Tuesday, 14 July 2009

This Is Not An Anti-Tamil Blog!

I'm posting this so I can set the record straight. I need to make clear that I am not anti-Tamil. I don't even know what anti-Tamil means.

It may appear to some that I am picking on Sri Lankan Tamils but it is not my intention to single them out for particular attention. I am just as frustrated with Sri Lanka's Sinhalese as I am with the Tamils. I know how each blame the other for igniting Sri Lanka's civil war but I know that the conflict is not as black and white as Sinhalese and Tamils make it out to be, that there are no "good guys" or "bad guys" per se. I do accept that Sri Lanka's Tamil's have grievances and some may find it hard to believe but I do not accept all pro-Sinhalese propaganda.

It's just that the Sri Lankan Tamil community, which is a segment of the Tamil community because not all Tamils are Sri Lankan, have exposed a weakness in the refugee system by their, I think anyways, targeting of Canada for immigration purposes via the refugee stream.

I have pointed out many times before that there are at least three other options Sri Lanka's Tamils should have pursued before considering Canada, all acceptable by the UN.

The first is called internal flight. This is the finding of refuge within Sri Lanka such as the capital city of Colombo or elsewhere, away from the fighting which was concentrated in the country's north east.

If the first option cannot be exercised then the second option would be to flee to the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu which is literally across the street from Sri Lanka. Tamil Nadu is culturally and linguistically Tamil. By fleeing to Tamil Nadu not only would Sri Lanka's Tamils be in their cultural and linguistic element they would also be a lot closer to friends and family still in Sri Lanka.

Failing to exercise either of the above options then the third would be to make an asylum claim in the first safe country of passage. This is stipulated by the UN to prevent what is called "asylum shopping". Since there are no direct links between Canada and Sri Lanka, for Tamils to finally reach Canada to make an asylum claim they would have to come from Europe or the United States or elsewhere. Indeed, if I recall correctly almost half of all Sri Lankan refugee claims are made at the U.S./Canada border. Since the passage of the Third Safe Country Agreement between Canada and the United States refugee claims from Sri Lanka have dropped significantly though the acceptance rate still remains relatively high and Sri Lanka is still, to date, in the top ten of refugee producing countries.

Now, after all of that I find it strange to know that Toronto is the largest Sri Lankan Tamil city in the world. There are more Sri Lankan Tamils living in Toronto than any major city in Sri Lanka including Jaffna. There are more Sri Lankan Tamils living in Toronto than all of Tamil Nadu. There are more Sri Lankan Tamils living in Toronto than in the United States or any individual European country. It is estimated that the expat Sri Lankan Tamil community world wide numbers at 800,000. If that figure is true, and if the estimated number of Sri Lankan Tamils in Canada is accurate, then over 1/4 of all expat Sri Lankan Tamils live in Canada.

Like I said I find this strange since Canada has no historical or cultural ties to the island nation. I'd say the vast majority of Canadians cannot find the country on the map. Before the protests few people in Canada knew who Sri Lankan Tamils were even though they have been in the country for two decades and in such a large number.

Sri Lankan Tamils are not evil. I'm sure most are decent hard working people. But abuse of the refugee system is abuse of the refugee system. I don't care how nice you are concocting a persecution story to lie your way into my country is shameful on you and an insult to me. I have no problem with Sri Lankan Tamils immigrating to Canada as principal applicants but I don't think that is the case with the Sri Lankan Tamil community. I think most are economic migrants who posed as refugees to get into Canada who were later followed by their relatives. If you think I don't know what I am talking about then think of how many Sri Lankan Tamils you know who have returned to visit Sri Lanka, the land of their persecution.

Sri Lankan Tamils are not alone in the exploitation of Canada's naive refugee system. Canada recently slapped Visa restrictions on Mexico and Czech Republic due to the large influx of refugee applications from both countries. Canada gets fraudulent claims from India, China, South Korea, Israel, and the United States.

You see, Canada's refugee system is to blame not Sri Lankan Tamils or anyone else. Canada's laws encourage abuse and too often rewards it. To point fingers at any one particular community for abusing the refugee system is disingenuous because the blame lies with Canada. Everyone in the world knows that if you are going to make an asylum claim Canada is the place to do it. When word gets out how easy it is to get into Canada then the rest follow. That is why Canada also has the largest expat Somali community in the world.

I may have given more attention to Sri Lankan Tamils but it really wasn't my intention. But in doing so I illustrate the easily abusable nature of Canada's refugee system in hopes of bringing some credibility back to it to serve those who lives are in real danger and not to fulfill some immigration lawyer's quota or some wannabe immigrant's dreams of living a western life of shopping malls, two door garage houses and socialized health care.


Anonymous said...

Well said!

We should really void, abolish or do away with the false representation of the emotionally-charged word of "refugee" as used in today's lexicon.

How about "professional tourist"?

It has lost all meaning in the true sense of the word.... much like the word "racist" can mean everything from looking sideways at one of Canada's protected classes to anyone having the audacity to challenge the religion of multi-culti, which I express with disdain.

Tamizhan said...

I understand your concern but I would also like to make few points here,

1. To your first option to stay in other parts of Sri Lanka - They are fleeing because they are afraid of the government. So there is no chance they could stay in any part of Sri Lanka.

2. Second option to move to Tamil Nadu - You should know how Sri Lankan Tamils are treated in Tamil Nadu, they are in camps and if at all there is any issues then these are the people who gets trouble first.

When they are out of the above 2 options then they choose a country which is very safe.

These are my understandings and it maybe wrong.

k.veeramuni said...

pls visit once.this 4 tamilbloodhood

iamnotatamil said...

I do not know who this person who claims that there are more Sri Lankan tamils living in Toronto than in the state of Tamil nadu,does this person know what is the population of Tamil nadu.First let him get the facts right.More over the Sri Lankan tamils were denied access to education in Tamil nadu,and then they were confined to camps to live like animals.Well i understand that you are not a racist as such,any way thank you for not being racist.

Anonymous said...

not only are eezha tamils in camps in india, they cannot get work permits, which means they can't get a legal job. this is true even for a kid born on indian soil to refugee parents. living your entire life in a refugee camp and never being able to have a legal job might be "acceptable to the UN" but would you find that an acceptable life?

refugees try to come to canada because there are already other many tamil people there, so they can have some support in making the transition, and because they probably know some english already (and don't know thai).

PaxCanadiana said...

not only are eezha tamils in camps in india, they cannot get work permits, which means they can't get a legal job

As if that's even a real issue. India is a totally corrupt nation and you can get around that. I doubt it is even enforced that well.

And how dangerous is Sri Lanka to Tamils anyway? You couldn't go to Colombo or any area in the south? Please tell me how all of Sri Lanka is dangerous to all Tamils. And please tell me why Canada and no other country in the world is safe for Tamils.

refugees try to come to canada because there are already other many tamil people there

There wouldn't be as many here in Canada in the first place were it not for the Singh Decision and an agenda driven refugee industry that grew out it that allowed this refugee nonsense to start and continue.

I should point out that when the Singh decision was passed in 1985 the first to take advantage of it were Sri Lankan Tamils (many LTTE operatives) and Punjabi Sikhs who were sent to test the waters. Once things proved to be okay then the flood came.

The real question is were they legitimate refugees. I doubt the majority of them were.

Anonymous said...

Many thanks for the person who wrote this.
First of all I am a Sinhalese, a sri lankan born and living in SL. I don’t deny Tamils went through many troubles here in SL and SL gov didn’t do its duty as a gov. but most of the things u see in media especially west are propaganda spread by tamil tiger propagandists. Many of the things u see are exaggerated or fabrications.
1.In Colombo more than 30% is Tamil while more than 50% is Tamil speaking.
2.Central Highlands in SL, the culture capital of the Sinhalese have a very large tamil community mainly brought by the British as labour from india diluting Sinhala demographics. U can check in google if u type, Nuwara Eliya, Kandy, etc.
3.Tamil like all other Lankan citizens in SL get FREE education and FREE healthcare and they enjoy all these facilities and go on the world over spreading lies and exaggerated stories.
4.Especially in SL, tamils have the right to education and good life that they hardly find in Tamil Nadu.
I am not anti Tamil. I want tamils to return to my country and be a part of larger lankan community, but their propaganda against SL to simply get refugee status in west is wrong.