Media battles continue with LTTE in Toronto


The media battle with LTTE continued in Toronto. We took them head on. There was no other choice for us. I responded to the mouthpiece, David Pooplapillai in the ‘National Post’ under Rights as a weapon - David Poopalapillai, Spokesman for the Canadian Tamil Congress , is hurt when Tamil Tigers are accused of murder and horror. It is laughable when he talks of human rights in Sri Lanka. Terrorists in modern times have begun to use ‘human rights as a weapon. Sri Lanka is a sovereign nation. It will always protect her people from ruthless terrorists and their supporters"

"The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam are known to be the masters of propaganda. So, it is not surprising that David Poopalapillai, spokesman for the Canadian Tamil Congress is calling for a UN monitoring mission and even blaming the Canadian High Commission in Colombo for problems there. Sri Lanka is a democracy. The Sri Lankan security forces has no hand in abducting its citizens country to the reports of various interested parties. I challenge people like Poopalapillai to arrange a visit to the torture chambers and the prisons of the Tamil Tigers. Recently it was proved that one ‘disappeared’ person turned out to be a suicide bomber. Keep in mind that Sri Lanka is fighting one of the most ruthless terrorist organisations in the world. Tamil Tiger supporters in Canada continue to raise funds and harass innocent Sri Lankans. Visitors to the Sri Lankan festival at the Harbour Front Centre in Toronto were recently harassed, as were the members of the visiting Sri Lankan cricket team. It is time for the Sri Lankan Diaspora to stand up against the Tamil Tigers and exert pressure on them to stop the violence"

In another article published in the ‘National Post’ I said a rally organised by the pro LTTE elements were sending a wrong message: "What are these Canadian Tamils doing taking part in a Toronto protest rally? They are abusing Canadian hospitality and trying to tarnish the image of a friendly country, Sri Lanka. If they had a little respect they wouldn't have carried the flags and displayed the face of their terrorist leader , Vellupillai Prabhakaran, a man more ruthless than Osama Bin Laden and killer of two world leaders. How could they defy Canadian laws and protest against Canadian Minister of Public Safety , Stockwell Day? Those people who carried flags of a terror group banned in Canada will carry AK 47s tomorrow. That is the danger. They continue to disgrace Sri Lanka because they lack grace. They are doing the same to Canada because they dont have grace. I have always maintained that all Tamils are not LTTE. Most of them are harassed and forced to slave for the LTTE, even in Canada. Others who are supporting the LTTE are doing it for their livelihood and to make a quick buck. They are true warmongers. If they really want peace to dawn in Sri Lanka, they must force the LTTE to lay down arms and agree to talk peace. I would like to extend an open invitation to the misguided LTTE supporters who are war mongering from the Canadian soil to come down from the ivory towers you live in. Remove your pinstripe suits, wear a sarong and a shirt. Come with me to Sri Lanka. Let’s work together to rebuild Sri Lanka"

LTTE websites continued to attack me even calling me a Sri Lankan military spy and called me ‘Ettappan’ in Tamil whatever that means. I haven't bothered to find its meaning even today.

Another to join the attack on Sri Lanka is the singer known as MIA or Mathangi Arulpragasam. In an article published in the respected Maclean’s magazine in Canada she slammed Sri Lanka. I dont think many Canadians were pleased either. I responded by saying, "I have no problem with Maclean’s -the only magazine in Canada I read with respect writing about Mathangi Arulpragasam, who now calls herself MIA. However, it becomes a problem when wrong information attempts to tarnish the image of my country, knowingly or unknowingly. The article states that Arulpragasam is the daughter of a prominent Tamil revolutionary. Unfortunately in Sri Lanka we do not have revolutionaries, only terrorists who try to separate the small island nation. All that we know is that her father was a member of the Eelam Revolutionary Organisation (EROS). Your writer also says " MIA was born in Britain, but returned to war torn Sri Lanka as a baby where she spent her early childhood with her family, dodging bullets and bombs fired by Sinhalese government force in their relentless pursuit of her father and his group" There is no war in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka is fighting what the FBI describes as the most ruthless terrorist group in the world, the Tamil Tigers of which EROS was very much a part. Sri Lanka does not have a Sinhalese government but a Sri Lankan government, just as Canada has neither an English government or a French government. Sri Lanka is a multi -ethnic, multi religious and a multi cultural country. It is best that MIA stays with what she is good at, which is music and not politics- not even paper planes. Those who have no respect for others will never be able to earn the respect even of a small child"

Though several Canadian politicians shamefully continued to support LTTE to get their votes, I had to remind that relationships are between two countries and not to let anyone hijack the bilateral relations. In an article published in the National Post ‘Rekindling our ties’ I wrote:

"Sri Lanka and Canada boast a long standing friendship. The road leading from the only international airport in Sri Lanka is known as Sri Lanka-Canada Friendship Road. Canada and Canadians have helped Sri Lanka immensely after the Tsunami, and a model village down south has a swimming pool named after Canadian singer Bryan Adams. The coach of the Canadian national cricket team is a Sri Lankan. These are tributes to our friendship.

We have, on several occasions, expressed our thanks to Prime Minister Harper and the Conservative government for banning the Tamil Tigers and the World Tamil Movement. Our two countries can rekindle the warm ties we enjoyed in earlier days. We can build stronger bridges of friendship between our two governments and our people. Recent visits by federal Heritage Minister Bev Oda and Parliamentary Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Deepak Obhrai to Sri Lanka are steps in the right direction- high level visits between our leaders and officials, as well as cultural and trade missions will help our people. Last week, we held an investment promotion meeting in Toronto and reached out to Canadian businessman of Sri Lankan origins, asking them to invest in Sri Lanka. The response was heartwarming."

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