Tamil diaspora marks Sri Lanka independence day as black day

Friday, February 4, 2011

TORONTO - The Tamil diaspora in Canada marked Sri Lanka’s independence day Friday as a “black day” by wearing black badges.

“We join the Tamils back home in marking this day as a black day. The Tamil diaspora all over the world is mourning this day as a black day,” said David Poopalapillai, national spokesperson for the Canadian Tamil Congress (CTC).

“There will never be justice for Tamil under the current fascist regime in Colombo. Though 200,000 Tamils have been released from camps, there is no rehabilitation. These 200,000 people have become street people, with nowhere to go. Over 30,000 are still languishing in government camps,” he said.

The Tamil spokesperson said even Sinhalese were getting fed up with President Mahinda Rajapaksa and “very soon, they will rise up against his dictatorial regime as people have done in Egypt against Hosni Mubarak. Sri Lanka’s abysmal human rights will succumb to people’s thirst for freedom and justice.”

A separate Canadian Tamil Congress statement said, “Despite claims of a democratic, peaceful country, authoritarian rule is cementing its power in Sri Lanka. As the world witnesses the eradication of ruthless dictators in places like Tunisia, Egypt and Yemen, Sri Lanka is following an opposite path.”

Since the end of the armed conflict with the LTTE, the Sri Lankan regime has curtailed basic civil and political rights and crushed human rights of its citizens, the statement said.

Alleging large-scale abductions of citizens voicing opposition to President Rajapaksa by his para-military forces, the statement said, “Sri Lanka has failed to account to the international community for war crimes committed during the last phase of the war. It has failed to cooperate with the United Nations War Crimes panel appointed to investigate war crimes in Sri Lanka.

“The Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission appointed by President Rajapaksa, intended to investigate itself, has failed to make any meaningful inroads into resolving the long- standing and underlying grievances of the minority communities in Sri Lanka.”

Canada is home to the largest Sri Lankan Tamil diaspora of over 300,000 people, followed by Britain with about 300,000.

“The decision to mark February 4 as a black day has been taken unanimously by the Tamil diaspora all over the world,” said Poopalapillai.

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