Monday, January 17, 2005

Tamil Terror Threat Felt by Some: Paul Martin Comes under Fire for Giving

The U.S. State Department says that the Tamil Tigers are a terrorist group. So, since Paul Martin, prime minister of Canada, is giving money and help to the Tamil Rehabilitation Organization, a charitable organization, so that they can repair their country after the worst natural disaster of our time, his foreign aid policies have been criticised. Martin was also allegedly accused of having ties to terrorist organization Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam which is supported by some Tamils.

Paul Martin could have opted to support other areas like Bangkok, which are just as effected as Sri Lanka but instead, not only is he reaching out to the needy, but he may also be thinking of the 200,000 person Tamil community in Toronto.

Before 1948, Sri Lanka was Ceylon and it had been colonized by the British, Dutch and Portuguese. Tamils were Hindus. When it then gained independence, the Sinhalese officially declared Sri Lanka Buddhist and revolted against the minority Tamils, stripping some of their voting rights.

Many Tamils came to Canada as refugees in 1983, when their houses were being burned or they were attacked by Sinhalese mobs in Colombo. Of course Paul Martin feels a responsibility to help both the Tamil community of Toronto, their families, as well as ALL those who suffered in the tsunami. But because much of Sri Lanka may be controlled by the Tigers or a terrorist organization as deemed by the department, it is not a reason to withhold aid for the area. There are always children and those who are peacefully trying to survive. I think places that are politically volatile need just as much if not more help to rebuild their stability.

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