Saturday, March 05, 2011

Balan Ratnarajah On His Deal With Jason Kenney

A follow-up to the last post. This is from Balan's interview on Tamil Radio that was mentioned in the previous post. Note that he explicitly refers to "our government in exile" as the LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam), though this may be an interpolation on the part of whoever wrote up the transcript:

“There is a wrong opinion in the community about the support letter we have released on Bill C-49. We never supported the entire bill except of a portion that deals with human smuggling. We have certain other concerns on the bill and it has been addressed the Minister. “

“Around 8,000 to 10,000 Tamils fled from Sri Lanka and living temporarily in Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia. We all have to think about their situation and act favorably. Due to our efforts the Canadian Government assured us that they will take necessary actions to protect these people and with the help of UNHCR to resettle them in a safer place. The Canadian Government informed us that they will carry out this operation with the help of Australian and Thailand governments. Even the Canadian Government has advised the Sri Lankan Government to resolve this problem. “

“You all should understand that in order to gain a big benefit from the government we have to give up certain petty things and be little flexible to the government of Canada. Our aim is the bigger benefit and we don’t think about the petty issues.”

“A member of our government in exile [LTTE] visited to Malaysia recently and reported to us that the situation on refugees in Malaysia is worst. Although UNHCR granted refugee status to those 4,000 to 5,000 Tamil people the Malaysian government has not provided anything to them yet. So we addressed this issue to the Canadian Government and we have been assured that it will be taken care of. “

“This supportive letter created a controversial atmosphere in the community that we are working closely with the government of Canada. We are not working closely with them and we are only focusing on those 8,000 people who fled and temporarily reside in Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia.”

“Due to our efforts the Minister had taken necessary measures and addressed in the Parliament saying that Canada will take-up this matter and work along with Australia, Thailand and Indonesia. Thank. Thorough our cordial relationship we have brought the government of Canada to pay more attention on this issue. “

“We have no intention of blocking future arrivals of those refugees to Canada and in fact we want to extend our helping hands to them. There is a kind of fear that hearing of these refugees, who arrive after March 2010, will be dealt differently by the government. We have discussed this issue with the government and it was a fruitful discussions but I don’t want to reveal the outcome to the public now.”

1 comment:

Just the facts, please said...

Wonder if the Toronto Sun editorialists will now suggest we take aim at the Minister's office and "lock and load".