Tamils seek Canadian intervention in Sri Lankan war zone

February 13th, 2009 - 12:30 pm ICT by IANS  

Toronto, Feb 13 (IANS) The powerful Canadian Tamil Congress (CTC) has again called upon Canada to put pressure on Sri Lanka to stop “genocide” against the civilians in the conflict zone.
“For far too long, the Sri Lankan government has operated with impunity, violating international human rights law and international humanitarian law, resulting in untold loss of lives, separation of families and psychological and mental suffering for the Tamil population,” CTC spokesman David Poopalapillai said Thursday.

“Not since the genocide in Rwanda have we seen a government inflict such atrocities on its own people.

“Clearly it is time for international action to prevent the Sri Lankan conflict from escalating any further and more innocent lives being lost,” Poopalapillai said in a statement here.

He said Sri Lanka has shown utter contempt for Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) which condemned Colombo for violation of human rights of Tamils.

“The humanitarian situation in northeastern Sri Lanka is beyond catastrophic (point) at this juncture,” added Vadivelu Santhakumar, president of the Canadian Medical Dental Development Association.

He said: “Hundreds of thousands of people are trapped in the conflict zone without access to humanitarian aid.

“Medical workers have been forced to leave, and the only working hospital in the conflict zone was forced to evacuate because of persistent shelling.”

The Canadian Tamil Congress said it will launch an “urgent international call for action on Sri Lanka”.

There are about 300,000 Sri Lankan Tamils in Canada, with most of them settled in the Toronto area.

Because of their concentration in a few constituencies, they have become an important vote bank for some Canadian politicians.

Not surprisingly, despite the Canadian ban on the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam which enjoys a huge backing from the Tamils here, many Canadian leaders have come out openly against the Sri Lankan campaign against the Tigers.

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