Feature Article

99.8 percent say yes to Tamil Eelam in Canada referendum

[TamilNet, Sunday, 20 December 2009, 08:49 GMT]
99.82 percent of 48,583 voters mandated independent and sovereign Tamil Eelam in the poll conducted in 31 centres across Canada, Saturday. The Canadian media and politicians showed great interest in the process of the ballot and organizers expressed satisfaction as 50, 000 was the expected turn out they quoted to media earlier. The poll was officiated by ES&S a professional company in North America that used counting machines. Unlike in Norway and France and contrary to earlier assurances, the ballot took place with complete registration of voters, which limited confidential participation, observers said. Voter turn out is assessed to be between 50 and 65 percent, but no authentic statistics is available on eligible Eezham Tamil voters.

48,481 (99.82%) voted 'yes' and 85 (0.18%) voted 'no'. 17 votes were rejected.

The enthusiastic participation of this many number of voters of all age groups in the democratic process and the committed work of nearly 2,000 volunteers impressed many Canadian observers.

Canadian media described the polls as ever independent nationwide referendum by a Canadian community across major Canadian cities.

ES&S, recognised as biggest International and North American election firm, managed and monitored the poll and the ballot choosing process.

Results were announced at a press conference held at the Delta Toronto East Hotel for 30 polling stations as results of Vancouver were awaited at 10:20 p.m. Toronto time.

Witnessing the referendum, Adam Giambrone, the chair of the Toronto Transport Commission and a Toronto City Councilor, said at the press conference that the figure speaks to an incredible democratic process and praised the voluntary efforts laid behind the success of the referendum.

"As a government official in the city of Toronto, I think that is incredibly important to recognise the importance of democratic process of the fact that close to 50 000 people from the country, many of them right here in Toronto, have got out, got informed, and stood with the elections when they went out and voted in the free and fair elections," he said. "That would give your community to stand up and speak for your issue knowing that they got the credibility of the entire community behind them."

Congratulating the 2,000 volunteers he said the thousands of voters who voted gave a credit to the community itself. It also reflected how the [Tamil] community in Toronto has been engaged in actually going out and voting as they have done earlier in Toronto provincial and federal elections.

The organizers, Coalition for Tamil Elections Canada opted for registration of voters with an idea this will be useful for future elections. Also it was a requisite for the company officiating the poll. But a leading Tamil media in Canada carried out a vicious campaign that this information could reach the Sri Lanka government and will affect any travel prospects of the voters to Sri Lanka.

The referendum is a helpful precedence to the elections for transnational government, said one of the organizers. The Canadian media too named the organizers as people who will be organizing elections for the transnational government. But ironically, transnational government’s organizers failed to say anything in favour of Saturday’s referendum.

The Canadian Tamil Congress, said to be the biggest Establishment of Eezham Tamils in Canada sounded discouragement on the referendum when it said that they “watch it with interest,”

More than 50 percent Tamil voters in Canada, participating at short notice, ignoring and defying the wishes of the Establishments in asserting to their political will has now silenced the adversaries, said one of the organizers. However, “there are lessons to learn”, commented a committee member organizing similar referendum in UK.

Meanwhile, Eezham Tamil masses re-mandating the main principle of Vaddukkoaddai Resolution in Canada Saturday was a sharp contrast to the meeting in Vienna this week, where sections of Eezham Tamil elite who have no confidence on the democratic will of their own people or have no grip on leading Tamil politics, met secretly to discuss ‘internal self-determination’ and Thimphu Principles just in order to fit into the agendas of powers, said one of the participants of the Vienna meet.

The referendum also took place at a time when Colombo plans to settle 100, 000 Sinhala soldiers in Vanni, China plans to bring in 25, 000 workers to the North, Sinhala capital will be flowing into Tamil areas, Sinhala settlers will be brought in to support the infrastructure and while India or the so-called international community has no answers to Eezham Tamils, said a Tamil official engaged in ‘development’ work in Vanni.

Calculatedly nurtured campaign that Tamils don’t want independence, orchestrated Tamil politics and media working for the above agenda and Establishments of Eezham Tamils gone obsolete by not reading the pulse of the masses could be challenged only through such referenda of people, said a Canadian university student.

Looking too close at events, some of the Canadian media miss larger issues, responded another youth. They delve into discussing insignificant issues about personalities, proscribed organizations and marginal groups, but miss the revolution that is taking place with Tamils, he said.

Referendum on Tamil Eelam in Canada
An elderly couple arriving for voting
Referendum on Tamil Eelam in Canada
Registration of voters
Referendum on Tamil Eelam in Canada
Voters in a booth
Referendum on Tamil Eelam in Canada
Voters in a booth
Referendum on Tamil Eelam in Canada
Voting in privacy
Referendum on Tamil Eelam in Canada
Use of counting machine by ES&S


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