Canadians Concerned about Sri Lanka

June 26, 2009 12:35 ET

Canadians Concerned about Sri Lanka: Canadian Groups Come Together in Response to Humanitarian Crisis in Sri Lanka

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - June 26, 2009) -

Attn: Toronto/GTA Assignment & News Editors for Tuesday, June 30 @ 11 a.m.

Location: Canadian Center for Victims of Torture,
194 Jarvis Street, 2nd Floor
(west side of Jarvis, south of Dundas)

Date & Time: Jun 30, 2009 @ 11am

Speakers: John Cartwright, President, Toronto & York Region Labor Council
Manjula Selvarajah, Media Coordinator, Canadian Tamil Congress
Mulugeta Abai, Executive Director, Canadian Center for Victims
of Torture
Sharryn J. Aiken, Faculty of Law, Queen's University,
Canadian Academics for Tamil Rights

Canadian groups come together with Tamil Canadians calling for access for humanitarian aid and independent observers in northern Sri Lanka, as well as expedited assistance for refugees. As the humanitarian situation in Sri Lanka escalates community groups unite to raise awareness and put increased pressure on the Canadian government to respond to the plight of the peoples in Sri Lanka.

"There is an urgent need for immediate and continued attention on this issue because so many lives in Sri Lanka and in Canada have been affected", explains Mr. Sri-Skanda-Rajah, President of the Urban Alliance on Race Relations. The call for immediate aid for those in IDP camps is echoed by several groups in Canada who feel that this issue is not an isolated concern for Tamil Canadians.

"Tamil Canadians are our neighbours and co-workers, so we must bring together Canadians from all walks of life to assist in this time of urgency for their community", states John Cartwright, President of the Toronto & York Region Labour Council.

Over 300,000 internally displaced peoples (IDPs) are being held in camps in the north and east of Sri Lanka, facing malnutrition and lack of medical care in overcrowded facilities. Despite the recent cessation of hostilities in this war-torn country, the IDPs continue to be victims of war. The 25-year war between the rebel group, Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, and the Sri Lankan government has resulted in approximately 100,000 lost lives and 300,000 injured.

Canadians Concerned about Sri Lanka is a broad coalition of community, labour and academics who have come together in June 2009 in response to the humanitarian crisis. The group hopes to press the Canadian government and International bodies to pressure the Sri Lankan government to treat all its citizens equally and in a just manner.

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