Canadian Tamils urge strong Canadian leadership in responding to the crisis in Sri Lanka

    TORONTO, May 29 /CNW/ - Babu Nagalingam, President of the Canadian Human
Rights Voice (CHRV) today thanked Canadians for their support and patience
during the recent weeks and urged the Government of Canada to continue to take
a more active role in Sri Lankan crisis.
    "We as Canadian Tamils would like to express our gratitude to all
Canadians for their continued support and patience as we struggle to handle,
bring attention to and ask for assistance in ending the atrocities that are
resulting from the conflict in Sri Lanka," said Nagalingam.
    "While our hearts are broken to see what is taking place in Sri Lanka,
and the immense suffering faced by our Tamil friends, families and kin, we are
encouraged by the willingness of Government of Canada and Prime Minister
Harper to provide leadership in very difficult and troubling times and for the
$3 million in humanitarian aid already provided," added Nagalingam.

    CHRV believe Canada can continue to play an important role and we call on
the Government of Canada to:

    i) Act expeditiously to ensure direct assistance such as food, shelter
    and medical aid, including medical professionals from Canada reached the
    thousands of Tamils in the conflict zone;

    ii) Advise the Sri Lankan government that it risks suspension from the
    Commonwealth should the government continue to prohibit humanitarian
    aid and international observers from reaching innocent civilians in the
    conflict zone;

    iii) Remind the Sri Lankan government that it has a responsibility to
    protect innocent civilians and to treat prisoners of war humanely
    according to the Geneva Convention and urge Canada to take a lead role in
    the investigation into the conflict to determine if such violations took
    place and to hold those responsible who have committed crimes against

    iv) Engage with the Tamil community to help end the discrimination and
    profiling of Canadian Tamils by recognizing their economic and social
    contribution to the country as a whole; seek ways to provide counseling
    and support for Canadian Tamils who have fled the conflict zone and
    continue to live in Canada in distress suffering from post-traumatic
    stress disorder; and, engage with the Tamil community to facilitate
    better integration into Canadian society

    "Canada and Canadians have been generous in personal and political
support. We are looking forward to working with Prime Minister Harper, his
Ministers, and all levels of government to promote human rights and improve
the lives of Canadian Tamils."

    Canadian Human Rights Voice (CHRV) is an organization that is committed
to promote, educate, defend and voice human rights violations.

For further information:

For further information: Babu Nagalingam, President, CHRV, (416)

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