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Ethnic-imbroglio politics of Khalistan, Eelam etc., in Canada

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The Memorial in Brampton, Ontario to mark an alleged genocide of Sri Lankan Tamils

by Chandre Dharmawardana,
Ottawa, Ontario

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Sri Lanka has rejected the allegation of a so-called “genocide” in Sri Lanka made by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on 18 May 2024. Canadian leaders do not hesitate to support militant factions of Diaspora communities in Canada, embracing realpolitik instead of real facts provided to them by their expert advisors. Previous covert and overt support to Sikh militants has led to a process of confrontation with India flexing its muscles allegedly in ways reminiscent of the CIA.

The assassination of a Sikh militant in British Columbia, allegedly by Indian agents acting on Canadian soil is the latest flare-up between Canada and India. A float “celebrating” the assassination of Indira Gandhi, paraded in Brampton Ontario, triggered a political storm in 2023. A “referendum” on Khalistan Independence organised in 2022 by the Canadian “Sikhs for Justice” (banned in India) caused angry demonstrations in India.

The transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE), committed to the separatist objectives of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE, banned in Canada and most countries holds similar referenda challenging the territorial integrity of Sri Lanka. During the Eelam wars in Sri Lanka, pro-LTTE organisations in Canada raised millions of dollars to purchase arms for the LTTE, as documented by RCMP and by independent journalists.

A float in a Sikh separatist parade “celebrating” the assassination of Indira Gandhi

How would Canada react if Quebec separatists or disgruntled indigenous militants hold referenda, raise funds, parade assassination floats, accuse Canada of genocide and militate against Canadian Unity using a foreign host? Will the Canadian politicians stoop to the shady methods of Russia, India and indeed the USA with its CIA covert operations of alleged assassinations abroad?

Many militant immigrant-political organisations thrive in Canada, exploiting what the Indian External affairs Minister Jaishankar referred to as “the rise of vote-bank politics and the inaction of the Trudeau government”. Most Canadian politicians have actively embraced vote-bank politics, even from the days of Steven Harper and Paul Martin. This domestic politics has far-flung consequences, not only in tiny Sri Lanka, but even in India.

This gangrene in Canadian politics is best seen in Brampton, Ontario where 80% of the voters are South-Asian. Patrick Brown, the Mayor is dogged down by many personal and financial controversies so serious that they blocked his conservative-party leadership candidacy. The Sikhs are a majority (nearly 30%) in Brampton, have “their own” in government, and are masters of high-intensity India taunting. So, Patrick Brown has sought the support of another ethnic group, the Tamils of Sri Lankan origin. Although a mere 2% of Brampton’s population, they are well-funded, highly organized through trans-national Tamil Eelamist groups, and have an electoral clout well beyond their demographics.

Figure 1

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has already rejected the claim of a Tamil genocide. Global Affairs Canada does not support the genocide claim. However, Militant ethnic groups intent on making black into white get politicians onside by exploiting vote-bank politics. So, we have, not only Justin Trudeau’s vote-bank politics supporting Sikhs and Tamils, but also Pierre Poilievre claiming, “”unimaginable atrocities, genocide and war crimes” against Tamils during the Sri Lankan civil war. These statements pointedly favour one ethnic group whereas the atrocities were suffered by both warring groups.

Such “vote-bank statements” are repeated in May, on the anniversary of the defeat of the Tigers, with the Tigers becoming innocent victims of state genocide. Patrick Brown has emerged as the political leader of the move by militant Tamils of Brampton to build a “Tamil Genocide memorial indicting “the Sinhalese governments in Sri Lanka” and fueling ethnic fires with Sinhalese immigrants in Canada. It is on record that it was the LTTE that practised ethnic cleansing of what they claimed were their “exclusive Tamil homelands” by eliminating Muslim and Sinhalese residents of the North and East in Sri Lanka.

Brampton city provides the land and financial support for this memorial that is causing tension among the diaspora populations! While immigrants should leave their tribal wars back in their home countries when they immigrate, Canadian politicians exploit these divisive forces for their own short-term gain.

A genocide in Sri Lanka or anywhere else is intolerable if proven. Canadians should first erect memorials to atone their own proven genocides. The genocide of the first nations by European colonisation is now well-established. However, “residential school system” has become the scapegoat for this. A memorial has been built in Kamloops just for that. The current narrative hides how first-nation peoples were deprived of land and deliberately hunted down, with their populations dipping dramatically (see Figure 1) to reach a mere few hundred thousand by 1900. In contrast, the Tamil population in Sri Lanka showed robust growth even during the civil war.

While Poilievre rejects genocide allegations against Israel in Gaza, Trudeau and Joly hold that proving genocidal intent requires a high threshold of evidence. So, how did the alleged Tamil genocide rejected by the UNHRC get easy acceptance with Canadian politicians? One should note that Meir Kahane, Baruch Goldstein and other pioneers of Israel’s current extreme right incubated in the USA.

Is Canada the incubator of future extremism in South Asia? The Brampton monument warns us of this danger, arising from the duplicity of politicians corrupted by vote banks of militant groups agitating with histories of violent ethnic agendas.

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