News Release: 5th Anniversary of May Massacre

Human Rights and Advocacy Council (HRAC), Canadian Tamil Youth Alliance (CTYA)

Toronto, ON
May 18, 2014

May 2009 marks the height of the genocidal onslaught against the Eelam Tamils by the Sri-Lankan Government. During this time, the Sri-Lankan Government engaged in widespread killing, shelling of Tamil civilians in Government declared “safe zones”, sexual abuse, and deliberate denial of food and medicine to Tamil civilians. According to Bishop Rayappu Joseph, records show that the existence and whereabouts of 146,679 Tamils have not been accounted for from the end of May 2009.

Since 2009, there has been evidence mounting, including video footages, photos, satellite images, war witnesses, and findings of unexploded cluster bombs that prove that war crimes, crimes against humanity and the height of the genocide were carried out in 2009. Global organizations are currently working towards collecting these evidences and proving these allegations in a way that will make Sri-Lanka culpable for its crimes.

Today, Tamils in the North-East continue to face rape, disappearances, coercive population control, destruction of cultural and historic monuments, and disenfranchisement of land. Without a permanent solution, Tamils in Sri-Lanka continue to face cultural genocide on many levels.

May marks a month that we as a community take the time to remember the victims massacred and heal together as a community. The HRAC joins with our members, friends, and families in commemorating the victims of May Massacre. We remember our relatives, friends, and brethren that were killed. As we remember the victims together as a community here in Toronto, Tamils in our homeland, many of them survivors or families of the survivors of May Massacre have been prohibited by the Sri-Lankan Government to hold any public commemorations for those who perished during May Massacre.

The HRAC will continue to voice against the genocide of Tamils by collecting evidences from the witnesses and survivors through the Thazhumbakam project. Thazhumbakam, A Tamil Genocide Memorial Museum aims to broaden public understanding of the history of the Tamil Genocide through comprehensive programs: art and artifact exhibitions, research and publication, collecting materials, distribution of educational materials and resources, and a variety of other public programming designed to enhance understanding of the Tamil Genocide.

The need for Thazumbakam to safeguard the history of Tamils and work towards collocating evidence pointing to genocide is imperative. The HRAC further calls upon the Tamil youth in Canada to continue to raise awareness about the genocide of Eelam Tamils and participate in Thazumbakam by hosting events and exhibitions to enhance public awareness of the Tamil Genocide.

Painting By: Keera Ratnam MayWeRemember



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