The Conservative Party vilifies Canadian Tamils as Criminals and Smugglers

April 01, 2011

Toronto.

Rt. Hon. Stephen Harper, PC, MP.
Prime Minister of Canada
Prime Minister office
Ottawa.

The Conservative Party vilifies Canadian Tamils as Criminals and Smugglers

Dear Prime Minister,

I am amused that there is so much outrage over the Conservative Party Ad in the media described widely as appealing to the worst instincts of Canadians to score political mileage over the Liberals and the NDP.

I for one have nothing but great admiration for the candour and blunt language used to vilify and slam Tamils as  smugglers and criminals. The  Ad touts the Tories’ proposals to crack down on human smuggling and features an image of the cargo ship MV Sun Sea which brought 492 poorest of the poor Tamil migrants to B.C. last summer. It calls the Tamils aboard “criminals” who are  trying to abuse Canadian generosity. The Ad purports to single out the Tamil community for vilification and hatred.

But.  this is not the first time that boat people have been  turned back. In  1914  Sikhs and Hindus on board the Kamagata Maru,  in 1939  a total of  937 Jewish refugees on board the MS St. Louis fleeing  Nazi  oppression were also  vilified and branded as  “criminals” and “smugglers.” For the record, a total of 254 passengers of the M.S. St. Louis were put to death on their forced return to Germany.

Only those who are ignorant of the extreme rightwing dogma of the Conservative Party are making noises that the Ad  is an affront to the Tamil community.  In reality it  is not.  The venom spewed  is entirely in keeping with the agenda of the Conservative Party that desires to unite the globe in the name of American-style Democracy, whether other countries like it or not go for wars.  Conservatives are the ones who involve us in foreign wars that have nothing to do with us. I am pretty sure had you been in power in 2003 you would have dragged Canada into war against Iraq!

The unfriendly reaction may be due to another mistake or misunderstanding! They mistake the Conservative Party under your leadership is the same Progressive Conservative party under Brian Mulroney. They seem to suffer from selective amnesia that the Conservative party under your leadership is a clone of the Reform/National Alliance party of Peter Manning. You metamorphosed from being leader of the Canadian Alliance Party to leader of the rebranded Conservative Party in 2003. This was the second attempt to rebrand the western-based Reform Party; after a name change to Canadian Alliance did not convince Canadians it was less ideologically right wing and more moderate like the Conservatives. It is the Reform Party elements that carried forward into the new Conservative Party largely anti-immigration attitudes. The Conservative Party’s strong roots to Reform Party and Canadian Alliance are a lethal combination and this fact has been forgotten by some over ambitious Tamils seeking office and perks.

The Progressive Conservative governments led by Brian Mulroney raised immigration levels from 85,000 in 1983 to more than 260,000 in 1990. He received with open arms the first boat load of Thamil refugees in 1987. He brought in the Multiculturalism Act. He brought in more generous family reunification policies, which are the most popular element of immigration policy. I am one of those who benefitted out of his generosity.

Joe Clark set up a special program to welcome the Vietnamese boat people. John Diefenbaker eliminated racial and country-of-origin considerations in the immigration system. But, as already mentioned that Conservative Party under you is an entirely different kettle of fish.

Jason Kenny, the rising star has vigorously defended the ad saying he will not apologize for tactics that have kept Thamil refugee claimants in prison despite court orders for their release. And in a comment that sounded alarm bells for some observers, Minister Jason Kenney said he would tell government lawyers to continue using guerrilla tactics that a Federal Court judge said went too far.

“We make no apologies about this. That’s what Canadians expect us to enforce immigration law and make sure people who may constitute a security risk are not released,” Kenney said in  Vancouver.

Last week, Justice Edmond Blanchard slammed the federal government for exploiting a legal loophole that could keep some of the migrants who arrived in B.C. on a boat from Sri Lanka in prison forever.

To sum up the Tamils are extremely naïve to think the ad is in bad taste that borders on racism. They forget the fact that the ad was addressed to the white constituency of the Conservative party to harvest their votes. You know this so is Jason Kenny our Minister of Citizenship and Immigration.

I feel only sorry that in demonizing the boat people you cut the ground under the lone Tamil Conservative candidate contesting in Scarborough South West riding. But, I do understand that in the drive  for power it is unavoidable to sacrifice him at the alter of political expediency.

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

Veluppillai Thangavelu
President
Thamil Creative Writers Association


பிரதமர் கார்ப்பரின் மறுமுகம்

பழமைவாதக் கட்சியின் தலைவர் ஸ் ரீபன் கார்ப்பரின் சாந்தமான முகத்தின் பின்னால் ஒரு தீவிர வலதுசாரிக்குரிய முதலாளித்துவ கொள்கை, கோப்பாடு இருப்பதைப் பலர் அவதானிப்பதில்லை. அதனை முழுமையாக அறிய வேண்டும் என்றால் கார்ப்பர் கடந்த பல ஆண்டுகளாக பயன்படுத்தி வந்த சொற்றொடர்களை, கருத்துக்களைச் சற்று ஊன்றிப் படிக்க வேண்டும். அப்படிப் படித்தால் கார்ப்பரின் மறுமுகம் தெரியவரும்.

குடிவரவாளர் தொடர்பாக – உங்களுக்கு ஒன்று நினைவில் இருக்க வேண்டும். வினிபெக்குக்கு மேற்கே லிபரல் கட்சி வைத்திருக்கும் தொகுதிகளில் ஒன்றில் ஆசிய குடிவரவாளர்கள் அல்லது  அண்மையில் கிழக்கு கனடாவில் இருந்து குடியேறிய புதிய குடிவரவாளர்கள் ஆவர். இவர்கள் குப்பங்களில் வாழ்கிறார்கள்.  இவர்கள் இன்னமும் மேற்குக் கனடிய சமூகத்தோடு ஒருங்கிணங்கப் படவில்லை.

மனித உரிமை ஆணைக்குழுக்கள் – அவை எமது அடிப்படை சுதந்திரங்கள் மன்றும் அடிப்படை இருப்புக்கு எதிரான தாக்குதல்கள் ………………………. உண்மையாகச் சொன்னால் அது ஏதாச்சதிகாரம் ஆகும். இது எனக்குக் கிலியை உண்டாக்குகிறது.

இருமொழிக் கொள்கை – இது தோற்றுப் போய்விட்டது. இது நியாயத்தை ஏற்படுத்தவில்லை. ஒருமைப்பாட்டை உருவாக்கவில்லை. மாறாகக் கனடிய வரியிறுப்பாளர்களும் மில்லியன் கணக்கில் செலவை ஏற்படுத்தியுள்ளது.

லிபரல் கட்சி பற்றி –  கடந்த 30 ஆண்டுகளாக லிபரல் கட்சியின் அடிப்படை மூலோபாயம் என்னவென்றால் மேற்கை (மேற்கு கனடா) வஞ்சித்து ஏனையவர்களுக்குக் கொடு என்பதாகும்.

மருத்துவ பராமரிப்பு – காப்புறுதியை அடிப்படையாகக்   கொண்ட மருத்துவ பராமரிப்பு முறை இருந்து அதற்கான செலவை எமது கையினால்  கொடுப்போமே ஆனால் மருத்துவ பாரமரிப்பு என்பது ஒரு சிக்கலே அல்ல.

பிரஞ்சுமொழி பற்றி – கியூபெக் மாகாணத்தில் பிரஞ்சுமொழியின் பாதுகாப்புக்கு தனித்த  தகமை வழங்கப்பட வேண்டும் என்பது வெறும் பொய்யாகும்.

வறுமை பற்றி – வறியவர்களுக்கு உதவ வேண்டும் என்பது மாகாண அரசின் பொறுப்பாகும். அது மத்திய அரசைப் பொறுத்தது அல்ல.

மேற்குக் கனடா புறக்கணிக்கப்படுவது பற்றி – நாங்கள் கனடாவை நேசிக்கலாம். ஆனால் கனடா எம்மை நேசிப்பதில்லை……. அல்பேட்டா மாகாணத்தை வலுமை உள்ள மாகாணமாக மாற்றினால் நாட்டில் உள்ள மற்றவர்கள் எங்களைப் பயமுறுத்தப் பயப்படுவார்கள்.

கார்ப்பர்,  யோ கிளாக், ஸ்ரொக்வெல் டே,  யேன் கிரச்சியான், பீரே ருடோ உட்படப் பலரை அவர்கள் செய்த்தாகச் சொல்லப்படும் பாவங்களுக்காக தாக்கியிருக்கிறார்.

இந்தச் சொற்றொடர்கள் கார்ப்பரின் நம்பிக்கைகளையும்  ஒட்டாவோடு அல்லது முற்போக்கு அரசுகளோடு  தொடர்புடைய எல்லாவற்றைப் பற்றியும் அவர் வெறுக்கும் தன்மையைக் காட்டுகிறது.  (ரொறன்ரோ ஸ்ரார் – ஏப்ரில் 28, 2011)


Dear All

It is a shame some Thamils are defending and supporting the Conservative Party’s platform  on the spurious grounds that they have to “Get in” to get heard. That may be somewhat understandable a year ago, but not  anymore.

The C-49 Bill borders on racism. As the columnist below  rightly points  out Jason Kenny, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturism is one of the prominent politicians “attempting to gain sympathies  with immigrant voters, while simultaneously spouting racist rhetoric.” As a matter of fact it is not rhetoric it is unadulterated cold fact.

The CP is anti-immigrant and racist. To help the CP in any way is downright political opportunism if not gross betrayal of not only Sun Sea Thamil immigrants, but all immigrants.

The CP should be stopped on its tracts before it is too late.  CP with a majority in parliament will wreck havoc on immigrants.  Jason Kenny has vowed to  resurrect the doomed  Bill C-49 if the CP forms a majority government.

So let us do everything within our power to defeat the Conservatives in the GTA   on May 2nd.

The first choice of Thamil voters should be the NDP.  In Scarborough Rouge – River riding  Rathika Ssitsabesan is the natural choice. We should also help NDP leader Jack Layton (Toronto Centre) and Olivia Chow in Spadina.

NDP is the only party to articulate our concerns inside and outside parliament in the strongest possible means.

NDP MP Peter Julian from British Columbia put forward a motion to ask the Sri Lankan Government and the United Nations to work together with the international community to establish an international investigative body. The body will be responsible for investigating the war crimes that were committed in Sri Lanka during and after the war. A similarly worded motion unanimously passed in the U.S. Senate recently. International Crisis Group, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty international have also called for similar action in Sri Lanka.

In anticipation of this motion, the NDP approached Liberal, Bloc Quebecois and Conservative Parties as well as the two independent Members of Parliament in the House of Commons who had committed support prior to the tabling of the motion.

Subsequently, the Conservative Party has failed to follow through on the commitment and as a result the motion was defeated on Friday, March 25th 2011.

The Conservatives have refused to stand up for the safeguarding of human rights that are very much a part of core Canadian values.  Ironically this is the same Conservative government that is spearheading the  NATO  bombing of Libya in support of rebels fighting Gaddafi’s forces.

 

VT


Federal Elections and Canada’s Immigration Policy

 

By Harsha Walia 5 Apr 2011 COMMENTS(4) Vancouver Sun Community of Interest

Filed under: Immigration, economic activity, Kenney, refugees, Federal Election

Federal politicians have been attempting to gain sympathies with immigrant voters, while simultaneously spouting racist rhetoric.  A Conservative party ad depicts the MV Sun Sea carrying 492 Tamil refugees as “criminals who target Canadian generosity”. Despite the fact that Immigration Minister Jason Kenney must be (or should be) versed in refugee law and the internationally upheld reality of irregular migration, he justified the ad: “Anyone who’s coming to Canada illegally is breaking our laws.”

Such statements are not only misleading, they are deliberately irresponsible in facilitating and feeding off a growing anti-migrant sentiment. An Ottawa Sun editorial, for example, parroted that the migrants are “queue-jumpers, scam artists, back-door home invaders, plus a terrorist or two…Truth is, none is even a bona fide refugee”, and suggested firing on the ship: “Lock and load would be our approach.”


Immigration advocates — whom Jason Kenney disparagingly refers to as the immigration industry lobby, as if raising issues of human rights is comparable to greedy corporations lobbying for tax breaks — have been pointing to the increasingly exclusionary immigration and refugee record of Canada, itself a nation built on the settlement of Indigenous lands.

A recent United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees report indicates that the number of asylum applications to Canada has fallen 30 per cent. The number of refugees granted permanent residence dropped by 25% under Jason Kenney; in fact according to Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s own 2009 report, the number of refugees who had their asylum claims approved dropped by 56% in 2008 from 2005. In 2010, there were 8,466 Pre-Removal Risk Assessment applications made by asylum-seekers facing removal orders. Only 89 were approved. According to figures in the Canadian Press, deportations have skyrocketed 50% over the last decade.

None of these facts can substantiate a claim of a ‘generous’ refugee system.  Some of Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Board adjudicators, such as David McBean, have a zero-percent acceptance rate. A recent CTV News report revealed that government lawyers and judges were forcing Tamil refugees in detention to pay back thousands of dollars in smuggling debt in order to be released from jail.

While the government boasts a record number of immigrants, the government was actually cutting overall immigration by 5%. The number of family class immigrants accepted has dropped by 10,000 since the Conservatives took power.  This is a 15% decrease. Despite assuring Parliament that the parents and grandparents visa category would remain stable, Jason Kenney was slashing these visas by 25%. This now means a wait of up to 14 years, while the government collects millions of dollars in sponsorship application fees. The government has similarly decreased skilled worker visas by about 20%.

So who are all the migrants coming into Canada? Temporary migrant workers.  The number of temporary foreign workers is up 30% over the past four years and in 2008 for the first time Canada received more people on temporary work permits than as permanent residents.

The ballooning numbers of temporary workers alongside plummeting numbers of permanent residents is no coincidence. It is not actually in Canada’s interests to shut its borders to immigration since Canadian businesses need a pool of exploitable labour.  According to author and sociologist Nandita Sharma, “What motivates the Canadian government to recruit temporary workers [over permanent residents] is that migrant workers are essentially indentured servants bound to specific employers and do not have minimum wage and work condition protections, cannot effectively unionize, and cannot access most social programs.”

The anti-immigrant rhetoric employed by Jason Kenney and others about “illegals” and “terrorists” is to create and cultivate a climate of fear and xenophobia that justifies the recruitment and treatment of migrants as sub-human. By shutting the door to refugees, family sponsorships, and skilled workers, Canada is ensuring that migrants are increasingly worthy only in as much as they meet the labour needs of big business.

This hypocrisy should not be surprising when rising unemployment and social service cuts are deemed necessary because of economic austerity, though banks and corporations are getting million dollar bailouts. Capitalism’s drive to maximize profit intrinsically involves a constant search for cheaper labour and the need to perfect the mechanisms for controlling workers. Immigration law is one such mechanism, rendering disposable those whom capital has already displaced through the ravages of global corporatization and militarization.

French philosopher and theorist Jacques Derrida offers the following challenge: “The word for hospitality is a Latin word Hospitalitat, a word which carries its own contradiction incorporated into it, a word which allows itself to be parasitized by its opposite, ‘hostility’, the undesirable guest which it harbors as the self-contradiction in its own body.”

Rather than continuing to identify migrants as suspicious strangers to whom our hospitality is conditional, we should see ourselves as part of a universal humanity. The rhetoric of migrants stealing jobs and their dehumanization as ‘illegals’ is a powerful tool to destroy solidarity between working people. There is far more reason to be suspicious of opportunistic politicians, rather than those who live, work, play, and love alongside us every day.

 

Harsha Walia is an anti-racist, anti-colonial, feminist, and migrant justice activist and writer trained in the law. You can find her at http://twitter.com/HarshaWalia

http://www.thestar.com/news/article/968381–getting-out-the-vote-in-scarborough-rouge-river


 

Getting out the vote in Scarborough—Rouge River

Rathika Sitsabaiesan, the NDP candidate in Scarborough—Rouge River, talks at the door with Sandy Rumana, 30, a young mom from Malaysia who just moved into the area. The riding had the lowest voter turnout in the GTA during the 2008 federal election.

DAVID COOPER/TORONTO STAR

Laurie Monsebraaten Social Justice Reporter

Derek Lee unfurls a map of Toronto’s Scarborough—Rouge River riding and spreads it across the desk of his federal constituency office in a Sheppard Ave. E. strip mall.

The Liberal MP, who has served the multicultural riding on the city’s northeast edge for the past 23 years, points to an isolated subdivision on the banks of the Rouge River, northeast of Morningside Ave. and Sheppard Ave. E.

“Look where these people had to vote last time,” he says with exasperation. “If they didn’t have a car, they would have had to take two buses and then walk all this way into an entirely different neighbourhood.

“It would be easier to paddle up the Rouge River and portage to the polling station.”

National voter turnout fell to an all-time low of 58.8 per cent in the October 2008 election.

But turnout in Scarborough—Rouge River sunk to an unprecedented 47.4 per cent — the lowest of any GTA riding and second lowest in the province. (Only the southern Ontario riding of Windsor West was lower at 47.3 per cent.)

Lee, 62, announced his retirement on March 25. But as a parliamentarian with a passion for the democratic process, he is still perplexed by the riding’s low voter turnout.

Lee won the seat handily with almost 60 per cent of the popular vote in 2008. But turnout was 10 percentage points lower than the 2006 election when 57 per cent of voters in the riding cast a ballot. He wanted to know why and put a student intern to work last summer to find out.

In a subsequent article for the Canadian Parliamentary Review, Lee and university political science student Ryan K. Powell found many factors known to influence low voter turnout were at play. These include the riding’s high percentage of recent immigrants, who often work long hours and have little time to vote, and a relatively large number of younger, more disengaged voters.

The performance of national party leaders and the issues raised during an election always play a role in whether voters “tune in and turn out to the polls,” Lee says.

The accuracy of the voter’s list and new requirements to show identification before being allowed to vote have also been identified as impediments, he added.

Voters’ proximity to polling stations, their access to public transit and how often they move also affect turnout.

In the case of the isolated community on the banks of the Rouge River, Lee urged Elections Canada to allow those voters to cast their ballots this time in a nearby church in the riding next door. The request was denied.

First-time NDP candidate Rathika Sitsabaiesan also put some blame on lacklustre campaigning by local candidates.

One week into the campaign, the 29-year-old industrial relations graduate and Tamil community activist is shocked by the number of longtime area residents who have never met a politician.

“It’s the first time I’ve had a politician come to my door. And I’ve lived here 22 years,” retired secretary Hazel Child, 74, tells Sitsabaiesan as she canvasses a 1970s-era condominium tower across from the Malvern Town Centre shopping plaza near Tapscott and Neilson Rds.

Many residents of the riding are also relatively new to Canada — and therefore aren’t familiar with the electoral process here.

“I don’t vote because I don’t know where or how,” says Tasneem Shrazi, a Pakistani-born mother of three who has been a Canadian citizen for 10 years.

The new Liberal candidate, Rana Sarkar, 40, is hoping to breathe new energy into the riding and reach out to immigrants like Shrazi.

“I am finding a high level of motivation on the part of people to vote,” says Sarkar, who is president and CEO of the Canada-India Business Council.

But that motivation seems to be missing in the suburban strip malls that line the riding’s broad four- and six-lane arterial roads, where Tim Hortons coffee shops rub shoulders with Chinese and South Asian eateries.

Eilyn Herrera is one of those young voters who has never been to the polls.

“I know I should and my parents always encourage me to vote, but I never seem to have the time,” says the 28-year-old who moved to Canada from the Philippines with her parents when she was 8. “There are always things I have to do after work. House chores and stuff. I should probably take the time.”

Conservative candidate Marlene Gallyot, 48, believes more people will vote this time because Lee has stepped down and the seat is “wide open.”

People are worried about Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff forming a coalition with the Bloc and NDP, says Gallyot, who is on leave from her job as executive assistant to York Regional Councillor Jim Jones.

But on the street, voters seem to be more concerned about paying the bills and keeping a roof over their heads.

“The problem with voters today is that their parents have given them everything and they don’t know what it means to give back, says Bob, a 63-year-old retired landscaper who has lived in the riding most of his adult life and is now homeless.

“My grandfather and father went to war and fought for peace,” says the man, who didn’t want to give his full name. “Young people today don’t know what democracy is all about.

That’s why they don’t vote.”

Scarborough—Rouge River

Demographics

Population: 130,980

Eligible voters: 83,057

Immigrant population: 88,445 (68 per cent)

Visible minorities: 117,085 (89 per cent)

South Asian and Chinese communities make up 61 per cent of the riding

Median household income: $59,775

Median age: 35

Candidates*

Rana Sarkar — Liberal

Marlene Gallyot — Conservative

Rathika Sitsabaiesan — NDP

2008 Results

Voter turnout: 47.4 per cent

Liberal: 58.8 per cent

Conservative: 22.7 per cent

NDP: 14.7 per cent

Green: 1.4 per cent

Libertarian: 0.4 per cent

2006 Results

Voter turnout: 57 per cent

Liberal: 65.6 per cent

Conservative: 20.4 per cent

NDP: 10.8 per cent

Green: 1.6 per cent

Libertarian: 0.5 per cent

2004 Results

Voter turnout: 51.1 per cent

Liberal: 57.9 per cent

Independent: 9.1 per cent

Conservative: 6.8 per cent

NDP: 4.7 per cent

Green: 0.8 per cent

* Known candidates as of April 1


 

The Conservative Party Election Campaign Ad on human smuggling, portraying certain refugee claimants as bogus is crude, offensive and in your word “unprincipled” and must be removed.

The ad purports to single out a community for vilification, inciting hatred. It violates the rights of asylum seekers whose cases are being deliberated exuding bias; it’s an act of contempt of the whole judicial process.

It’s wrong to make that presupposition while their applications are being processed.

To do this just to try to win an election is disgusting and immoral.

Yours truly,

 

Dr Sri Bavan and Usha S Sri-Skanda-Rajah


Tory minister Jason Kenney defends B.C. anti-smuggling ad that Tamil group calls ‘xenophobic’

By Douglas Quan, Postmedia News March 30, 2011 Comments (7)

Read more: http://www.canada.com/news/Tory+minister+Jason+Kenney+defends+anti+smuggling+that+Tamil+group+calls+xenophobic/4530494/story.html#ixzz1II7qlrta

VANCOUVER — Immigration Minister Jason Kenney is defending his party’s use of an ad that a Tamil group has called “xenophobic.”

The ad touts the Tories’ proposals to crack down on human smuggling and features an image of the cargo ship MV Sun Sea which brought 492 Tamil migrants to B.C. last summer.

“Canada welcomes people who want to build a better future,” the announcer says. “But our openness doesn’t extend to criminals who target Canadian generosity.”

A statement from the National Council of Canadian Tamils on Wednesday said the ad appeals to the “worst instincts of Canadians to score political points and votes” and urged the Tories to remove the ad and to apologize for labelling the asylum-seekers as criminals.

“This election ad is xenophobic and borders on racism,” said Krisna Saravanamuttu, a council spokesman.

But Kenney, who spent part of Wednesday morning watching the India-versus-Pakistan cricket match at an East Vancouver restaurant serving South Indian and Sri Lankan cuisine, defended the ad and said the “vast majority” of Canadians support a crackdown on smuggling.

“Anyone who’s coming to Canada illegally is breaking our laws. It’s illegal migration,” he told reporters. “It’s not the right way to come to Canada, especially if they’re paying a criminal network — a gang of criminals and often thugs — who run the smuggling syndicates.

“We make no apology for making that point in the course of this election campaign,” the Conservative candidate added.

Kenney added that there are asylum-seekers around the world waiting to come to Canada through the United Nations Refugee Agency.

“We bring in about 14,000 of those people a year. It’s not fair to them if someone in the same region pays a smuggler 50-grand, frankly, to jump the refugee queue.”

Following the arrival of the Sun Sea last year, the Tories put forward an anti-smuggling bill, which proposes tougher penalties against human smugglers and more restrictions on migrants who use them. Opposition parties immediately denounced the bill as “draconian” and said it would deprive legitimate refugee-seekers of certain rights.

In the television ad, the Tories accuse the opposition of being “weak on border security.”

dquan@postmedia.com

Read more: http://www.canada.com/news/Tory+minister+Jason+Kenney+defends+anti+smuggling+that+Tamil+group+calls+xenophobic/4530494/story.html#ixzz1II73Qjjp

 


 

 

By Douglas Quan, Postmedia News March 30, 2011 Comments (7)

Read more: Refugees are not criminals: NCCT demands removal of Conservative Party ad and apology

Canada NewsWire March 28, 2011

TORONTO, March 28 /CNW/ – The National Council of Canadian Tamils (NCCT) is calling on the Rt. Hon. Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada, to remove an election advertisement which insinuates that Tamil refugees who are forced to arrive through unconventional means are “criminals”, and apologize to Tamil Canadians.

The Conservative Party ad features a photo of the MV Sun Sea which arrived off the shores of British Colombia in August last year with 491 Tamil refugees fleeing war and persecution from Sri Lanka-a country marred by allegations of human rights violations, the denial of fundamental civil liberties, and extrajudicial killings. It calls the Tamils aboard “criminals” who trying to abuse Canadian generosity.

“This election ad is xenophobic and borders on racism,” said Krisna Saravanamuttu, NCCT spokesman.  “It is reminiscent of the political rhetoric used to turn back Sikhs and Hindus on board the Kamagata Maru in 1914, and Jewish refugees on board the MS St. Louis fleeing persecution in 1939. In these cases, refugees fleeing persecution were labeled “criminals” and vilified by politicians appealing to the worst instincts of Canadians to score political points and votes.”

“We are confident that Prime Minister Harper would not have approved this ad, if he had seen it,” said Saravanamuttu. “We urge the Prime Minister to review the ad and do the right thing by removing it from his party’s campaign website as well as the party’s You Tube account and apologize for labeling refugees and immigrants as criminals.”

The NCCT also calls on the leaders of Canada’s major political parties, Conservative candidates, and human rights groups like the Canadian Jewish Congress, Bnai Brith, and Amnesty International to review the CPC ad and join with us in calling for its retraction.  “This election should be about uniting Canadians, no matter our ethnicity and how we arrived in Canada,” noted Saravanamuttu.

Click here to view the ad – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N1eoGi5omvU&feature

The National Council of Canadian Tamils (NCCT) is a grassroots organization, composed of elected representatives from across Canada that serve to organize Tamil-Canadians on a democratic and cooperative basis.

http://www.canada.com/news/Tory+minister+Jason+Kenney+defends+anti+smuggling+that+Tamil+group+calls+xenophobic/4530494/story.html#ixzz1II7qlrta

Read more: http://www.canada.com/news/Tory+minister+Jason+Kenney+defends+anti+smuggling+that+Tamil+group+calls+xenophobic/4530494/story.html#ixzz1II6Y6mIJ


 

On the smugglers’ trail: The unlucky ones

Stewart Bell  Mar 29, 2011 – 7:00 AM ET | Last Updated: Mar 29, 2011 10:42 AM ET

Canada is now a target of Southeast Asia’s human smuggling syndicates. In the third instalment of a four-part investigative series, the National Post shines a light on the dark side of Canada’s anti-human smuggling program.

BANGKOK — The blue steel door slides open and a guard leads a line of detainee children out of Bangkok’s immigration prison, past visitors waiting with bags of rose apples, and across a tight alley to a classroom.

Many of the children are Sri Lankans.

They travelled to Thailand with parents who paid smugglers for a spot on a migrant ship to Canada. But they never made it to sea. Instead, they were arrested and locked up inside the immigration detention centre.

The 492 Sri Lankans who arrived off the West Coast aboard the MV Sun Sea last August were the lucky ones. For many others, the dream of Canada died in Bangkok’s overcrowded immigration prison, a big cement block on Suan Phlu Road.

It is no resort.

Visitors are not allowed inside, but the National Post was able to communicate with several detainees who sent photographs of the facility and the six- by 20-metre cell where the Sri Lankans are being held.

They show a rectangular room so overcrowded there is hardly room to tread. The detainees said 140 men are housed in the cell; they must sometimes sleep in shifts because of the scarcity of floor space. “There is not enough room to sleep — even stretch our limbs freely,” one said. A young boy can be seen wandering among the men. The detainees said they lacked clean drinking water, healthy food and proper medical facilities, and they complained of the heat. “We don’t have any more power to bear this situation,” another detainee said.

The arrests were, at least partly, the result of Canada’s new anti-human smuggling program in Southeast Asia. Responding to Canada’s concerns about human smuggling ships such as the MV Sun Sea, Thailand set up a task force last year to work on the problem.

A Royal Thai Police investigation called Project Hydra began working closely with the RCMP and Australian Federal Police, and when smugglers began collecting deposits for yet another ship last fall, the Thais took decisive action.

“We used different methods to verify the information,” said Lieutenant-General Pongpat Chayapan, Commander of the Central Investigation Bureau. “And, of course, then we were able to locate the network of this criminal activity and through coordination with the RCMP, with cross-checking the information that we had on both sides, we were able to arrest these people.”

What police found was that Sri Lankans were living at hotels in three cities, waiting to board a migrant smuggling ship to Canada. Last Oct. 11, the Royal Thai Police, in coordination with the RCMP, began rounding them up.

In Bangkok, immigration police made 130 arrests. That was followed by another 61 arrests in the southern port city of Songkhla and in Hat Yai, near the Malaysian border. A further 23 were arrested in Bangkok on Dec. 8. Some were smugglers but most were would-be refugees.

“About 40 were involved in gathering the people, in falsifying documents, in ship procurement, as well as finding accommodation, food,” said Lt-Gen. Pongpat. No ship was seized. But he said the vessel had been modified to hold passengers “better than the MV Sun Sea.”

Thai police photos of the mass arrests show men, women and children — a group similar to the Sri Lankans who were on board the Sun Sea when it arrived off the British Columbia coast last Aug. 12. Only this group never even made it onto the ship.

The police operation was the first major success of Canada’s anti-human smuggling initiative, which aims to disrupt migrant ships before they even set sail. “We think they disrupted something that was very close to happening,” RCMP Inspector George Pemberton said in a recent interview in Bangkok.

“The Thais were very pro-active, especially in the late fall,” said Insp. Pemberton, who heads the RCMP Anti-Human Smuggling Team. “They took a lot of enforcement actions and we’re convinced that their actions deterred and prevented a vessel from going to Canada.”

But it also resulted in the mass arrests of men, women and children, members of the island’s ethnic Tamil minority who had fled Sri Lanka. And a significant number of them remain locked up at Bangkok’s immigration detention centre months later.

“Our chief concern about the waves of arrests is that they do not appear to make a distinction between the organizers of human trafficking or smuggling — people who are willing to put tiny babies and pregnant women at risk on the high seas — and their victims,” said Kitty McKinsey, the Asian spokeswoman for the UNHCR, the United Nations refugee agency.

“At least the original arrests last October in Bangkok were indiscriminate and, as far as we can tell, not targeted at the real organizers of smuggling or trafficking of Sri Lankans to other countries,” she said.

“While we understand the need to crack down on illegal human trafficking and smuggling, we are concerned that care should be taken to keep victims from being caught in the same dragnet.”

According to the detainees, about 175 ethnic Tamil Sri Lankans remain at the centre. Fifty-three of those rounded up during the recent crackdown have been recognized as legitimate refugees by the UNHCR and are waiting to be resettled to other countries.

Thirty are children and 25 are women, one of whom is six months’ pregnant, the UNHCR said. A photo sent by the detainees shows a pregnant woman who was arrested on Oct. 11. In the picture, she is chained to her hospital bed by the leg.

“The UN refugee agency’s position is that asylum-seekers and refugees should not be locked up and we work with governments all over the world to find alternatives to detention,” Ms. McKinsey continued.

“We are also greatly concerned about arbitrary and indefinite detention,” she added. “We particularly do not believe that a detention centre is an appropriate place for pregnant women and children.”

Royal Thai Police officials said the detainees were free to leave Thailand once they had purchased plane tickets to Sri Lanka. They said they were doing their best but acknowledged prison conditions were not ideal.

“Our detention facility is limited. And the sheer numbers of them that come in has caused us a lot of difficulty,” said Major General Manoo Mekmok. “We try to do our best to keep their living conditions decent, up to the United Nations standard, but some are very hard to provide, like shower and nice toilet.”

The UNHCR said there had been eight round-ups of Sri Lankans since October, most recently on Feb. 17. Those arrested are sent to court to be fined for overstaying their tourist visas. Those who can’t pay the fine must serve a jail sentence. Either way, they eventually end up at the detention centre.

They must remain in detention until they leave Thailand. But many say they fear returning to Sri Lanka, so they wait it out in the hopes the UNHCR will help them resettle to a Western country. That happens rarely but it is their last hope, aside from the smugglers.

“A lot of these people are caught up in, I don’t know, maybe it’s like the Canadian dream,” said Troy Anderson, a Bangkok-based U.S. lawyer who advocates for the Suan Phlu detainees. “They know all these Tamils in Vancouver and Toronto and they kind of have this image of all the Tamils get there and have the good Western lifestyle.”

He said it was no coincidence the Thai crackdown on Sri Lankans began two months after the MV Sun Sea arrived off the British Columbia coast. “Once that ship went to Canada, very quickly after that the Sri Lankans started getting arrested,” he said. “It’s not rocket science to figure out that someone put pressure on Thailand to deal with the Sri Lankans.”

Even those recognized as genuine refugees by the UNHCR must stay behind bars until they leave the country. Thailand is not a signatory to the UN refugee convention — although it has a great number of refugees, especially along the Burmese border.

“We are against these sea voyages,” said David Poopalapillai, the Canadian Tamil Congress spokesman. “First of all it’s treacherous, dangerous and everybody’s putting their life at risk. But arresting them is not the answer.”

He urged Canada to resettle its share of the Bangkok detainees, and said Ottawa should do more to discourage migrants from falling prey to the human smugglers using Thailand as a transit country.

Canadian officials have visited the detention centre but not to resettle the Sri Lankans. Several sources said the Canadians came to question the detainees about the human smugglers organizing migrant vessels to Canada.

The detention centre is a prison with several blocks. Within the blocks are cells that hold 100 to 200 who share two toilets. Rice and soup are provided three times a day. There is also a shop where detainees can buy food.

“There’s at least 500 people there and it’s not, from what I can tell, built to handle that many,” said Mr. Anderson, who has represented several of the Sri Lankans at the detention centre. “It’s not a good situation.”

The Sri Lankans living illicitly in Bangkok face a bleak choice: return to the island they fled or risk being caught and sent to the immigration detention centre. Or there is a third option: board a smuggling ship.

For those with a past in the Tamil Tigers the situation is even more stark, which may explain why some of those who travelled on the MV Sun Sea last year were ex-combatants or had alleged links to the rebels.

As former separatist guerrillas, they are at greater risk if they return to Sri Lanka. But they cannot be resettled by the UNHCR because no country will accept them as refugees due to their past involvement with the Tamil rebels.

Some of those at the Bangkok detention centre are in that very bind. One detainee said he had joined the Tamil Tigers at age 12. He was sent to a rebel “education centre” until he was ready for paramilitary training.

He worked as a karate instructor and performed “sentry duties,” he said. In 2004, he told the Tigers he needed to visit his father at a hospital. He went instead to the capital Colombo, intending the leave the rebels.

But he said guerrillas arrested his wife. They told her he would be killed unless he left the country. So he flew to Hong Kong, hoping to transit to the West, but he was arrested and deported. Upon his return to Sri Lanka, he said he was arrested and tortured. Released on bail, he fled to Thailand.

The UNHCR accepted him as a refugee but Thailand detained him, at first at the airport and, since 2009, at the immigration detention centre. His wife is detained at the same facility. While a recognized refugee, he cannot be resettled because of his rebel past.

He said the detainees are let out of their cells twice a week for 90 minutes of exercise and time outdoors. “Except that, we are forced into a smaller jail room in which we can’t even move an inch,” he said.

He said the detainees just want to leave Thailand. “Please understand our difficult situation and please create a way for us to live peacefully and freely in whatever country it might be,” he said, “except Sri Lanka.”

National Post
sbell@nationalpost.com


 

On Wednesday, Canada’s little-known anti-human smuggling program in Southeast Asia

Posted in: Features  Tags: Bangkok, On the smugglers’ trail, Sri Lanka

It is no resort.

Visitors are not allowed inside, but the National Post was able to communicate with several detainees who sent photographs of the facility and the six- by 20-metre cell where the Sri Lankans are being held.

They show a rectangular room so overcrowded there is hardly room to tread. The detainees said 140 men are housed in the cell; they must sometimes sleep in shifts because of the scarcity of floor space. “There is not enough room to sleep — even stretch our limbs freely,” one said.

A young boy can be seen wandering among the men. The detainees said they lacked clean drinking water, healthy food and proper medical facilities, and they complained of the heat. “We don’t have any more power to bear this situation,” another detainee said.

The arrests were, at least partly, the result of Canada’s new anti-human smuggling program in Southeast Asia. Responding to Canada’s concerns about human smuggling ships such as the MV Sun Sea, Thailand set up a task force last year to work on the problem.

A Royal Thai Police investigation called Project Hydra began working closely with the RCMP and Australian Federal Police, and when smugglers began collecting deposits for yet another ship last fall, the Thais took decisive action.

“We used different methods to verify the information,” said Lieutenant-General Pongpat Chayapan, Commander of the Central Investigation Bureau. “And, of course, then we were able to locate the network of this criminal activity and through coordination with the RCMP, with cross-checking the information that we had on both sides, we were able to arrest these people.”

What police found was that Sri Lankans were living at hotels in three cities, waiting to board a migrant smuggling ship to Canada. Last Oct. 11, the Royal Thai Police, in coordination with the RCMP, began rounding them up.

In Bangkok, immigration police made 130 arrests. That was followed by another 61 arrests in the southern port city of Songkhla and in Hat Yai, near the Malaysian border. A further 23 were arrested in Bangkok on Dec. 8. Some were smugglers but most were would-be refugees.

“About 40 were involved in gathering the people, in falsifying documents, in ship procurement, as well as finding accommodation, food,” said Lt-Gen. Pongpat. No ship was seized. But he said the vessel had been modified to hold passengers “better than the MV Sun Sea.”

Thai police photos of the mass arrests show men, women and children — a group similar to the Sri Lankans who were on board the Sun Sea when it arrived off the British Columbia coast last Aug. 12. Only this group never even made it onto the ship.

The police operation was the first major success of Canada’s anti-human smuggling initiative, which aims to disrupt migrant ships before they even set sail. “We think they disrupted something that was very close to happening,” RCMP Inspector George Pemberton said in a recent interview in Bangkok.

“The Thais were very pro-active, especially in the late fall,” said Insp. Pemberton, who heads the RCMP Anti-Human Smuggling Team. “They took a lot of enforcement actions and we’re convinced that their actions deterred and prevented a vessel from going to Canada.”

But it also resulted in the mass arrests of men, women and children, members of the island’s ethnic Tamil minority who had fled Sri Lanka. And a significant number of them remain locked up at Bangkok’s immigration detention centre months later.

“Our chief concern about the waves of arrests is that they do not appear to make a distinction between the organizers of human trafficking or smuggling — people who are willing to put tiny babies and pregnant women at risk on the high seas — and their victims,” said Kitty McKinsey, the Asian spokeswoman for the UNHCR, the United Nations refugee agency.

“At least the original arrests last October in Bangkok were indiscriminate and, as far as we can tell, not targeted at the real organizers of smuggling or trafficking of Sri Lankans to other countries,” she said.

“While we understand the need to crack down on illegal human trafficking and smuggling, we are concerned that care should be taken to keep victims from being caught in the same dragnet.”

According to the detainees, about 175 ethnic Tamil Sri Lankans remain at the centre. Fifty-three of those rounded up during the recent crackdown have been recognized as legitimate refugees by the UNHCR and are waiting to be resettled to other countries.

Thirty are children and 25 are women, one of whom is six months’ pregnant, the UNHCR said. A photo sent by the detainees shows a pregnant woman who was arrested on Oct. 11. In the picture, she is chained to her hospital bed by the leg.

“The UN refugee agency’s position is that asylum-seekers and refugees should not be locked up and we work with governments all over the world to find alternatives to detention,” Ms. McKinsey continued.

“We are also greatly concerned about arbitrary and indefinite detention,” she added. “We particularly do not believe that a detention centre is an appropriate place for pregnant women and children.”

Royal Thai Police officials said the detainees were free to leave Thailand once they had purchased plane tickets to Sri Lanka. They said they were doing their best but acknowledged prison conditions were not ideal.

“Our detention facility is limited. And the sheer numbers of them that come in has caused us a lot of difficulty,” said Major General Manoo Mekmok. “We try to do our best to keep their living conditions decent, up to the United Nations standard, but some are very hard to provide, like shower and nice toilet.”

The UNHCR said there had been eight round-ups of Sri Lankans since October, most recently on Feb. 17. Those arrested are sent to court to be fined for overstaying their tourist visas. Those who can’t pay the fine must serve a jail sentence. Either way, they eventually end up at the detention centre.

They must remain in detention until they leave Thailand. But many say they fear returning to Sri Lanka, so they wait it out in the hopes the UNHCR will help them resettle to a Western country. That happens rarely but it is their last hope, aside from the smugglers.

“A lot of these people are caught up in, I don’t know, maybe it’s like the Canadian dream,” said Troy Anderson, a Bangkok-based U.S. lawyer who advocates for the Suan Phlu detainees. “They know all these Tamils in Vancouver and Toronto and they kind of have this image of all the Tamils get there and have the good Western lifestyle.”

He said it was no coincidence the Thai crackdown on Sri Lankans began two months after the MV Sun Sea arrived off the British Columbia coast. “Once that ship went to Canada, very quickly after that the Sri Lankans started getting arrested,” he said. “It’s not rocket science to figure out that someone put pressure on Thailand to deal with the Sri Lankans.”

Even those recognized as genuine refugees by the UNHCR must stay behind bars until they leave the country. Thailand is not a signatory to the UN refugee convention — although it has a great number of refugees, especially along the Burmese border.

“We are against these sea voyages,” said David Poopalapillai, the Canadian Tamil Congress spokesman. “First of all it’s treacherous, dangerous and everybody’s putting their life at risk. But arresting them is not the answer.”

He urged Canada to resettle its share of the Bangkok detainees, and said Ottawa should do more to discourage migrants from falling prey to the human smugglers using Thailand as a transit country.

Canadian officials have visited the detention centre but not to resettle the Sri Lankans. Several sources said the Canadians came to question the detainees about the human smugglers organizing migrant vessels to Canada.

The detention centre is a prison with several blocks. Within the blocks are cells that hold 100 to 200 who share two toilets. Rice and soup are provided three times a day. There is also a shop where detainees can buy food.

“There’s at least 500 people there and it’s not, from what I can tell, built to handle that many,” said Mr. Anderson, who has represented several of the Sri Lankans at the detention centre. “It’s not a good situation.”

The Sri Lankans living illicitly in Bangkok face a bleak choice: return to the island they fled or risk being caught and sent to the immigration detention centre. Or there is a third option: board a smuggling ship.

For those with a past in the Tamil Tigers the situation is even more stark, which may explain why some of those who travelled on the MV Sun Sea last year were ex-combatants or had alleged links to the rebels.

As former separatist guerrillas, they are at greater risk if they return to Sri Lanka. But they cannot be resettled by the UNHCR because no country will accept them as refugees due to their past involvement with the Tamil rebels.

Some of those at the Bangkok detention centre are in that very bind. One detainee said he had joined the Tamil Tigers at age 12. He was sent to a rebel “education centre” until he was ready for paramilitary training.

He worked as a karate instructor and performed “sentry duties,” he said. In 2004, he told the Tigers he needed to visit his father at a hospital. He went instead to the capital Colombo, intending the leave the rebels.

But he said guerrillas arrested his wife. They told her he would be killed unless he left the country. So he flew to Hong Kong, hoping to transit to the West, but he was arrested and deported. Upon his return to Sri Lanka, he said he was arrested and tortured. Released on bail, he fled to Thailand.

The UNHCR accepted him as a refugee but Thailand detained him, at first at the airport and, since 2009, at the immigration detention centre. His wife is detained at the same facility. While a recognized refugee, he cannot be resettled because of his rebel past.

He said the detainees are let out of their cells twice a week for 90 minutes of exercise and time outdoors. “Except that, we are forced into a smaller jail room in which we can’t even move an inch,” he said.

He said the detainees just want to leave Thailand. “Please understand our difficult situation and please create a way for us to live peacefully and freely in whatever country it might be,” he said, “except Sri Lanka.”

National Post
sbell@nationalpost.com


 

On Wednesday, Canada’s little-known anti-human smuggling program in Southeast Asia

Posted in: Features  Tags: Bangkok, On the smugglers’ trail, Sri Lanka

Motion on Sri Lanka calling for Independent Investigation into War Crimes was not adopted in Canadian Parliament

NDP MP Peter Julian from British Columbia put forward a motion to ask the Sri Lankan Government and the United Nations to work together with the international community to establish an international investigative body. The body will be responsible for investigating the war crimes that were committed in Sri Lanka during and after the war. A similarly worded motion unanimously passed in the U.S. Senate recently. International Crisis Group, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty international have also called for similar action in Sri Lanka.

In anticipation of this motion, the NDP approached Liberal, Bloc Quebecois and Conservative Parties as well as the two independent Members of Parliament in the House of Commons who had committed support prior to the tabling of the motion.

Subsequently, the Conservative Party has failed to follow through on the commitment and as a result the motion was defeated on Friday, March 25th 2011. The Conservatives have refused to stand up for the safeguarding of human rights that are very much a part of core Canadian values.

It is important to note that a motion moved from the floor by a private member needs all party support to be adopted by the House of Commons.

We, at the Canadian Tamil Congress and Tamil Canadians across the country would like to thank MP Peter Julian, MP Patrick Brown, MP Rob Oliphant, the NDP, the Liberal party and the Bloc Quebecois for their commitment to the protection and promotion of human rights. We are however disappointed with the Conservative party leadership for not standing up to the Human Rights violations and abuses in Sri Lanka.

For more information please contact 416 240 0078.

Dear Ragavan,

If your party needs my support you have to get your party to remove the BAN on LTTE, WTM, ditch the C-49 Bill and release all Thamil detainees holed up in Vancouver detention centres. You should be aware of the fact the CP is perceived as an anti-immigrant (Bill C49) and racist party.  It does not have the interests of ordinary working families.

The past Progressive Conservative governments led by Brian Mulroney raised immigration levels. He raised the immigration level 85,000 in 1983 to more than 260,000 in 1990. He received with open arms the first boat load of Thamil refugees in 1987. He brought in the Multiculturalism Act. He brought in more generous family reunification policies, which are the most popular element of immigration policy. I am one of those who benefitted out of his generosity.

Joe Clark set up a special program to welcome the Vietnamese boat people. John Diefenbaker eliminated racial and country-of-origin considerations in the immigration system.

Stephen Harper metamorphosed from being leader of the Canadian Alliance Party to leader of the rebranded Conservative Party in 2003. This was the second attempt to rebrand the western-based Reform Party; after a name change to Canadian Alliance did not convince Canadians it was less ideologically right wing and more moderate like the Conservatives. It is the Reform Party elements that carried forward into the new Conservative Party largely anti-immigration attitudes.

Anti-immigration parties have sprung up in all western democracies over the last few decades. The closest that Canada had to an anti-immigration party was the Reform Party and this was one of the reasons it has so desperately tried to rebrand itself as Conservative and no longer Reform.

In a recent survey, 14 percent of candidates running for the Conservative Party stated that they thought there should be fewer immigrants admitted to Canada and only 16 percent thought there should be more. This was compared to 49 percent of the Liberal candidates and 67 percent of the NDP who thought more immigrants should be admitted.

When you break down the type of immigrant, a similar and overwhelming percentage of all three parties thought that more immigrants with skills should be admitted, but the Conservatives were alone in having a noteworthy percent of their candidates thinking Canada should admit fewer immigrants who were refugees (30 percent) or who were family members wanting to be reunited with someone brought here for their skills or money (23 percent).

In short the   Canadian Alliance party masquerading as Conservative party has turned its back on the all important immigrant communities, notably the Thamil community.

If Harper can declare war on Libya in support of “Libyan freedom fighters” for Muffarmer Gadhafi was killing his own people what is the rationale for listing the LTTE and the WTM as a terrorist organizations?  Did not Mahinda Rajapakse kill his own citizens, worse a minority community? And why is sauce for the gander is not sauce for the goose?

As a Candidate of the Conservative Party you have lot of explanation to give. But fortunately I understand that there are not many Thamil voters in your riding! Good luck!

VT


 

From: Ragavan Paranchothy [mailto:vikadan@gmail.com]
Sent: March-24-11 4:15 PM
To: info@ragavanparanchothy.com
Subject: Ragavan Paranchothy needs your support!

Dear Friends,

Please bear with me for including you in a mass mail. It is a matter of time constraint.

I have good news! I am now the Official Federal Conservative Candidate for Scarborough South West for the upcoming election. And we all know that an election is now imminent and is expected to be called within a couple of days.
As such, all of this is moving a bit too fast for me. I won the nomination on the 12th of March. And 2 weeks later, I am in an election situation. Though it makes my campaign a bit tougher, I am confident that we can come out victorious.
And to do just, I need all of your support.

You’ve all known me for a fair bit of time. And some of you have known me for over 20 years. And mind you, I am still young :).  I hope I can draw upon that comfort level and request that you contribute to my campaign in any way possible.

There is no magic to winning a campaign. It is pretty simple.. meet with voters, convince them and get them out to vote! And for that we need 3 things:

1.  Volunteers
2.  Money
3.  Hard work

I hope I can rely on you for all three of these or any combination thereof. One thing I can promise is that I will work tirelessly to make you all proud!

Call my campaign line at 416-840-3368. Join my FB group and Page (Ragavan Paranchothy for Scarborough South West).

I will email you all again with more details about my campaign office and website. Be the friend you are and show me the love! 🙂


Ragavan –

“All truths are easy to understand once they are
discovered; the point is to discover them.“
— Galileo Galilei –

Hon. Stephen

P.C.M.P.

Prime Minister

 

Dear Danton,

This blatant racist advertisement comes as no surprise. The reality is the Conservatives are not wolf in Conservative sheep’s clothing they are wolves themselves. The Conservative Party under Harper is not conservative, it merely call itself thus.  They favour small government control, more anti-immigrant laws and  less tax for the rich and powerful.  These are the reason that so many in other countries dislike Conservatives. Because of their desire to unite the globe in the name of American-style Democracy, whether other countries like it or not they go for wars.  They are the ones who involve us in foreign wars that have nothing to do with us. Had Harper was in power in 2003, he would have dragged Canada into war against Iraq?

The Conservative Party’s strong roots to Reform Party and Canadian Alliance are a lethal combination and sure disaster for the minorities.

Some argue that we should join all the three parties  since keeping all the eggs in one basket is unwise.  But joining or supporting the Conservative Party is like going to sleep with an elephant!

We should not be carried away when one or two Thamils are given nominations. The Conservative Party is merely trying to fool the Thamils. The ad also cuts the ground under the feet of the only Conservative candidate contesting the polls. Those who think  otherwise must  watch this  ad not once but twice.

Thamil refugees released by the courts are re-arrested thus subverting the will of the judiciary, the third arm of the government.

Immigration Minister Jason Kenney is keeping the brown skins in jail, and never mind what the courts say. The law is for the ruled, not the rulers. At least he hasn’t (yet) called for the mass murder of Tamil refugees—unlike a national conservative newspaper chain.  (http://www.ottawasun.com/comment/editorial/2010/08/16/15043251.html)

Canada’s immigration minister says he will not apologize for tactics that have kept Thamil refugee claimants in prison despite court orders for their release. And in a comment that sounded alarm bells for some observers, Minister Jason Kenney said he would tell government lawyers to continue using guerrilla tactics that a Federal Court judge said went too far.

“We make no apologies about this. That’s what Canadians expect  us to enforce immigration law and make sure people who may constitute a security risk are not released,” Kenney said in a scrum in Vancouver.

Last week, Justice Edmond Blanchard slammed the federal government for exploiting a legal loophole that could keep some of the migrants who arrived in B.C. on a boat from Sri Lanka in prison forever.

According to CTV News two prisoners who had been ordered released in November, but the federal government refused to let them go.

“In my view, this is nothing short of an abuse of process,” said Blanchard in a ruling.

Thamil voters should not  get fooled in voting  for the Conservatives under any circumstances. To do so will tantamount to committing political suicide.

Thamil organizations should come forward to expose the Conservatives  for who they are and what they stand for.

 

Thangavelu


From: Danton [mailto:danton13us@yahoo.com]
Sent: March-28-11 3:16 PM
To: undisclosed recipients:
Subject: Conservatives come out with a attack ad targeting tamil boat refugees

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N1eoGi5omvU

 

 

About editor 2677 Articles
Writer and Journalist living in Canada since 1987. Tamil activist.

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