Hitting the LTTE hard in Toronto


A youth in Toronto told me that the small plane which carried the banner saying ‘Protect Canada. Stop Tamil Tigers’ was sponsored by Ruwan Jayakody, a peace loving Sri Lankan Canadian living in Toronto. Sri Lanka should be thankful to Ruwan for digging deep into his pockets on behalf of Canada and Sri Lanka.

Youth groups carried out their activities exposing and shamming the LTTE terrorists in Canada courageously. They said enough was enough. They also held press conferences with the support of the Sri Lanka United Nationals Association (SLUNA) and took the battle to the LTTE in Canada.

Sasha Karunanayake, a seventeen year old student from L’ Amoreaux Collegiate, at the time described the LTTE protests as a fad and a social event among many unsuspecting and ignorant Tamil students. She told the Canadian media, " I am from a Sinhalese Sri Lankan background. I was harassed at a small counter -LTTE demonstration in Toronto. They were threatening us and writing down our license plate numbers" Without fear the teenager asked: "Why can they protest and I don’t have a voice?" "My freedom is being robbed in Canada by the Tamil Tigers," Sasha was quoted by the Toronto Star as saying; the principal of her school asked if she needed protection. She said she could take care of herself.

Members of SLUNA held a press conference and told the Canadian media that intimidation and extortion continued in Toronto’s Sri Lankan community despite a government ban on fundraising for the Tamil Tigers. Hasaka Ratnamala member of SLUNA warned the Canada on homegrown terrorism against its own people by the Tamil Tigers with collection of money under its very nose.

The group showed a video shot outside Kaveri Supermarket in Mississauga about LTTE activities on a day the pro-LTTE Tamils and LTTE in Toronto call Maaveerar Remembrance Day to honour "fallen freedom fighters". In the video, supermarket workers said they had been told by LTTE supporters to close the super marker for the event. He said that the intimidation tactics included smashing car windshields, looting homes and threats to shut down businesses. A 23-year-old Toronto University student who covered his face with a bandana and sunglasses told the Canadian media he feared reprisals from the Pro LTTE students because he was against the LTTE.

Another group came in to the forefront under the banner ‘Sri Lankan Canadian against Terrorism.’ It included not only Sri Lankan Canadians but, Canadians who hated the LTTE for discrediting Canada and for using its soil for terrorist activities. It was commendable for Sri Lankan Canadians to get involved with their activities though small in numbers. Even today, I do not want to come out with their names though I have met them several times since. They carried out an aggressive campaign which was later picked and used by the anti LTTE terrorist lobbies in Australia, England and several other groups and even in Sri Lanka.

I have decided to include some posters the group designed. It was devastating for the LTTE in Canada. Looking back I am glad I was the Consul General at the time in Toronto. I am sure this will bring a smile to the creator of these powerful posters since I am still in touch with him. He travels to Sri Lanka every year.

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