Mass rally at Sri Lankan Consulate will form a Circle of Hope for thousands

Bob Rae and Jack Layton to speak at a Rally to "Unlock the Camps" in Sri Lanka

Location: Sri Lankan Consulate (40 St. Clair West)

Date & Time: Nov 21 @ 12:30 pm

TORONTO, Nov. 20 /CNW/ - As the humanitarian situation in Sri Lanka remains in critical condition, community groups are uniting this Saturday to form a Circle of Hope. The objective of the rally is to raise awareness and increase pressure on the Sri Lankan government to respond to the plight of the civilians in detention camps. The Circle of Hope will be held alongside actions in at least ten other countries, including the US, France, Germany and Mauritius. The events support Amnesty International's Campaign to "Unlock the Camps."

Currently tens of thousands of civilians remain imprisoned in deplorable camps. As Amnesty International reports, what the Sri Lankan government is doing constitutes "arbitrary detention". The civilians in these detention camps should have access to civilian administration, systematic and transparent registration, and have the right to return to their homes.

"Allowing humanitarian aid into the camps and enabling the 200,000 or more civilians to return to their homes would be a signal to the world that the restoration of human rights is key in ending conflicts in troubled lands," said Allan Parker, United Church of Canada Toronto Conference. The call for immediate release of those in detention camps is echoed by several groups who feel that this issue not only for Tamil Canadians but for all Canadians.

"It is vital that Canadians speak out about the humanitarian crisis in that embattled island and raise these issues with key decision-makers," said John Cartwright, President of the Toronto & York Region Labour Council. Federal politicians, Liberal Foreign Affairs Critic Bob Rae and NDP leader Jack Layton, will speak about the injustices faced by detained civilians.

Canadians Concerned about Sri Lanka is a broad coalition of community, labour and academics who came together in June 2009 in response to the humanitarian crisis. The group hopes to press the Canadian government and international bodies to pressure Sri Lanka to treat all its citizens equally and in a just manner.


For further information: For further information: Dhimo Sornalingam at (416) 505-3639 or

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