Sunday Observer Online


Sunday, 17 April 2011





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‘Our position has been strong and unequivocal’:

Canadian PM reiterates strong opposition to Tigers

Canadian Prime Minister and Conservative Party leader Stephen Harper was on the defensive yesterday after the media reported that one of his party candidates for Parliament had hosted a televised tribute to the LTTE, an organisation banned in Canada as a terrorist group.

Harper told reporters his Conservative Party holds “a strong position against the Tigers.” His Government banned the Tigers in 2006, despite days of protests by Tamil immigrants in Ottawa, Canada’s capital and Toronto, the country’s largest city.

Their aid agency, the World Tamil Movement, was suppressed in 2008.

Still, Federal police and security agencies claim that the Tigers raise money in Canada and smuggling rings bring wanted Tamil terrorists to Canada.

The controversy arose on Thursday morning after the daily Globe and Mail reported that Conservative candidate Gavan Paramchothy, a broadcaster, had hosted a pro-Tiger television show last November.

Paramchothy, who travelled with Harper to South Asia in 2009, is running for the House of Commons in the Toronto suburb of Scarborough, which has a large Tamil population.

“Our position on the Tigers has been strong and unequivocal,” Harper told reporters at a press conference near Quebec City in French-speaking Quebec province.

“This is the party that listed the Tigers (as a terrorist group); previous governments have refused to do so, and our position on that is not going to change.”

Paramchothy had hosted a television special to celebrate Tigers’ Heroes Day. According to the Globe and Mail, Paramchothy referred to the LTTE as “strong and faithful people who stood guard for the Tamils, fought for freedom and peace.”

The show was broadcast on the Tamil Vision International satellite TV and on a multi-cultural radio station in Canada.

No charges were laid in connection with the broadcast then.

In another interview, Paramchothy accused the Sri Lankan government of genocide. He won the Conservative nomination for Scarborough in March.



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