Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Canadian media condemn pro-LTTE rally

In a scathing Editorial on July 07, the The National Post of Toronto, Canada criticized the holding of a pro-LTTE public rally over the weekend that was held to denounce the Canadian Government's decision to outlaw the World Tamil Movement (WTM) following police investigations that linked it to terrorist activities of the LTTE.

Praising the Conservatives over their decision to outlaw the WTM, the Editorial chides the Liberals for their spineless policy of appeasing the LTTE.

The Editorial :

By Yoni Goldstein

It's the sort of sight that too often makes Canadian politicians go weak in the spine: ethnic voters rallying for a parochial, unsavory cause.

Over the weekend, thousands of Tamil Canadians gathered in a Toronto park to denounce Ottawa 's decision to outlaw the World Tamil Movement (WTM), which the RCMP believes is nothing but a fundraising front for the Tamil Tigers, a Sri Lankan-based terrorist group that has been outlawed in Canada since 2006.

Even by the standards of terrorist insurgencies, the Tigers are a brutal organization - a creepy cult-like outfit that habitually engages in massacres of civilians, and abducts children to fight on the front lines of its 25-year-old campaign against Sri Lanka's government. Its leader, Velupillai Prabhakaran, can fairly be described as the Hassan Nasrallah of South Asia .

Since much of the funding that enables the Tigers to fight their war comes from expatriate Tamils, the stakes in Canada are high. This nation is home to several hundred thousand Sri Lankan migrants of Tamil extraction. Many of them, small business owners in particular, have in the past been strong-armed by Tamil thugs into contributing war funds for the Tigers. (Those same entrepreneurs reportedly were told to shutter their stores over the weekend - to ensure a better turnout at the rally.) Should the Tories give in to the pro-Tiger lobby by legalizing the group, they would reopen the financial floodgates, which would in turn result in more weaponry for the Tigers, and therefore more dead Sri Lankans.

Since 1984, the Tigers have dispatched nearly 400 suicide bombers. The Black Tigers - the Tamils' suicide-bombing wing - is not particular about whom it presses into service. Men, women and children are all seen as potential human bombs.

Last year, a female suicide bomber walked into Sri Lanka 's defence headquarters pretending to be pregnant. But her tummy bulge in fact contained explosives. She missed killing the Sri Lankan chief of staff, but managed to take out 11 others. Just last month, in two separate attacks, Black Tiger bombers killed 27 passengers on civilian buses. This is the sort of cowardly tactic commonly employed by the men and women who were hailed as "freedom fighters" from the podium at last weekend's Toronto rally.

But over the last four months, the Tamils have suffered serious military losses. They have been largely expelled from their strongholds on the country's east coast, while some of their bases and arms depots in the north have been overrun by government forces. One of their senior commanders was sniped by a government rifleman. And over the weekend, 40 Tigers died when Sri Lankan soldiers captured an LTTE operations centre, perhaps their largest.

A contributing factor to the Tigers' poor battlefield performance may be traced to Canada's own government: As Canada, and other nations, have worked harder to shut off the flow of money to the Tigers from inside Western nations, Colombo has been able to establish a decisive advantage for the first time in a decade or more. Stephen Harper and his Conservatives should be proud that they took a stand against Tiger fund-raising. The Liberals, under both Jean Chr‚tien and Paul Martin, never had the political courage to stand up to Toronto-based Tamil voters. In some cases, Liberal glad-handers even showed up at Tiger-friendly events.

It is a shameful legacy, one that implicated every Liberal Cabinet member of the era - including several who loved to speechify against terrorism in other parts of the world. But Mr. Harper is cut from different cloth.

Canada has always been a nation of immigrants, one that welcomes newcomers from all over the world. But traditionally, the price of admission was that newcomers left their murderous old-world disputes at the door. In recent years, we have forgotten to charge this fee.

The result: disgraceful displays such as last weekend's rally - in which a group of Canadians unashamedly shouted slogans in support of a terrorist group.

It is enough to give multiculturalism a bad name.

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