Canadian Parliament recognizes the Genocide of Tamils in Sri Lanka and Tamil Genocide Remembrance Day (May 18)

A statement released by the Tamil Canadian Organisations said that Canadian Tamils with members of parliaments commemorated Tamil Genocide Remembrance Day at Parliament Hill lawn in Ottawa on May 18th, 2022. A ceremony of holding a lamp, as a symbol of Tamil resilience, took place at 18:18:18 to mark the #TamilGenocideRememberance Day.

Mullivaikkal Kanji was provided as it marks a moment in the history of Tamil people who were forced to rise up and fight for justice and for a life of dignity. During the last days of the war in 2009, the only meal available to these Tamils was a handful of rice cooked in water with a pinch of salt and only if they could find the latter. Tamil community leaders and representatives from Tamil organizations from Montreal, Ottawa, and Toronto delivered their messages on this solemn occasion.

On May 18th, 2022, the Canadian Parliament adopted the following unanimous consent motion brought forward by Gary Anandasangaree, Member of Parliament for Scarborough—Rouge Park: “This House acknowledge the Genocide of Tamils in Sri Lanka and recognize May 18th of each year as Tamil Genocide Remembrance Day.”, the motion reads.

“Tamil Canadians wholeheartedly thank the Canadian House of Commons for recognizing the genocide committed against Tamil people and recognizing the May 18th of each year as Tamil Genocide Remembrance Day”, OTA said

“Canada becomes the first National Parliament in the world to recognize the genocide of Tamils in Sri Lanka. It is a recognition of the atrocities committed by the Sri Lankan government. This motion also recognizes each May 18th as Tamil Genocide Remembrance Day” said Anandasangaree.

“This is the culmination of years of hard work and advocacy by so many members of the Tamil community, survivors, family members of survivors, and the many jurisdictions that recognized the genocide of Tamils. I hope this will give some solace to those who are impacted and traumatized by the genocide. I also recognize that much work lies ahead to ensure that those who are responsible for these atrocities are held to account. I want to thank all the political parties for their support, including the Conservative Party, Bloc Quebecois, New Democratic Party, and the Green Party and the many Members of Parliament who worked so hard to ensure the success of this motion.” MP Gary Anandasangaree’s press statement said.

“The government needs to act more in advocating to the UN and internationally to get the Tamil genocide recognized as stipulated in the previous motion in 2019 by the parliament. Real accountability is needed to advance the justice,” said Garnett Genius, Member of Parliament for the Sherwood Park.

“For the 13 years, Tamils were asking for justice and working hard toward it. Today’s motion gives hope for their journey“ said Fayçal el-Khoury, Member of Parliament for Laval.

Minister Hon. Mark Holland, leader of the Government in the house of Commons, Saks, Ya'ara, Member of Parliament for York Center, Yves Robillard Member of Parliament for Marc-Aurèle-Fortin attended and showed their solidarity with Tamil Canadians.

Representatives from the Tamil organizations delivered their messages. A spokesperson for the ABC Tamil Oli said that 2022 has Taught us that by nature, Truth will prevail and justice will be served. Collective efforts and strategies are required to succeed.

“Tamil Canadians went through a difficult journey in the last 13 years, the unanimous consent to recognize tamil genocide today at the parliament is a very good step toward right direction” said a spokesperson from Quebec Tamil Community Center.

“Eelam Tamils are a sovereign nation with rights to govern themselves. As remedial justice for genocide, Eelam Tamils must be allowed to govern themselves. TGTE will continue to fight for those rights” TGTE said.

“Tamil Canadians has a long journey ahead to get justice for the Sri Lanka’s crimes of genocide and we continue to work toward it” QTDA said.

“Most of the Tamil identities, values, artifacts, monuments, and Tamil heroes’ cemeteries were destroyed by Sri Lanka’s genocide in the past decade. The Tamil diaspora has a duty to preserve the memories of Eelam Tamils and document the historical truth” TGM said.

“The recognition of genocide committed against the Tamil people is an important step in the right direction. We request all countries to follow Canada’s position and help achieve justice for the victims of Tamil Genocide. We would also like to thank the Government of Canada,” NCCT said.

In 2022, Tamil families of the disappeared are not protesting because of Sri Lanka’s economic collapse but to find the whereabouts of their missing loved ones. Last week, Ms. Selvarani passed away, becoming one of over 115 Tamils to have died while protesting for their forcibly disappeared family members, with no answers, and no justice. Ms. Selvarani protested for over five years on the roadside. She wanted only answers.

Canadian Tamil organizations jointly wholeheartedly thank the Canadian House of Commons for recognizing the genocide committed against the Tamil people and urge the international community to work towards a broader recognition of the Tamil Genocide and play an active role in bringing the Sri Lankan government and its officials to the International Court to dispense justice to the Eelam Tamil community.

Ottawa Tamil Association (OTA)
https://ottawatamilassociation.ca/

Image: Matt Hrkac from Geelong/Melbourne, Australia


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