22 October, 2020

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Hold The Sri Lankan Regime Accountable

By Bob Rae

Bob Rae

The reports of recent attacks at the Uthayan newspaper and on-going violence in Sri Lanka are deeply concerning.

Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs has not matched his rhetoric on Sri Lanka with concrete, strong actions. He must work to persuade members of the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) to take collective action against the Rajapaksa regime’s continued violation of Commonwealth values and principles.

The Liberal Party of Canada is urging Minister Baird to engage with his counterparts at the upcoming CMAG meeting on Friday, April 26, to hold the Sri Lankan regime accountable for the impeachment of its Chief Justice, the absolute deterioration of democracy and rule of law, and the violent attacks on minorities. The Minister must additionally use this occasion to push for the next Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting to be moved from Sri Lanka.

Furthermore, we are calling on the Government of Canada to formally request that the Commonwealth Secretary General seek an independent legal opinion as to whether the Sri Lankan regime has violated the Commonwealth’s Charter; should this be the case, then the Commonwealth must rightfully suspend Sri Lanka’s membership from the association.

*Canadian Liberal party communique – Issued April 20, 2013

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    Many will agree absolutely with everything that Bob Rae has said.

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      Holding corrupt Rajapassa clan accounablee is good. But, not by runners of LTTE Canada such as Bob Rae. Ulterior motives are never far away. Sri Lankans simply cannot trust people with vested interests such as Bob Rae.

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        “I distinctly remember one evening in 2006 being at a meeting where Rae was meeting with Canadian Tamils. Their leader did not mince his words in laying out the price for the support of the 45 Tamil delegates to the Liberal convention:

        “Mr. Rae, will you promise to delist the Tamil Tigers from Canada’s list of terrorist organizations, if you become leader of the Liberal Party and prime minister of Canada?” Rae’s response was blunt. He told the Tamils, “if any politician promises you that he will help delist the LTTE as a terrorist organization, he is not telling the truth.” The Tamils were not alone. Leading up to the Montreal convention, several ethnic and religious groups traded their delegates. Leading the charge were remnants of pro-Khalistan Sikhs, Islamist Muslims and Arabs who all came together to punish Rae for having the audacity to not be bullied.”

        Bob Rae – the prime minister Canada never had, Tarek Fatah – Toronto Sun , April 2, 2013

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        Ben Hurling:
        The term “unmitigated, unsubstantiated nonsense” admirably fits what you have to say.
        Bob Rae might not be the greatest Canadian ever, but he certainly has a justifiable reputation for honesty, decency and ethical conduct even among his opponents and the party he led at one time in Ontario and left to join the Liberals.
        It might also help if you look at his track record in Sri Lanka, inclusive of the people – such as Neelan Tiruchelvam – with whom he was closely linked. Or does association with ANY Tamil make him an LTTE supporter?
        Stop this idiotic – one-off from the Rajapassa xenophobia – ranting if you want anyone to take you seriously or are you Hulugalle writing under a pseudonym?

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          Aney Apochchi

          You seem to have a lot of respect for Bob Rae. Never heard of you speaking positively of any Sri Lankan. Well, I give you the benefit of the doubt.

          The problem is guys liek Bob Rae have very low credibility among Sri Lankan people.

          Even though they might be honourable men. And their intentions on the surface seem great. Like holding Rajapassa & Co accountable.

          The problem is they never bothered to hit LTTE snake on the head in Canada. And kill it. They leave it to us. Cos’ they have political compulsions.

          Second they abandoned tiny Sri Lanka in her long struggle against the cruel LTTE. Sri Lanka was getting hammerred good for 30 long years. Canda could not be bothered.

          Did they provide intelligence, military training, weapons technology required? NO. Not even moral support. All that was given to USA and UK by Canada after 9/11 and before. Hypocrisy!

          But, they never fail to preach to us. Most Sri Landkans find this highly annoying. That is our problem with Bob Rae and Canada. Nothing else. That is why their words, though sometimes well meant do not carry so much weight in Sri Lanka.

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      “Commonwealth Secretary General seek an independent legal opinion as to whether the Sri Lankan regime has violated the Commonwealth’s Charter”.

      The Rajapassa regime has violated the Commonwealth Charter and illegally impeached the Chief Justice.

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      The night at the Katunayake Airport is still hurting this guy. He is a joke in Canada and now he is a joke globally.

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    Commonwealth secretary general seems to be biased towards the SL government. He has largely remained silent other than making a few ambiguous remarks. Hence an independent opinion is required as a matter of priority if the CMOG is to remain objectively committed to its values and principles. Even the clear voice of the Commonwealth Bar and Judiciary as fallen on the deaf ears of Mr Sharma.

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      Sharma is an Indian and takes orders from the GoI, so pressure must be put on the GoI to push for the withdrawal of the Commonwealth of Clowns heads meeting in Hambantota – which today is an environmental disaster zone.
      Tamil Nadu Politicians and Jayalalitha need to tell the creepy Manmohan: NO Commonwealth Circus in Lanka and get Sharma to move on the matter and shift Commonwealth Circus to another cournty.
      Otherwise, Lanka Spring protestors will stone the CHOGM clowns who will be boosting the Rajapassa Dictatorship!
      After that it will be CURTAINS for the Commonwealth of Nations which is an old colonial relic that is today the platform of third world dictators like Mahinda Rajapassa.

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    Totally agreed. Sri Lanka has become a failed State under MR.

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      Citizen,

      MR has failed us. A failed President. Specially post war. MR will be sent home with his family in due course by Sri Lankan people. Take it easy.

      Sri Lanka is not a failed state. Will never be.

      But, LTTE nut cases such as yourself are welcome to keep dreaming about Sri Lanka’s demise.

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        Dear Ben Hurling,
        Bob Rae is concerned of Sri Lankan regime’s accountablity for the impeachment of its Chief Justice, the absolute deterioration of democracy and rule of law, and the violent attacks on minorities. These has nothing to do with the LTTE. Is there any improvement on matters raised by Bob Rae? I am of the view that Federalism, especially on the Canadian model, will certainly provide a good answer on matters raised by Bob Rae. Do you know when Chandrika Banadaranayake was in power, a draft Constitution on the Canadian model was tabled before the Parliament for which even MR couldn’t raise any objection. Do you accept that the draft Constitution would have settled the present unsettled condition, rather than dragging ethnic problem unnecessarily? Do you accept that MR is dragging Sri Lanka on the lines of Pakistan to become a failed State?

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          Citizen

          I am not anti Tamil. I sincerely hope you have understood that by now. Just anti LTTE. And a Sri Lankan patriot.

          I am for devolution. Where all will be treated with dignity. Where rule of law and equality are supreme values.

          I am for meaningful devolution. Canadian, Swiss, Indian models have elements we can learn from. Surely.

          But, the ultimate solution has to be created by Sri Lankans. Not by Bob Rae, Erik Solheim, David Milliband or anyoen of their ilk. This not Canada, Norway or UK. We are the masters here. All of us. Sinhalese, Tamils, Muslims and all others that inhabit this beautiful Island.

          We need a solution that devolves power to the Provinces. But, also decisively and clearly rules out any stepping stones for seperate states in the future. Many Sri Lankans fear this possibility. And Ealamists are plotting just that. While screaming devolution, Tamil rights etc.

          Because the LTTE is such a cunning enemy. We have no other options. But, be very careful. Not to get trapped in an Ealamist set up. Everyone remembers seemingnly “harmless” looking proposals such as ISGA & P-TOMS. Both cunning traps to stear towards a ethnically pure Tamils only Ealam eventually.

          Once that fear is removed, you will find a large majority of Sri Lankans rallying to support devolution. Including me.

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            Agreed. I am also an anti-LTTE. Do you know they killed all my friends including Dr.Neelan Thiruchelvam. Now the word devolution is bitter to MR’s regime. Can you remember that when the LTTE was defeated GR no more Tamils raise their issue, without realizing the younger Tamil generation will bounce back, like the Germans after the 1st World War. The greatest drawbacks for the Tamils is that the Tamil political leaders are not far-sighted, excepting one or two. Others are all selfish. Now lokk at the Hill country Tamil politicians – when the hill country Tamils are been attacked at Thondmanpura and were threatened to pack to India, those Tamil politicians representing them had not resigned. Similarly there are some Tamil politicians in the North still licking the boots of MR. They are unable to do anything when Rishard Badurdeen (Jihadist) threatened and burnt the houses of Tamils at Mullaitivu., at a time when Tamil politicians were condemning the barbaric executiion of Rizana. MR is not going to give anything to the Tamils. It is far better to rely on countries like Canada, UK, etc. Today we are in this plight because the LTTE had decimated all the educated people. Atleast they should have stood with G.Parthasarathy, instead they assassinated Rajiv Gandhi, Amirthalingam and several others. The Muslims are an opportunistic community – never rely on them. Separation is only a dream. The best solution is Federalism. With the unlawful impeachment of the CJ, Sri Lanka is on its wrong track and Sri Lanka is on its way for bankruptcy and there will be uprising from all quarters. Everything depends how the younger generation reacts.

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        Ben Hurling

        “Sri Lanka is not a failed state. Will never be.”

        Thanks to India, US and other 28 countries.

        “MR has failed us. A failed President.”

        Not just MR, all previous Sinhala/Buddhist leaders.

        “But, LTTE nut cases such as yourself are welcome to keep dreaming about Sri Lanka’s demise.”

        As long as India is nearby there won’t be demise. However even India can not prevent Sri Lanka’s own self destruction.

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    Bob Rae

    You are shamelessly going to bat for the LTTE rump in Canada in order to harvest the Tamil ethnic vote to save your Liberal Party from total oblivion. Have you forgotten how the Tiger goons disrupted the public meeting organized by Human Rights Watch in Toronto in 2006 to present Jo Becker’s report on recruitment of child soldiers by the LTTE. Have you forgotten how the LTTE thugs terrorized all those who had gathered with their video cameras and intimidated you and Jo Becker from speaking. Refresh your memory by reading the report that appeared on the eprlf.net website on 25 March 2006:

    Human Rights Watch in Toronto and the LTTE’s Arrogance

    By Balan Suntheram

    Sunday’s public meeting on child soldiers in Sri Lanka hosted by Human Rights Watch (HRW) could have been an opportunity for discussion and introspection within the Tamil community. Instead, the evening devolved into a farce of orchestrated heckling, tired slogans, and indignant monologues by self-styled leaders of the Tamil community. Presumably, these performances were intended to convey the righteous outrage of a united Tamil community to the panel comprising of the Former Premier of Ontario Bob Rae, Jo Becker of HRW, and Noah Novogrodsky of the University of Toronto’s Law School. What they demonstrated instead, were the level of intimidation within Toronto’s Tamil community, and the singular lack of concern by the LTTE supporters for Tamil children in the North and East of Sri Lanka.

    The Scarborough Civic Center, located at the heart of the Toronto Tamil ghetto packed with three hundred people, with many standing in the back of the hall. The week preceding the event had been seen much media attention and talk about the meeting in the community. While the audience was dominated by men in their twenties, thirties and forties, there were also women and old people present.

    The evening’s proceedings were halted after the introductions by the Chair when Gary, a rising star among the LTTE’s fiefdom in Toronto demanded to know why there was no representative from ‘our’ community on the panel. His self-important speech was amplified by his strategically-placed disciples, who applauded, shouted slogans, and made (disappointingly empty) threats of leaving the hall. Gary, and others attempted to propose Professor Chandrakanthan. They proposed as speaker an old LTTE stalwart, who in turn unashamedly walked up to the panel only to be denounced and shouted down as “priest who supports killing”; Pon Kulendiran and Fr. Xavier also barked their demand to be heard, but were fortunately ignored. The LTTE’s repeated assertions of representing a united Tamil community were lost, somewhere, in the cacophony of voices suggesting and rejecting representatives. None of these self-appointed leaders of the Tamil community even attempted to control the young thugs who were organized and brought in to intimidate the audience, rather they joined in the rowdiness.

    But such a cacophony is a rare delight in Toronto, where the multiplicity of voices is usually stifled under a heavy blanket of fear. It is no surprise that HRW was unable to find a Tamil human rights activist who could safely comment on the report – very few could safely comment in that room, much less speak as an official panellist. Indeed, as organised elements of the audience shouted with increasing volume and menace that there was no intimidation in Toronto, it became clear that the intimidation was very real indeed. At its height Bob Rae himself declared, “I will not be intimidated.” LTTE stooges are fond of asserting, in wide-eyed disbelief, that ‘this is Canada – how can such talk of intimidation be taken seriously?’ Sunday night was ample evidence of the LTTE’s attempts to control all public spaces relating to the Tamil community in Toronto, including a program organised by an international human rights group. This prompted even Bob Rae to declare “in my 25 years of public life, I have never been prevented from speaking.” One man muttered, “the Canadian government allowed LTTE to hold their Pongu Thamil this year, I am sure they will teach the LTTE a lesson next year.”

    Indeed, life in Tamil Toronto mimics life under the LTTE in the North and East. Not as violent, perhaps, but just as repressed. As one man commented “these are the same hooligans who made a carnival of the elections in the North and East.” But the relationship between Toronto’s LTTE culture and the LTTE in the North and East is not a one-way street. Toronto also wields substantial influence over events in the North and East. And it is precisely because of the Toronto Tamil community’s influence with the LTTE that HRW sought to engage them in the first place.

    Back at the meeting, while all the barking and growling by LTTE front men continued one woman got up and shouted them down asking “don’t you have any decency?” Eventually, after thirty minutes of rowdy behaviour by the forty or fifty organized goons of the LTTE that had come to disrupt the meeting, Bob Rae managed to calm the crowd and made his presentation. He talked at length about the conflict and the need for a democratic culture to take root in the North and East. And he ended by saying, it would even be in the interest of LTTE supporters to make sure the LTTE stopped recruiting child soldiers, because if it did not, it would continue to face condemnation and isolation from the international community. Jo Becker, Advocacy Director for Human Rights Watch’s Children’s Rights Division then made a presentation outlining the HRW report and their findings. She read testimony of children and parents abused mercilessly by the LTTE in the East, of the climate of fear that eclipsed the children that she had interviewed, as much of the audience listened with horror.

    After the presentations were over and the chair turned to the translator for summary translations in Tamil, the same goons shouted we don’t need translation. Even as a number of people in the back shouted for translation, as it was very clear that a third of the audience needed translation. But the LTTE thugs only wanted to hear themselves, and would not allow the translator to speak. People in the crowds shouted back at the thugs, “You talk of Tamil Eelam, why don’t you want to listen to Tamil?”

    The question and answer session was again a tirade of monologues about victimization of the Tamil community, and few made any educated arguments or questions about the report. Nevertheless, Jo Becker answered most questions patiently as the unruly thugs continued to shout and scream. But there was also something very different at this event. For the first time, the ordinary people questioned and argued with the LTTE front-men. It was also an event of resistance to the LTTE’s threats. In the back of the hall one such shouting match almost led to a brawl, as the LTTE goons asked the disagreeing men to come out of the hall. By this time the police had also reached doors of the hall. Emotions also ran high as one man stood up and shouted “the army sent my father’s body cut up into pieces in a garbage bag.” To which a man shouted back “the LTTE killed seven of my relatives, what do you say to that?”

    Perhaps the most insightful comment came from a teenage girl who walked up to the microphone. She questioned “all of you are shouting about the army, you have said nothing about the children who are being recruited by the LTTE?” To which a few of the goons shouted, and she in turn shouted back “shut up”, further aggravating the goons who shouted sexist and vulgar slurs. The teenage girl continued to speak as she cried with shame, “why are all of you acting like this? You are adults, you should listen to what the panellists have to say, you should listen to us young people.”

    HRW’s lengthy report translated in full into a Tamil booklet of 110 pages was in most peoples’ hands as they left the event. If one emotion can describe the majority of the audience it was shame. One young woman wondered, would “people like Bob Rae ever have any respect for us and our community, after he saw the behaviour of our leaders and university students acting like thugs?” But one activist who helped organise and mobilise for the event said, “This is the reality. Let the world know what the LTTE culture is really like. And it is also a success. We have heard about human rights at the center of Toronto’s Tamil community, something that had not happened in years.” Another man said, “for the first time in many years, people in a crowd had the guts to shout at the LTTE in Toronto.” The LTTE may have finally gone too far even in Toronto, and the Toronto Tamils will have to consider if they want to be identified with the LTTE.

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      Dear Vanadeva

      Did not bother to read your comment. It feel nauseating to see how many times you have mentioned LTTE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
      without mentioning the LTTE word , their history was 30 years, the Sinhalese criminals and their sympathisers would not be able to put any valid , strong reasons for their argument.
      I wonder how the criminals justify the crimes before LTTE era.
      Absolutely sickening to see justifying the past/ongoing genocide to LTTE and VIP

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        sinhala friend

        You must be a Tiger podiyan who doesn’t know how to read properly. First read before you comment. Then you will realize I have attached an article written by somebody else regarding the thuggish behaviour of LTTE goons at a meeting organized by the Human Rights Watch in Toronto in 2006. If Prabakaran is alive he wouldn’t have allowed morons like you to talk on behalf of the LTTE and bring more humiliation to Tamils.

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    I need not add anything.. bailama has said it all

    [Edited out]

    Majoriry Sri Lankans of all races share his views. That is why despite many economic hardships majority Sri Lankans (Sinhala, Tamil, Muslim & other) keep on re-electing him as President.

    “Sisira – you should write here instead of posting blog links – CT

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    Bob Rae is unlikely to forget the humiliation he was subjected to by the Rajapakse regime, when he was turned away from the Katunayake airport a few years ago. Here was a leading political figure in Canada – a country that gave us the Colombo Int’l Airport – being unceremoniously driven away from that same airport. Certainly Rae is unlikely to forget this easily.

    Senguttuvan

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      Senguttuvan,

      Agree.

      We should have engaged Bob Rae. Rather than ducking him in that inhospitable manner. But, that is Rajapassa brothers for you.

      Having said that, Sri Lankans are unlikely to forget the role Canada played and continues to play in Sri Lanka.

      Canada should help Sri Lanka protect her legitimate interests. And win Sri Lankan hearts and minds.

      Instead, Canada was a fertile ground for LTTE financing, arms procurement operations and propaganda. Base of the Snow Tigers.

      Sri Lankans are unlikely to forget this treachery. Canada must understand this. Rather than preaching to us all the time.

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      Senguttuvan:
      Something to keep in mind is the current Canadian situation where, with the election of Justin Trudeau, the Liberal Party’s fortunes have surged and it is likely to, again, return to its status as Canada’s “natural governing party” with an election only a short time away.
      And guess who the Liberal’s recently appointed shadow Foreign Minster is? Mr. Bob Rae!
      Interesting times ahead, one would think.

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      I only hopr that Bob Rae becomes a the Foreign Minister of Canada when the Liberal Party assumes power at the coming General election. Thereafter the world will watch the real drama.

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    There is no description of the white gentleman whose photograph appears above, and has presumably written the article about what to do with Sri Lanka.

    It appears the man lives in Canada, but in what capacity or with what relevance does he proclaim all these plans for Sri Lanka in the “common” wealth of former British colonies?

    I believe CT has an obligation to inform, as he is obviously not Sri Lankan and we Sri Lankans should know how he is connected to Sri Lanka.

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    “The reports of recent attacks at the Uthayan newspaper and on-going violence in Sri Lanka are deeply concerning.”

    Dear Western “Neville Chamberlins”:

    Read Sir Winston Churchill, the greatest British Statesmen,confronted the greatest Nazi Hitler, while others appeased.

    Shame on All of you, still trying to appease the modern Nazis of Sri Lanka. Just do it. Just like you drone kill the Talibans, jut target a few of these racists and let them fear the terrorism of the drones from the air.

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    Mr. Lasantha ever heard of Google. :)

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    Dear Mr.Bob Rae,

    Please tell your CHOGM members that we Sri Lankan citizen won’t get any benifit by holding CHOGM in Sri Lanka.

    This CHOGM is a mere elete club members gathering while GOSL is planning to import over 300 super luxury vehicles including over 80 Rolls Royce Limos in the name of CHOGM only to find these will be shared among the ruling family and friends after CHOGM meeting.

    Also Bringing in untold amount of Foreign Liquors, food supplies, foreign artists and other items including extra overhead expences will ultimately fall upon us citizens of this country.

    Also both Police and security forces will be tightened throught the country, disrupting our day to day life while GOSL will use this to intimidate, harass and spy on us citizens.

    If CHOGM plan to give GOSL some businesses contracts or new trade deals, they could do so on a mutual agreement basis, and for that matter GOSL need not have to incur a colossal expense.

    Also if CHOGM plan to help poor people, they could do so by delivering aid directly tothe needed citizen.

    Our priority is to find a way to meet day to day expenses and CHOGM is not our priority.

    Please consider this.

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