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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2402

Solidarity week of the Tigers in Canada a flop

Toronto, 16 May, (Asiantribune.com): The seven-day solidarity week event organized by the Tigers in Canada failed to rally the Tamil community as in the past. It was attended mainly by the hard core Tigers while the Tamil community, by and large, kept away. Faced with the poor turn out the Canadian Tamils dismissed this 7-day event as a flop.

The decline in attendance is seen as a direct result of the action to ban the LTTE by the Canadian government. The Canadian media and the Police too have cracked down hard on the Tigers. After the Human Rights report was published, the national papers - Globe & Mail, Toronto Star and National Post – insisted on banning the Tigers. The Tiger media which used to boast about the thousands attending their events shied away from mentioning the number of attendees.

The Tiger campaign to force business establishments, sports clubs and other organisations to fly black flags, to wear black badges or arm bands too failed. Nor were there black flags on the houses of Tiger organisers or on the premises of Tiger establishments. It was also noted that Canadian politicians who used to fall over each other to attend these functions were conspicuous by their absence.

Ono one occasion their black flags backfired. They waved the black flags to some black youth who objected to it. They argued that it was wrong to wave black flags at them. They were objecting to the use of black colour to express their political anger.

The Tigers faced a backlash in their Tamil community radio talk shows. Angry callers asked: “Is this a protest rally or a solidarity event? If this is to show solidarity why are you flying black flags? Were they protesting against the Tiger ban in Canada? If so will it not be counter-productive and harden the attitude of government against them,” Tamils argued.

One angry caller said: “The Canadian government is not like TULF's Sampanthan, who fell at the feet of the LTTE after their leader Amirthalingam was assassinated by the LTTE, or EPRLF's Suresh who surrendered to the LTTE for his survival after his leader Padmanabha was killed by the LTTE on Indian soil or TELO's Selvam, who is at the mercy of the LTTE after its leader Sri Sabaratnam was killed by the LTTE. All these people unashamedly have fallen at the feet of the Tigers due to the LTTE pressure tactics. The Canadian government will never ever bow down to these threats."

The pro-LTTE Canadian Tamil Congress (CTC) is facing a tough time. When the media was campaigning against the forcible collection of money CTC argued that the people could go to the law enforcement authorities, which is one of the best in the world. Now that the CTC is complaining that the Tamil people are at the receiving end of investigations by the Police.

In the meantime, the Canadian Tamils for Peace (CTP) last week appealed to the Tamil community not to fall prey to the Tiger tactics and to boycott the Tiger events. In a press statement issued yesterday the CTP has thanked the Canadian Tamils for keeping away and making the solidarity week a non-event.

- Asian Tribune -

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