Speech to Tamil Action Committee rally in Montreal

Montreal, Canada, May 20, 2009 — I stand here today disgusted by the terrible crimes that have been committed by the Sri Lankan regime against the Tamil minority under the watchful eye of the government of Canada and its friends in Washington, London, Paris, New Delhi and even the United Nations.

Under the guise of the Bush-inspired “war against terror” war crimes and genocide have been committed against the Tamil population on this once beautiful island.

Earlier this year similar crimes were committed against the Palestinian people of Gaza, using the same excuse of “battling terrorism”. Israeli weapons are now being used against the Tamils in Sri Lanka.

What we are seeing is a terrifying trend toward the eradication of any peoples that dare to stand up for their rights and demand justice and equality.

The brave Tamil resistance in Sri Lanka and the strong role of the Tamil diaspora here in Canada and around the globe, supported by friends like you here today, has enabled the world to learn about the horrors suffered by the Tamils in Sri Lanka despite the regime’s continuing attempts to keep out journalists and independent agencies. This news blackout continues today along with denial of access to the Red Cross and UN agencies, despite the fact the regime says the war is over.

It appears that the Sri Lankan regime is using this time to cover up its war crimes by bulldozing and destroying evidence of the massacres in the so-called Safety Zone. Meanwhile US spy satellites are surveying the scene and can clearly see what is going on, but the government of Barack Obama refuses to tell the world the truth.

Hundreds of thousands of Tamils have now been left homeless and herded into sites resembling concentration camps financed by the United Nations, but which lack food and basic medical care.

Aid is starting to arrive but remains in the bloodied hands of the Sri Lankan regime. This regime is clearly responsible for war crimes, starvation of the Tamil population, use of cluster bombs and chemical weapons as well as high powered artillery and other killing machines.

For decades this regime, supported by Buddhist priests, monks and monasteries, has conducted a violent, racist and chauvinist campaign against the Tamil minority. The Sinhalese chauvinism fostered by the regime in Colombo has led to second class citizenship, oppression and exclusion for the Tamil minority, which after years of futile attempts to seek a peaceful means to right the wrongs done to them, chose the path of an armed Tamil resistance 26 years ago.

Here in Canada, our government has seen fit to sit back and allow the massacre to proceed, since it says the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) is a “terrorist” organization. Ottawa has also been deporting from Canada any Tamils who stand up for their rights or support the LTTE.

But the true terrorists are the Rajapaksa regime in Colombo and their imperialist backers in Ottawa, Washington, London and Paris along with their allies in New Delhi.

The International League of Peoples’ Struggle, the ILPS, supports the Tamil people’s just struggle for national liberation and democracy. The Tamil people have the right to national self-determination, including the right to secede from a chauvinist, oppressive and genocidal Sri Lankan state. They have the right to use all forms and means of struggle to realize their national salvation and aspirations.

There can be no true peace in Sri Lanka until the injustices against the Tamil people stop, until those in power responsible for the crimes have been brought to justice and concrete steps to ensure equal rights for all the peoples of Sri Lanka have been taken.

To this end we demand that Canada press the government of Sri Lanka to:

1. allow international humanitarian organizations to gain access and bring independent assistance to civilians trapped both in the so-called ‘safe zone’ and in the internment camps run by the Sri Lankan Army;
2. allow international media full and independent access to combat zones and internment camps; and
3. allow Tamil civilians being processed in internment camps to return home.

We also demand that Canada:

4. enact a moratorium on deportations to Sri Lanka;
5. push the UN Human Rights Council to hold a special session on Sri Lanka.

Finally, ILPS-Canada demands that Ottawa push for the perpetrators of the war crimes and genocide against the Tamil population in Sri Landa, including members of the Sri Lankan government, armed forces, police and other officials and individuals, to be brought immediately to justice.

The government of Canada must also remove the Tamil Tigers from the list of “terrorist” organizations. This listing has been used by the Sri Lankan regime to legitimize its attack on the Tamil people and renders Ottawa complicit in this slaughter.

Long live the struggle of the Tamil people for justice and equality!!
Long live the struggle of the Tamil people for national liberation and democracy!!

Malcolm Guy
International League of Peoples’ Struggle – Canada
e-mail: ilps.canada[at]gmail.com
May 20, 2009

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