Monday, November 08, 2010

More On Strange Endorsements Of Tory Human Smuggling Bill

Imp's got a nice post up this morning, riffing on a G&M story about the endorsements the Tory government has thus far received for its human smuggling bill, which are, as the story notes, "not all they seem". For one thing, it looks like at least one of the groups supporting Bill C-49 was told that the contentious aspects of the bill would not be there in the final version. So, if I were to guess Tory strategy, I'd say they are either going to a) let the oppo parties strip out the crazier bits of the legislation, pass it and blame "the coalition" for the watered-down result, or b) refuse to compromise, let the bill die, and blame "the coalition" for stalling the reform of our broken refugee system and etc..

Also interesting is the reference to Balan Ratnarajah and the Peel Tamil Community Centre, a group that came out on October 22nd to endorse the bill, whose endorsement was widely retweeted by the likes of Jason Kenney and Alyknan Velshi.

For one thing, after googling around a bit, I can't find any sign of the community center's existence on-line previous guessed it...October 22nd, and then suddenly their endorsement was everywhere. For another, a fellow named Balan Ranarajah ran and was elected to the first Transnational Constituent Assembly of Tamil Eelam for district 3 (Western Ontario). Now:

The Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (PTGTE) is an organization formed by the Sri Lankan Tamil diaspora which aims to achieve independence for Tamil Eelam, the state which Sri Lankan Tamils aspire to create in the north and east of Sri Lanka.[1] The PTGTE and Tamil Eelam have no official status or recognition by any state or authority. The PTGTE has been called a "ploy to perpetuate terrorism" by the government of Sri Lanka.[2]

I don't know how much credence should be given to allegations that the PTGTE was formed by remnants of the LTTE (the Tamil Tigers). Probably not much. But if the Tories are looking for endorsements from Tamil separatists, then that's something to think about as well.

PS. And the PTGTE Ratnarajah is described here as a "business consultant"; the guy behind the Peel Tamil Community Center (the phone numbers match) runs a company called Blr Management Services, who are located in Mississauga and described as accountants. Furthermore, the PTGTE definition of "Western Ontario" = Etobicoke, Rexdale, Brampton, and Mississauga. So I'm pretty sure but not 100% certain that these two are the same guy.

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