Thursday, May 14, 2009

Sri Lankan Tamil Protest in Toronto: Gunam Veerakathipillai Breaks His 12-Day Fast


Hunger-striker Gunapalasundaram Veerakathipillai
in his temporary "camp" in the Queen's Park in front of the
Ontario Provincial Legislature Building
in Toronto

Veerakathipillai breaking his 12-day fast
after accepting a glass of fruit juice from Peter Tabuns (left),
an NDP member of the Provincial Parliament

Some female members of the Tamil community
carrying some posters and placards

More posters depicting the atrocities of the Sri Lankan army

A Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) flag
is being displayed by a Tamil supporter

Photos (Queen's Park, Toronto: May 14, 2009) © Jerome D'Costa

Gunam (Gunapalasundaram) Veerakathipillai, a Sri Lankan Tamil, broke his 12-day fast today late afternoon after New Democratic Party (NDP) Leader Jack Layton informed him and the Canadian Tamil community that Premier and Provincial Parliament of Ontario and the Foreign Affairs Committee of Canada called for "an immediate ceasefire, increased Canadian aid to civilians and a UN investigation of war crimes." Peter Tabuns, a member of the Ontario provincial parliament and member of the NDP, helped Veerakathipillai break his fast by offering him a glass of fruit juice.

Veerakathipillai was part of the Tamils who have been protesting in front of the provincial parliament and other places in the city, through demonstrations, marches, and human chains bearing placards and banners, for the last several weeks, against the Sri Lankan government attack and "genocide" against the Tamils in the north-east of Sri Lanka.

Before breaking the fast, Veerakathipillai read out a statement to the media representatives paresent there. In the statement he said: "...I am concluding my twelve day long fast with hope and optimism for the people of Tamil Eelam who have been subjected to forced starvation, total lack of medical care, indiscriminate and ceaseless bombardment from land, sea and air for the past 100 days and more by the Sinhala government of Sri Lanka.

He also said: "Deeply within me I feel for the hundreds of Tamil children, pregnant mothers, elderly women, men, the youth, the handicapped and mentally ill -- without any energy even to stand, they are blown into bits and buried in mass graves for the inhuman reason that they were born Tamils. Tamils are killed in the shores of Mullaitivu but it is humankind that gets assassinated. In a tragedy like this we expect the free world to stand on the side of the innocent victims. Silence and neutrality only helps the perpetrator."

He mentioned that "the categorical humanitarian call of President Obama that 'Sri Lanka must seek a peace that is secure and lasting' is also very reassuring in our plight for peace and freedom with dignity and justice."

Finally, Gunapalasundaram Veerakathipillai thanked the Ontario Provincial government and Federal government of Canada "for their understanding and solidarity in upholding the fundamental human values of peace and freedom." Bookmark and Share