:30 AM
COLOMBO–Sri Lankan forces captured the Tamil Tigers' de facto capital yesterday, winning a major victory in a decades-long battle to destroy the ethnic separatists and crush their dream of establishing an independent state.
The rebels, who still control 1,600 square kilometres of northeastern jungle, swiftly sent a message they would fight on. They carried out a suicide attack near air force headquarters in the capital, Colombo, killing three airmen and wounding 37 other people, authorities said.
Sri Lanka's minority Tamils have long complained they are treated as second-class citizens, with Sinhalese used as the nation's de facto official language and members of the dominant group traditionally favoured for government jobs.
They also accused the government of sending Sinhalese settlers into traditionally Tamil regions to overwhelm them demographically.
The fall of Kilinochchi was a devastating blow to the rebels' dream of establishing a state for Tamils in the northeast after decades of marginalization by governments controlled by the Sinhalese majority.
The rebel-affiliated TamilNet website said the Tigers had moved their headquarters farther to the northeast before the town fell.
The fall of Kilinochchi was a milestone in a war that has killed at least 70,000 people and plagued this Indian Ocean island country of 20 million people over 25 years.
The conflict in Sri Lanka is not Canada's war but some Sri Lankan Tamil immigrants, a mostly refugee community, are trying to make it one. Not all Sri Lankan Tamils are doing this of course. Many, most I'd say, are just economic migrants and shameless opportunists who used the conflict (which is concentrated largely in the north east of the country unless a Tamil Tiger suicide bomber brings it to the streets of Colomobo) as an excuse to abuse Canada's refugee system for immigration purposes even though their lives are in no real danger. There is evidence to suggest that this is true but I don't care into that now but I have gone into it on other posts.
What I am concerned about is the use of Canada's refugee system as an escape plan by Tamil Tiger leaders and their relatives if they haven't done it already. I don't see why they wouldn't. Canada has an embarrassingly high acceptance rate for Sri Lankan refugees even though there is no real reason why Canada should be accepting Sri Lankan refugees at all whether they are Tamil or Sinhalese. Because of Canada's laughably high rate of acceptance for Sri Lankan refugees, a rate that went as high as 80% at one time but has fallen to around 75%, and the overall gullible nature of the refugee system Canada is home to the largest collection of Sri Lankan Tamils outside of Sri Lanka. This is an "honour" that curiously India, Sri Lanka's closet political and cultural neighbour, cannot boast.
It has been brought to my attention via this site that the wife of top Tamil Tiger leader Velupillai Prabhakaran has applied for asylum in Canada from the already safe haven of India. The fact that she is in India is grounds enough to deny her claim because India is a safe third country for her but such details hasn't stopped Canada from granting asylum to people who obviously don't deserve it. After all, we did grant asylum to Somali warlord Mohammed Farah Aideed second wife and four children who were living in London, Ontario and on social assistance. And, Canada still cannot deport convicted murderer and terrorist Mahmoud Mohammad Issa Mohammad.
With their backs to the Indian ocean the leaders of the LTTE, which I remind you is a banned terrorist group in Canada, may very well find their ways to Canada's shores and most likely Toronto's streets and why not? With a Sri Lankan Tamil community in excess of 200,000 it's a great place to hide, find community support, and with public health care to boot. And they may continue the fight from Canada as a "government in exile". This is a problem we don't need on top of Tamil street gangs and Tiger fund raising through bogus charity front groups but it is a problem we deserve if we continue to allow our smug sense of "compassion" blind us to the very real situation that most refugees to Canada are not real refugees.
I hope no LTTE leader is granted asylum in Canada but I'm not holding my breath. If Canada has proven anything to the despots, terrorists, and criminal organizations around the world is that Canada's compassion, tolerance, and protection extends to them to.