Canada-wide Day of Mourning for Tamils in Sri Lanka

    TORONTO, Feb. 3 /CNW/ - As Sri Lanka celebrates its Independence Day on
February 4th, Tamil Canadians will be mourning the loss of innocent civilians
killed due to the hostilities of the Sri Lankan government. Over the past
several weeks, the Sri Lankan government has violated the Geneva Convention by
deliberately targeting Tamil civilians in the North and East of Sri Lanka.
Currently there are over a quarter of a million Tamil civilians who are
trapped within a 300 square kilometer conflict area and denied access to
urgent medical care, humanitarian aid, and media access for independent
verification of the situation.
    "Tamil Canadians are deeply concerned about the fate of our loved ones
back home who are facing immense hardships due to the escalating conflict,"
says David Poopalapillai National Spokesperson for the Canadian Tamil
Congress. "We beseech the Canadian government to intervene by urging the Sri
Lankan government to immediately cease hostilities against the Tamil people
and allow international aid to reach civilians."
    International actors have strongly condemned the actions of the Sri
Lankan government. The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi
Pillay stated that, "It is the Government's duty to provide safety to all Sri
Lanka's citizens, whatever their ethnic origin or political views. That means
not only protecting civilians during military operations in the north, but
also ensuring space for journalists and human rights defenders to seek out the
truth and expose abuses."
    Candle Light Vigils will be taking place in major cities from coast to
coast: Ottawa, Montreal, Toronto, Winnipeg, Edmonton and Vancouver to urge the
Canadian government to take decisive action to help end the unfolding
humanitarian crisis.

    City                  Time                 Place

    Ottawa                10 am - 11 am        Parliamentary Press Gallery
    - Press Conference

    Ottawa                1 pm - 4 pm          Canadian Parliament (Ottawa)
    - Vigil

    Montreal              5:30 pm - 7:30 pm    UNHRC Building
    - Candle Light Vigil                       200 boulevard Rene Levesque

    Toronto               5:30 pm - 7:30 pm    Sri Lankan Consulate
    - Candle Light Vigil                       40 St. Clair Ave. W.

    Winnipeg               4:30 pm - 6:30 pm   303 Main St. (Main & Water)
    - Candle Light Vigil

    Vancouver              5:00 pm - 7:30 pm   The Vancouver Art Gallery
    - Candle Light Vigil                       750 Hornby St.

    Edmonton               6:00 pm - 7:00 pm   1 Sir Winston Churchill Square
    - Candle Light Vigil

For further information:

For further information: Canadian Tamil Congress: Toronto - (416)
240-0078; Ottawa - (613) 816-6173; Montreal - (514) 978-2282; Winnipeg - (204)
290-4686; Vancouver - (778) 231-0074; Edmonton - (780) 798-1070

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Canadian Tamil Congress

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