Tamil Genocide Education Week Act

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As the Tamil community in Ontario, we want to thank you for taking the steps to support the Tamil Genocide Education Week Act introduced by MPP Vijay Thanigasalam. We also thank the City of Toronto and City of Brampton for recognizing the Tamil Genocide. 

On May 18th, 2019 the Tamil community is marking the 10th anniversary of the Tamil Genocide Remembrance Day.

The Tamil community has been one of the most successful communities in Ontario, contributing to the province's growth through academia, medicine, economy, culture and politics.

Tamil-Ontarians have families still suffering in their homeland in the north and east of the island of Sri Lanka. We have lost their loved ones and have been physically or mentally traumatized by the genocide that the Sri Lankan state perpetrated against the Tamils during the civil war which lasted from 1983 to 2009, and especially so in May of 2009.

Genocide is the deliberate and organized killing of a group or groups of people, with the intention of destroying their identity as an ethnic, cultural or religious group. Acts of genocide against the Tamils started in 1948 after Sri Lanka gained its independence and were perpetrated through Sinhala-Buddhist centric government policies, pogroms, land grabs and ethnic cleansing. The United Nations Organization estimates that in May 2009 alone about 40,000 to 75,000 Tamil civilians were killed. Other estimates place the death toll at 146,679 civilians. These figures only reflect the death toll in 2009 leading up to May 18, the day on which the civil war ended. The loss of Tamil civilian lives during the genocide, which continued for decades in Sri Lanka, is much higher.

The pain from the genocide still affects us. As a community, we ask that all parties support Bill 104 and pass it unanimously on May 16th. The recognition of the Tamil genocide and education about it will allow for Tamils to begin a healing process, but also prevent future acts of genocide from happening.

Thank you,

Tamil Community in Ontario