Tamils on night-long protest in Toronto

May 16th, 2009 - 10:51 am ICT by IANS  

By Gurmukh Singh
Toronto, May 16 (IANS) With the Tamil Tigers on their last legs against the Sri Lankan forces, the Tamil community of Toronto is out in the streets in support of their `freedom fighters’.

After a gap of a day when the community virtually laid siege to the provincial assembly here Wednesday, the fresh Tamil protest erupted suddenly late Friday evening.

Thousands of Tamils quickly joined the protest as they started shouting slogans against Sri Lanka and marched through busy evening streets.

Young Tamil students, who led this sudden demonstration, wanted to speak to “some MP” from the ruling Conservative Party.

For more than five months now, no minister and MP from the Conservative Party government has met the protesting Tamils.

In fact, it was this government which banned the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) as a terrorist organisation and stopped fund-raising by the local Tamil community for the rebels.

Protesting Tamils blocked the busy intersections at the city’s famous Dundas Square before marching on to other streets.

A few policemen at the scene tried to persuade the protesters to lift the blockade by promising to pass their message on to the politicians.

“How can we sit at home when we are getting such grim news from the conflict zone? Sri Lanka has bombed the whole area and is out to finish its mission before elections results in India,” said Canadian Tamil Congress (CTC) spokesman David Poopalapillai.

“Tamils are emotionally so disturbed today that they don’t want to sit at home. We are marching towards the American consulate, and at least 5,000 people will stay on the streets through the night,” he said, as more and more Tamils joined the demonstration.

After the night protest, the Tamil leader said, much bigger demonstration are planned for Saturday.

Toronto is home to more than 300,000 Tamils - the largest group outside Sri Lanka.

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