: Tamils: Whose rights are really being trampled?


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hugh
2009-05-12, 08:57 AM
The following is an interesting commentary by Christie Blatchford


Whose rights are really being trampled? (http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/LAC.20090512.BLATCH12ART2244/TPStory/National)


FYI: The following is from


Tamil Tigers: A history (http://www.thestar.com/news/world/article/632828)


Claim to fame: Inventing suicide bombing. Their "Black Tigers" unit has carried out more than 200 bombings of public buildings and Buddhist temples. They are also prime suspects in assassination of high profile politicians. Women as well as men train for attacks.
Child soldiers: Human rights groups say the Tigers have kidnapped and forcibly recruited thousands of children, some as young as 11.
Funding: Reportedly, more than $200 million a year, much of it from Tamil expat communities. According to Human Rights Watch, Canadian Tamils have been subject to threats and extortion.
Are they terrorists?: Canada and 31 other countries including the U.S. and Australia, have banned them as has the European Union.

dogpatchkid
2009-05-12, 01:19 PM
The Tamils have a good argument that they have been victims of extreme racism. The unfolding of their desires should be a cautionary tale for other marginalized peoples. Doing discusting inhuman attacks on your tormentors is poor PR. The world will decide your a product we dont need.

Andrew1
2009-05-12, 03:18 PM
I can't make heads or tales out of dogpatchkid's post.

We in Canada tend to think our news media is superior to US news media. That's generally true but this Sri Lankan conflict has me wondering. The main TV news media in Canada don't seem at all interested in the Sinhalese view of the conflict. I wonder if they are afraid of offending the Tamil community? In the US the press is biased in favour of Israel against the Palestinians and in the past favoured the Catholics in Northern Ireland against the Protestants and in both cases the side getting the good 'spin' has also been the side with the stronger ethnic lobby in the US. Coincidence? There are more Tamils than Sinhalese in Canada and we get pro-Tamil coverage of the Sri Lankan issue. Disturbing.

runnin'
2009-05-12, 04:00 PM
Huh? I thought this was a thread on the Tamil Tigers, not America. I respect Christie and this article has me wondering.

hugh
2009-05-12, 04:06 PM
I can't make heads or tales out of dogpatchkid's post.

That's okay, neither can I.

I'm not intimately aware of the politics of Sri Lanka but the fact that "Canada and 31 other countries including the U.S. and Australia, have banned them as has the European Union" along with reports of extortion of Tamils in Canada by the Tigers here ensure that I do not support them.

But to the Canadian situation..because the point here is about the impact it is having on the rest of us here in Canada.

The demonstration that essentially closed down the Gardner for six hours was inexcusable and imo, extortion. The message was that if Torontonians did not bow down to the demands of the Tamil Tigers then they will hold the city of Toronto hostage.

I don't want to get into politics but I have no respect for certain politicians that kowtowed to the Tamils and have gained respect for those that said that what the Tamils did was wrong.

What the Tamils did on Sunday in Toronto was not terrorism but, it's extortion and I don't think Canadians should have to deal with either.

I think pressure should be brought upon the city to arrest the ringleaders of these demonstrations, otherwise, Toronto is going to have to shut down the Gardiner every week to deal with the demands of various groups protesting the goings on around the world.

scrooloose
2009-05-12, 04:27 PM
I listened to a police spokesman on CBC radio the other night defending their actions. Basically he said the job of the Police was to keep the peace but I think he forgot about enforcing Canadian laws. He went on to say these groups have the right to protest and implied what they were doing (blocking a major highway) was legal! The host was pushing him on that issue. If I step out on the Gardner with my "insert cause here" sign, I'm certain to get arrested and likely charged. Is it safety in numbers, or safety in minorities?

-Mike

hugh
2009-05-12, 04:32 PM
FWIW, I don't think police should go in with riot gear.

My attitude is: Arrest the ringleaders and charge them. This way you set a precedent and future organizers will be very reluctant to advocate such action. Especially, if the ringleaders get 90 days in jail or similar.

GlennH
2009-05-12, 04:36 PM
The Tamil Tigers are a bunch of terrorists plain and simple. If these people want to hold Toronto to hostage waving a bunch of flags supporting said terrorists then they should be asked to go to Sri Lanka to sort the problems out themselves rather than telling the rest of Canada what WE should be doing about it.
Welcome to Canada.....please leave your political baggage at the door. It's not desired here.

recneps77
2009-05-12, 05:01 PM
I realize thousands of people have been killed and I'm not trying to belittle that fact.
But this is a civil war within a country's boundaries. It is none of Canada's business as to what happens there.
Now, if they were attacking other countries of which we are to protect under UN or NATO or if they were killing Canadian citizens visiting the country, then that's another story.

The fact that their demonstrations are getting out of hand isn't helping their case, and is probably just going to anger people more than get them to be sympathetic to a cause.

Andrew1
2009-05-12, 05:06 PM
I can't make heads or tales out of dogpatchkid's post.

We in Canada tend to think our news media is superior to US news media. That's generally true but this Sri Lankan conflict has me wondering. The main TV news media in Canada don't seem at all interested in the Sinhalese view of the conflict. I wonder if they are afraid of offending the Tamil community? In the US the press is biased in favour of Israel against the Palestinians and in the past favoured the Catholics in Northern Ireland against the Protestants and in both cases the side getting the good 'spin' has also been the side with the stronger ethnic lobby in the US. Coincidence? There are more Tamils than Sinhalese in Canada and we get pro-Tamil coverage of the Sri Lankan issue. Disturbing.
Oops! That should be 'heads or tails' not 'tales'!

NeilN
2009-05-12, 06:29 PM
My attitude is: Arrest the ringleaders and charge them. This way you set a precedent and future organizers will be very reluctant to advocate such action. Especially, if the ringleaders get 90 days in jail or similar.

Happens every ten years :) http://www.mail-archive.com/nativenews@mlists.net/msg03054.html

I don't think the ringleaders of that protest were arrested.

hugh
2009-05-12, 06:55 PM
I wonder if tomorrow things will get out of hand when the Tigers protest again?

I really just see this escalating into violence in the future

Nanuuk
2009-05-12, 07:56 PM
I think Christie's article speaks to a larger issue. And that is that Canadian's have been tolerant over the years to new arrivals bringing their disputes to our shores and not adopting Canada or its values. It appears that there is a growing sentiment that we won't tolerate that anymore. Particularly with mass protests that are basically saying support us or else. How Taliban of them. Or should I say Tamil Tiger of them.

nickleinonen
2009-05-12, 08:10 PM
The Tamil Tigers are a bunch of terrorists plain and simple. If these people want to hold Toronto to hostage waving a bunch of flags supporting said terrorists then they should be asked to go to Sri Lanka to sort the problems out themselves rather than telling the rest of Canada what WE should be doing about it.
Welcome to Canada.....please leave your political baggage at the door. It's not desired here.

my thoughts exactly.. domestic terrorist and cowards using children as "shields" when they were on the gardner...

Luis_A51
2009-05-12, 08:50 PM
I agree that what the tamils did in toronto is wrong. You live in Canada now people, respect OUR way of life.

However (and this a general comment, not directed at the Tamil Tigers) it feels to me like the terms "rebels" or "separatists" have been completely usurped by "terrorists" all over the world. Every government labels its dissidents as terrorists now, with the associated stigmas and prejudices. Being labeled a terrorists pretty much takes away someone's rights in the eyes of others. Sure a lot of groups completely deserve that label, and many others partake in bombings and such that we associate with terrorists.

But others have the qualities associated with rebels: fighting oppression of their ethnic group, desire for independence, fighting for basic land/food requirements, etc. These arent traits we think of when we hear the word "terrorist". Basically my point is that I do think the term "terrorist" is thrown around too often, because its such a loaded term. As well I think the art of war (particularly urban) has changed. Governments militaries are stronger and better equipped and can be mobilised much faster than in the past, and as such rebels have had to resort to far more destructive actions to make an impact. Im not condoning what they do, its just the way the world has evolved.

JonO
2009-05-13, 01:47 PM
Luis - I agree the term "terrorist" is used far too frequently these day. However, the Tigers certainly seem like a terrorist group to me...

Luis_A51
2009-05-13, 03:32 PM
I dont know enough about the Tamil's situation to comment either way. They may very well be, I dont know. None of the following comments are about the tamils.

Im just commenting on how as soon as a group is labeled a terrorist groups, then governments can get away with atrocities with virtually no repercussions from other governments or the western media.

And yes often times multiple governments will label a certain group as terrorists, which does give a higher degree of credibility. But you have to wonder how often this outside support is given merely to maintain good trade/diplomatic relations, reciprocity of support, fear that a conflict might spill over to their borders and/or fear that a foreign rebel group might encourage local groups to begin hostilities, etc.

Its the modern day equivalent of heretic or barbarian.

rileyparrish
2009-05-13, 03:57 PM
I am just gonna go out on a limb here and generalize...but someday, we are going to have very SIGNIFICANT problems on our hands due to our SLACK immigration policy. Maybe not today, tomorrow or in five years but someday it will happen. Everyone sees Canada as a refuge. Our laws and society give off the general impression that we will accept anyone with whatever belief and background(to an extent) into our country. Not only this but how much money do we dole out to help these people when we can't even solve our own populus' problems like homelessness.

The same thing that is happening in England will happen here. Citizens Immigrating or even born here with terrorist backings and beliefs and hatred of either the U.S, Israel and or the entire west. I hate to be so scinical but I truly believe this to be the case. This doesn't have a lot to do with the current topic in this post, but I will say we need to lay down the law more. Everyone get's a fair shake, that's what makes our country great...but really, people rallying in support of a terrorist group trying to get others to stop and acknowledge them or force their beliefs on someone 10,000 miles away from a conflict is ridiculous. In the case of the Palestinians obviously there is an exception because they are rallying against the death of some innocent people and not necessarily backing Hamas, here however...exact opposite IMO. TO police shouldnt put up with this bs and shut it down.

It's not like Karen freedom fighters in Burma...The Sri Lanken government isn't killing innocent people and recruiting them for no reason but to pursue their own agenda. Sure innocent people are going to die, this CANNOT be avoided. We saw the same thing happen in Gaza.

Luis_A51
2009-05-13, 04:15 PM
So anyone who shows discontent with the US/Israel/The West is a terrorist in your eyes Riley???? Riight. And let me guess, the US/Israel/The West is free to use whatever force they deem fit against the rest of them thar terrorist barbarians? Please, the world isnt that cut and dry.

rileyparrish
2009-05-13, 04:42 PM
Sorry I'm too big a fan of Jack Bauer. Really though, I did mention I was generalizing to use as an example. The point I was trying to drive home is we need to promote individualism and minorities...to a POINT but not at the expense of our own ideals and laws. We have to draw the line somewhere and do it soon.