Thursday, November 08, 2007


Conjure the following scene...

A fortified jungle outpost. Machine gun fire and rocket propelled grenades spew from the slit windows of a concrete blockhouse as the fortress's Defenders come under relentless attack.

Surging from the jungle, wave after wave of troops charge headlong through tall elephant grass that rises above their shoulders. They struggle to aim and fire AK-47's that are almost as large and heavy as they are. The attackers are Children and the fortress Defenders cut their tiny bodies to pieces...

This isn't fiction. It's a brief description of the Battle of Elephant Pass, which occurred in Northern Sri Lanka in 1991, lasted 4 days and involved more than 10,000 combatants.

The attacking army was "The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam"(LTTE). They lost the battle and left 573 dead child soldiers on the battlefield, some as young as 4 years old.

The use of Child soldiers is one of the most repugnant aspects of modern warfare. Around the world, hundreds of thousands of children are abducted from their families, abused until compliant and turned into killers. They are literally cannon fodder. Disposable. Dispensable. Never missed or mourned by their commanders.

The war in Sri Lanka has been going on for more than 20 years, with the Tamil Tigers credited for not only inventing suicide bombing, but for abducting thousands of children in the tiny island nation to act as soldiers in units the Tigers themselves have dubbed "Baby Brigades".

If it were possible to make this practise even more disturbing, the LTTE has done that too, now owning and operating orphanages where the children placed in their care are trained for special combat units called "Leopard Brigades" or their "Black Tiger" suicide squads.

And they've done all of these things with money raised in Canada (mostly within 25 miles of my own home) while Liberal Prime Ministers Jean Chretien and Paul Martin repeatedly refused to place them on any list of banned terrorist groups.

As the LTTE assassinated heads of government, massacred hundreds in rural villages, engaged in human smuggling, arms smuggling, Tsunami relief fund theft, piracy and massive extortion in immigrant communities abroad; the USA, India, Australia, Great Britain and 27 countries in the European Union outlawed their activities, jailed their enablers and froze their assets.

In Canada, the ruling Liberals did nothing, not wanting to "upset" Tamil residents who account for 100,000 votes in Federal ridings East and North of Toronto. And you don't have to take my word for that.

While the RCMP investigated "intimidation and extortion" of Tamil Canadians to secure funding for the Tigers, an FBI report designated Canada as a major source of illegal funding to the Tigers because "The federal Liberal Government, in an effort to bolster support in the Tamil community, refuses to declassify the Tigers as a terrorist group despite several recommendations from CSIS to do so."

Last year, the new government of Stephen Harper followed the rest of the International community and declared the LTTE a terrorist organization. The RCMP raided their fund raising charity fronts in Toronto and Montreal while police arrested several involved in arms smuggling.

Last Friday, the Sri Lankan Air Force killed LTTE Brigadier S.P. Thamilselvan, deputy leader of the Tigers. On Monday night, not far from where I live, 10,000 Tamils gathered to mourn his loss, joining them and speaking from the stage were 9 federal Liberal members of parliament.

The MP's said they were there "to urge for peace" and have been praising the dead Tiger leader as a "peacemaker" despite his well publicized (and self-acknowledged) record of hundreds of atrocities and have denied that the Tigers are involved in extorting their constituents and are anything but terrorists.

That would seem to fly in the face of reams of evidence supplied by Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, UNICEF, Interpol, the FBI and CSIS.

Yesterday, I heard MP Jim Karygiannis deny that there was any evidence of Tamils in Canada being threatened, abused or forced to pay money to support the Tigers. That would mean that he's unaware of the letter sent to members of parliament and the Toronto Police Chief 11 months ago by Human Rights Watch which outlined just such practices.

He also apparently missed the CBC story from a year earlier that outlined the door-to-door fundraising where Tamil families were given Pin numbers for donations. Numbers they would need to enter certain districts in Sri Lanka when they returned for visits. Numbers which would also assure the safety of relatives still living there.

And I guess he was busy in June of 2000 when 400 Sri Lankans marched on Parliament Hill urging the Liberal government to crackdown on fund-raising by the Tigers that had Tamil neighbourhoods living in fear.

In protecting their political backsides, these politicians protect killers, not only breaking the laws of this country by "associating with a banned terrorist organization", but contributing to untold suffering and bloodshed half a world away -- much of it by children whose innocence has been traded for inhumanity.

According to Human Rights Watch and UNICEF, the Tamil Tigers abducted 5,666 children between 2001 and 2006, although they speculate only 1/3 of cases are actually reported to them.

The report also states that these Children were used for "massive frontal assaults" like Elephant Pass and that boys and girls 12-14 were used to massacre women and children in remote rural villages. Children as young as 10 are used as suicide bombers and assassins, the Tigers preferring girls and young women because they are less likely to be searched for explosives by security forces.

And if this isn't sinking low enough, LTTE child soldiers are provided with cyanide capsules and grenades and instructed to take their own lives to avoid capture.

There's an adage that the only thing required for evil to succeed is for good men to do nothing and another about the banality of evil.

The nine Liberal Members of Parliament pictured below certainly exemplify the banality of evil.

In descending order, they are:

John Cannis -- Mark Holland -- Jim Karygiannis -- Derek Lee -- John McKay -- Maria Minna -- Yasmin Ratansi -- Lui Temelkovski -- Borys Wrzesnewskyj...

Despite their stance as peacemakers, supporters of "freedom fighters" or however else they rationalize their behaviour -- nothing can justify defending those who twist children into killers and assassins or walking bomb delivery units.

I honestly hope there's some way they can be punished for their support of the purveyors of terror. Maybe our anti-terror laws actually have some teeth. Maybe American Homeland Security can put them on some no-fly list. Perhaps the decent people in their constituencies have other ways to take them to task for the terrible acts they've assisted by their desire to hold a seat in Parliament.

How do these people sleep? Just how much can a vote really be worth?


Juniper said...

Thanks Jim.
The information leaves me speechless but I will process and then act.


Arun Vincent said...

this is great except on one point I beg to differ.
If I were you I would give Jim Kary. the first place in that list of MPs.

Esther said...

From 2004 - National Post

A Liberal MP admitted yesterday that he was present at a weekend rally attended by supporters of the Tamil Tigers terrorist group, but said he only went because he was invited by his constituents.

"I was at the rally, yes," said Jim Karygiannis, MP for the Toronto-area riding of Scarborough-Agincourt.

"It was a FACT (Federation of Associations of Tamil Canadians)
rally. It's not their first or the last that I've been to.

"You understand that FACT officers are situated in my riding and I
probably have the largest Tamil community, if not the largest, one of
the largest in my riding.

"The constituents asked me to go and I went."

Several thousand Tamil-Canadians rallied at Queen's Park in
Toronto on Saturday in support of independence for Sri Lanka's
ethnic Tamil minority. They waved the Tamil Tigers flag -- a Tiger's
head and two crossed rifles surrounded by a circle of bullets.

Speakers also voiced their support for the Tamil Tigers, and a
photograph of Veluppillai Prabhakaran, the Tamil Tiger leader, was
displayed. Mr. Karygiannis raised the Canadian flag at the event.

Asked why he would attend such a function, Mr. Karygiannis, a
Greek-Canadian, recounted how he had read poetry three decades
ago at a rally in support of political change in Greece, which was
then under the control of a right-wing junta.

"The one thing that I'm seeing is the following: Today's villains are
tomorrow's heroes. Mr. (Yasser) Arafat, (Andreas) Papandreou,
Sinn Fein of the IRA. They were in a struggle and today they're
sitting across the table talking to each other.

"The one thing that I wish and the one thing that I think should
happen sooner than later is conversation between the two sides,
which is not happening."

He said his only interest is in peace, and that he wants Canada to
take a lead role in trying to resolve the ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka,
which he complained has been ignored by the international

"I've got an interest. These are constituents. It's not supporting one
side or the other side. If I can help -- I'm not going to say to myself
I'm the greatest foremost expert of things, maybe I'm the greatest
idiot in the world -- but if you can bring to light some of the facts ...
maybe you can start a process from inside Canada that will vibrate
back there."

The Canadian government considers the Tamil Tigers to be a
terrorist group because of its violent tactics, which have included the
assassination of political leaders such as Rajiv Gandhi, the former
Indian prime minister. The group is also responsible for suicide
bombings that have killed hundreds of civilians.

Canada is home to more than 150,000 ethnic Tamils, and some
continue to support the Tigers. Money raised in Canada through
donations, organized crime and front organizations is helping finance
the terrorist group, according to police and intelligence agencies.
Canada has vowed to pass a law banning terrorist fundraising.

FACT and one of its key members, the World Tamil Movement,
have been identified as "front organizations" for the Tamil Tigers by
the U.S. State Department and a report published by the Canadian
Security Intelligence Service. FACT threatened to sue the National
Post last week for reporting on the alleged link.