Tamil Genocide Remembrance Day Ceremony held in Cornwall

Tamil Genocide Remembrance Day Ceremony held in Cornwall
Tamil Children at the Remembrance Ceremony at Lamoureux Park (Photo : Jason Setnyk)

On May 18, the Cornwall Tamil Community gathered at Lamoureux Park to commemorate TamilGenocide Remembrance Day, reflecting on the tragic Mullivaikkal Massacre and the ongoing struggles of the Tamil people.

Vamini Mohanathas, a co-organizer, delivered a poignant speech, stating, “Today, I stand before you with a heavy heart but also with unwavering determination on the 15th anniversary of the Mullivaikkal Massacre.” She emphasized that the Tamil people have faced all the atrocities that define genocide, including mass killing and deliberate conditions to destroy a people.

Mohanasthas highlighted the efforts of the Tamil Diaspora and significant milestones, including the Tamil Genocide Education Week Act of 2021 and the US Congress Tamil Eelam Independence Referendum. She noted, “In May 2022, the Parliament of Canada acknowledged the Genocide of Tamils in Sri Lanka and recognized May 18th as Tamil Genocide Remembrance Day. As of January 2023, Canada has imposed sanctions on former Sri Lankan presidents Gotabaya Rajapakse and Mahinda Rajapakse.”

Recounting the horrors of May 2009, Mohanathas said, “The Tamil people endured unimaginable suffering. Nearly 170,000 Tamils are presumed dead, victims of intentional shelling by the Sri Lankan military in Mullivaikkal.” She described the aftermath: “Hospitals, food distribution lines, and even areas near humanitarian ships were bombarded. Survivors still bear the physical and mental scars of those dark days.”

“Our families come from such disasters, where we had to flee and land anywhere that would be safe for us to call home. This is where we came, Cornwall, Ontario. Canada has provided us with safety and security, and the government recognizes through Bill 104, Tamil Genocide Education Week,” said Mohanathas in an interview before the event commenced.

She concluded by highlighting the ongoing struggles, saying, “The genocide against the Tamil people persists through insidious forms such as identicide, erasure of our language, education, dignity, livelihood, and monuments.”

The event was a solemn gathering, honouring the victims and reaffirming the commitment tojustice for the Tamil people.

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