Youth take on the LTTE


Light-aircraft displaying anti-LTTE banner

An anti-LTTE‚Äąprotest

It is not only Senior Sri Lankans in Canada but also the Sri Lankan Canadian youth who were motivated to fight and defend Sri Lanka in Canada. They organised themselves as Sri Lankan Youth of Canada. LTTE terrorists were getting more and more aggressive and violent with each new day. They were intense and ruthless. They carried out violent campaigns mainly in the universities and even public places.

The LTTE wanted to provoke the peace-loving Sri Lankan Canadian youth. I would say that most university students faced the brunt of such attacks. York University was an LTTE den. President of the York University, Sri Lankan Student Alliance, Daminda Amarasinghe was threatened on numerous occasions. He said at one point someone had come behind him and threatened with what he felt like a revolver. I remember meeting him at my residence. His parents were worried. But, the lad was brave. He said that he wasn't afraid and would not give up his fight.

The Sri Lankan flag was burnt along with the Sri Lankan made products bought from the stores within the York University premises. The LTTE wreaked havoc on other places. They always tried to prevent Sri Lankan Canadian youth from showcasing Sri Lanka to Canadians. The LTTE wanted to make Sri Lanka to be already divided and it had carved out a separate state. It played the word genocide to brainwash unsuspecting Canadians.

Many parents said that even the Sri Lankan girls were harassed and attacked by the LTTE youth who were brainwashed by their adults. Most of these youth who supported the LTTE hadn't even visited Sri Lanka since their birth in Canada. Sri Lankan Youth of Canada did not want to adopt the same tactics as the LTTE. I met them several times and encouraged them and extended the fullest support of the Sri Lankan government. The youth who were at the forefront were Prathap Perera, brother and sister Kamlesh and Sasha Karunanayake, Rasitha Ferdinando, Asantha Fonseka, Ruchira Welikala, Lilan Samaradiwakara, Kushmin Balasuriya, Sara Michaely and many others whose names I cannot recall unfortunately. If I remember right, the youth were ably supported by a firebrand member of SLUNA, Hasaka Ratnamalala. Hasaka was a fighter and he did have hot blood. Lenin Benedict, another fighter, a Sri Lankan Tamil Canadian who was continuously threatened and harassed by the LTTE in Canada also lent his support to the youth group.

Sri Lanka Youth group of Canada printed over 40,000 leaflets giving the true picture of Sri Lanka and distributed them at railway, subway stations and down town Toronto and the Toronto Centre where they met with stiff resistance from the LTTE. The youth did a wonderful job with very attractive posters and leaflets targeting the Canadians showing the similarity between the LTTE in Sri Lanka and Canada. The LTTE activists far outnumbered the Canadian Sri Lankan youth. But, the latter were not deterred by the intimidating tactics of the former. Canadians expressed solidarity with the Youth after reading the leaflets by waving and honking. The youth also prepared a massive 40-foot banner and held if over the Don Valley Park Highway with the slogan, ‘Protect Canada. Stop the Tamil Tigers!’ They needed over 10 people to hold the banner. A youth leader told me how many were scared to come and help them for fear of getting attacked by the LTTE. When the youth held the banner once at Englinton Avenue, the LTTE rushed there to force the youth to remove the banner. The police intervened and dispersed both groups. The LTTE groups took down the numbers of the cars used by the Sri Lankan youth who had displayed the banner. That was how the LTTE intimidated the people in Canada. In another instance while the LTTE was trying to harass the protesting Sri Lankan Youth the Toronto police arrested the marauding LTTE supporters since the youth had informed the Police earlier and they were under the watchful eyes of the Toronto cops who were always supportive of Sri Lanka unlike the self-serving selfish Canadian politicians. I have to continuously pay tribute to the Canadian cops for their support and understanding Sri Lanka and, above all, realizing that Canada’s policy of harbouring terrorists and terror backers posed a threat to that country’s national security.

Soon the LTTE realised that its activists had met their match in the Sri Lankan youth who had the courage to take on terrorists. One of the youth leaders, Kamlesh Karunanayake, told me, "Some LTTE terrorists were in LTTE fatigues. That was when we decided to get a plane to circle the downtown area with the message that Canada needed to keep the Tigers away from Canada"

With the support of several people and their generous contributions the Sri Lankan Youth group turned the tables on the LTTE and hired a small plane at a time when the LTTE terrorists and its supporters staged a massive demonstration and a ‘human’ chain in downtown Toronto. The LTTE rally which was staged during the rush hour virtually brought downtown Toronto to a halt. Earlier, the Tigers had hired a similar plane and tried to disrupt the Sri Lanka Day at Harbour front and the Sri Lankan cricket team’s tour of Canada. On the day of the massive LTTE rally, they did not expect that Sri Lankan Canadians would carry out such a brave act. It was our turn. The Tigers were shell shocked when the plane with a banner, "Protect Canada. Stop Tamil Tigers!" circled above their rally. They, sure, got a taste of their own medicine!

Next Week : More heroics of Sri Lankan Canadians


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