Canada responsible for Tamils becoming refugees: NDP parliamentarian

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 28 September 2011, 20:38 GMT]
“The Government of Canada refused to act, refused to speak out, refused to demand an end to the atrocities. Canadians of Tamil descent came by the thousands to Ottawa to beg their country, to beg their Prime Minister to do something, to say something in the desperate hope that the slaughter of their families would end. The Prime Minister did nothing. Therefore, in fact, the government helped to create the refugees it denied in 2009 and 2010,” said New Democratic Party MP Irene Mathyssen, speaking on new refugee laws in the Canadian Parliament on last Friday. While the Conservative government of Canada was enacting a draconian law that would affect Eezham Tamils, the decision of the Conservative government in the UK for bulk deportation of Tamil asylum seekers shows orchestrated move of the Establishments across the world without solutions to a situation designed by them.

The following were comments heard from younger generation circles of the Canadian Tamil diaspora:

Eezham Tamils familiar with contended life style in their country do not want to go as refugees. Even a large section of those who have come, especially the older generation would rather prefer to go back if they could get their country.

But the genocidal State of Sri Lanka takes every possible action to make life miserable, intimidated and subjugated so that more Eezham Tamils would leave and the genocide would be complete. Sri Lankan government also actually doesn’t want the diaspora to return, as could be seen by its new regulations on visa requirements, land registration etc.

If the trend is allowed to continue unchecked, more and more Tamil refugees coming will be the outcome. The Establishments in the West know this. They tighten the refugee laws, have particular restrictions on Eezham Tamils, but do nothing to fundamentally remedy the situation. In another sense they now abet the structural genocide of State in Sri Lanka, as they abetted the genocidal war.

Canadian government was one of the key establishments of the 30+ countries that abetted the genocide of Eezham Tamils by tagging behind the USA.

The geopolitical benefits Canada and its Western partners may get now by upholding genocidal Sri Lanka are nothing compared to the revolution that may eventually come as a result of the persistent oppression.

Eezham Tamils do not ask Canada anything else. Let Canada recognize the country of Eezham Tamils, which is in fact a positive and meritorious move compared to the barbarian act of abetting genocide. Eezham Tamils will not come as refugees thereafter. But Canadians will be welcomed there with gratitude as partners in development, the younger generation circles said.

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Meanwhile, speaking in the Canadian parliament on the new refugee laws, Ms. Mathyssen pointed out that a section of the new law, by enforcing detention to refugees treats them as criminals and not victims. “In particular, section 245 (f) of the regulations states in part that a “victim having been under the control or influence of traffickers...is more likely to require detention”. This section needs to be eliminated. Many traffic victims are threatened with criminal or immigration exposure by their traffickers. That is preventing them from seeking help. Section 245 (f) assumes that these people are criminals and not victims. This simply reinforces the power of the traffickers. Steps need to be taken to help victims of trafficking or those in danger of trafficking instead of treating them like criminals,” she said.

“The Conservatives claim that the bill cracks down on human smuggling. That is not so. As it is currently written, it concentrates too much power in the hands of the Minister of Immigration and unfairly penalizes legitimate refugees. The government should, by all means, go after the criminals, the traffickers, the smugglers, but do not pursue a course of action like that proposed in Bill C-4 that jeopardizes the innocent and the vulnerable, Ms. Mathyssen observed.

Speaking specifically on the plight of Tamil refugees Ms Mathyssen said: “The other issue I want to discuss relates to the predecessor of Bill C-4, Bill C-49, introduced in the last Parliament in reaction to the arrival of the MV Ocean Lady and the MVSun Sea from Sri Lanka. When the MV Sun Sea arrived in B.C. in 2010, the government fanned the flames of fear and racism about the individuals on the boat by insisting that many of them may have had links to the Tamil Tigers. Without any investigation or efforts to determine who was on the ship or what they had endured, the government incarcerated 492 men, women and children and set in place barriers to their refugee claims.”

“The bill has been soundly criticized by the Canadian Council for Refugees, Amnesty International Canada, the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, the Canadian Bar Association and an expert panel at the Centre for Refugee Studies. They have told the government that Bill C-4 violates Canada's international human rights and refugee protection obligations. It violates charter protections against arbitrary detention and prompt review of detention,” the NDP parliamentarian pointed out.


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