Spontaneous show of solidarity in Canada
[TamilNet, Sunday, 06 July 2008, 23:00 GMT]
In a spectacular show at short notice, more than 75,000 Canadian Tamils spontaneously gathered at Downsview Park in Toronto, Canada, for the Pongku Thamizh event, forging solidarity for the cause of Eezham, on Saturday. It was in fact a response to the oppressive policies of the International Community against Eezham Tamil nationalism, observers say.
A section of the participants in Pongku Thamizh event in Canada where more than 75000 participated on 05 July, 2008.
A stage programme
A section of the participants at the Downview park
Canadian Tamil participants with Tiger and Canadian flags
The Pongku Thamizh declaration at the gathering included seeking International Community (IC) recognising Tamil nationalism, Tamil homeland and self determination of Tamils; Canada to reverse the decision on the ban of LTTE and the World Tamil Movement and urging the IC, including Canada, to put an immediate end to the genocide of the Tamils by applying military, economic and diplomatic sanctions against Sri Lanka.
The key speaker for the event was Australia based Sri Lankan physician Dr. Brian Seneviratne, a member of the Bandaranaike family, who said international lobbying, strengthening the military might of the Tamils and influencing the Sinhala people to pressurise Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa to come to his senses are the three ways to end the sufferings of the Tamils.
The event started at 3:00 p.m. by ceremonious lighting of lamps by Paramu Visaaladchi, the mother of the late S.P. Thamilchelvan, former political head of the LTTE and Sukunam Pararajasingham, the wife of the late Joseph Pararajasingam, TNA parliamentarian from Batticaloa.
The venue was turned into a sea of red and yellow flags and balloons, while motorists trying to reach the site of the rally clogged many of the main roads.
The time and venue of the event was announced only by 6:00 p.m. on the previous day, to prevent sabotage by the agents of the Government of Sri Lanka, according to the organisers.
The rough estimate of Eezham Tamil population in Canada is around 300,000.
"It was compelling realities that made every fourth person to think it as his or her duty to attend the rally. There is enough message for the International Community to read," said the organisers.
Ms. Sugunam Pararajasingham, the wife of the late TNA parliamentarian, Joseph Pararajasingham, inaugurating the rally by lighting the lamp
Ms. Paramu Visaladchi, the mother of late LTTE Political Head S.P. Thamilchelvan, inaugurating the rally by lighting the lamp
Dr. Brian Seneviratne, a Sinhala expatriate Consultant physician from Australia is a cousin of the former Sri Lankan president Chandrika Kumaratunga Bandaranaike.
Participants carrying LTTE leader Pirapaharan's photo, Tamileelam and Canadian flags
A section of the participants in Canada Pongku Thamizh