Defiance and disbelief were dominant emotions in Canada’s Tamil community as Sri Lanka’s government declared victory over the rebel Tamil Tigers in the country’s civil war.
Thousands of Tamil-Canadian protesters chanting “genocide” flocked to the U.S. Consulate in Toronto yesterday after Sri Lankan state television announced that Tamil Tiger rebel chief Velupillai Prabhakaran had been killed.
For many demonstrators, the claims from the Sri Lankan government only fuelled their cause, strengthening their resolve to see an independent Tamil nation.
“The thing is, the struggle will go on, with or without the (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam), until the Tamils achieve their legitimate rights,” said Arani Sivakumar, 21.
Like other demonstrators, Sivakumar questioned Prabhakaran’s death, noting journalists and nearly all aid workers were barred from the war zone and could not confirm his death.
Siva Vimal, a 20-year-old Tamil activist, said demonstrations in Toronto will continue because thousands of civilians remain in the war-affected area without adequate access to food and medicine.