Repeal Bill 104: Tamil Genocide 2019 Act

Repeal Bill 104: Tamil Genocide 2019 Act

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Sri Lankan Canadians of Ontario started this petition to Province of Ontario

Democratic lawmaking needs debate, hearings, reviews and submissions at committees — all the machinery that winnows the truth out of the clash of partisan polemics and even outright lies. We did not find any of that in Queen's Park on 5th May. The Standing Committee on Regulations and Private Bills (SCRPB) responsible to look into Bill 104: Tamil Genocide Education Week Act, had a meeting on the 4th of May and had recommended the bill for the 3rd reading on the 5th of May and a hearing for the 6th of May in spite of the large number of provincial, national and international submissions against the bill. None of their requests for speaking at the committee were granted. The title of the bill had a hoodwinking wording of “Education” to reflect provincial jurisdiction for a federal matter.

The United Nations Human Rights Commissioner had ruled that there was NO GENOCIDE against Tamils in Sri Lanka. A study conducted by the British House of Lords under the direction of Lord Naseby had concluded that less than 7000 had perished when a democratically elected government put down an uprising by a group labeled as a terrorist movement by Canada. The Sri Lankan Ministry of Foreign Affairs had made representations to the Canadian High Commissioner in Colombo regarding this bill, soon after the second reading of the Bill. The Sri Lankan High Commissioner in Ottawa accredited to Canada, as well as the Consul General of Sri Lanka in Ontario had made submissions. Numerous Immigrant organizations had made submissions, pointing how this bill has already begun to create ethnic strife among the expatriate Sri Lankan communities now domiciled in Canada.

Nevertheless, a false claim that some 140,000 Tamils were butchered in Sri Lanka in a matter of months has been launched into a mockery of a law in Ontario, by its adoption by committee and recommendation for its third reading in the legislature.

This highly undemocratic process at committee level seems to involve political foot work violating the principle that justice must also be seen to be done. Here it seems to be manipulated. Prior to the taking up of Bill 104, the chairman of the committee had been changed. The MPP for Markham, a riding with one of the highest numbers of pro-Eelamist (Tamil separatist) activists, has been made the chair of the Standing Committee on Regulations and Private Bills committee dealing with Bill 104, acting in conflict of interest. MPP Kanapathi rose in the house to make a statement on the 25th of March to acknowledge that the United Nations has “refused to recognize Tamil Genocide”. He failed to mention the Ontario Legislature's lack of jurisdiction to declare Genocide

The way this Bill 104 has been prioritized at a time when every one's time, effort and money should be directed to fighting the Pandemic is also shameful. The MPPs of the Ontario legislature must understand that if this bill 104 is a law, it will lead to ethnic strife among immigrant communities.

We request:

1. an investigation into the practice within Ontario Legislature to approve bills of foreign in nature;

2. an investigation into the practice of public hearing for a broader consultation with Ontarians for inclusiveness and equality;

3. an apology from the speaker and from the Premier of Ontario for letting this adversity happen right in the Ontario Legislature;

4. all school boards, trustees, school principals and educators to consider facts about the armed conflict and not the lies of pro LTTE Tamil terrorists that massacred innocent civilians now acting as human rights crusaders;

5. that politicians does not use Ontario Education System to for their political gains.

6. that you repeal Bill 104: Tamil Genocide Education Week, 2019 Act

More Info:

The Bill proclaims the seven-day period in each year, ending on May 18 as Tamil Genocide Education Week. 

This Bill was introduced to the Ontario Legislative Assembly in 2019. The third and final reading was held on May 6, 2021. The Bill has passed its third reading, and is currently waiting on Royal Assent. 

Bill 104 is based on dangerous and malicious falsehoods. The Bill attempts to bring legitimacy to claims of an alleged “genocide” of Tamil people in Sri Lanka, a narrative that is only spoken by those who support the terrorist organization - Liberation Tamil Tigers of Eelam (LTTE). It is important to note that the LTTE have been banned in 32 countries including Canada. 

There has never been a “genocide” of Tamil people in Sri Lanka. It is important to note that under the Geneva Convention, only the United Nations General Assembly has the authority to designate an event as a genocide. After reviewing all the facts from the final stages of the war between the Government of Sri Lanka and the LTTE, on March 25, 2021, Chairman of the Committee at the UN HCR concluded that there was been no genocide or war crimes committed against the Tamil people of Sri Lanka. 

Based on this, the Legislative Assembly of Ontaio has no authority to unilaterally declare something a genocide. They do not have any jurisdiction. 

The repercussions from the Ontario Legislative Assembly passing this Bill 104 will be to strain or permanently break the fragile relationship between the two main ehtnic groups Canadian Sri Lankan community - the Sinhalese and the Tamils. 

Furthermore, introducing this Bill 104 into the education system will result in the marginalization of Sinhalese students. They will be unfairly persecuted based on the lies perpetuated by Bill 104. Schools will no longer be safe and inclusive for our children. 

Please sign this petition to make sure Bill 104 is repealed. Please sign it to make sure that the Ontario government stops promoting these falsehoods that threaten the peaceful co-existence of the different ethnic groups here in Canada, and that threaten the mental and physical well-being of our children. 

Brief Recount of the Sri Lankan civil war: 

The Sri Lankan civil war was fought between the Government of Sri Lankan and the terrorist group- the Liberation Tamil Tigers of Eelam (LTTE). 

The LTTE, which was formed in 1976 by Vellupulai Prabhakaran, was fighting to establish a Tamil only homeland in the northern and eastern provinces of Sri Lanka. In this pursuit, they carried out an ethnic cleansing of the Sinhalese and Muslims that lives in those provinces. The terror of the LTTE was not limited to those provinces. They targeted and killed thousands innocent civilians across the Island, they assassinated Tamil politicians who opposed them, and they even assassinated the Prime Minister of India, Mr. Rajiv Gandhi. 

Due to their deadly methods, the LTTE were recognized as a terrorist organization and banned in 32 countries. Among their many heinous crimes is the forced recruitment of child soldiers. Although repeatedly warned by the UN, the LTTE did not stop their forced conscription of child soldiers. Children as young as 9 years old were taken from homes, school and playgrounds. These children were forced to bear arms and were used as cannon fodder. 

After three decades of war, the Government of Sri Lanka was finally able to defeat the terrorist group and free the country from the LTTE reign of terror on May 18, 2009. The majority of deaths in the last days of the war were due to the LTTE holding innocent Tamil people as human shields against their will. 

By the end of the war, close to 300,000 Tamil people had been rescued from the war zone and transported to refugee camps. 

Since 2009, the displaced people from the camps have been resettled, and efforts have been underway to rehabilitate the redevelop the north and eastern provinces. The Sri Lankan people are trying to heal and move forward from the decades of war they endured. 

Bill 104 threatens that progress. It spreads falsehoods that serve only to try to bring legitimacy to the campaign of a ruthless terrorist organization. The Bill does nothing to remember or honour the thousands of innocent Sinhalese, Tamil, Musilm and Burgher civilians who died during this war. 

Please sign and make sure Bill 104 is repealed immediately. 

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