In his Thai Pongal message Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, expressed support for Tamil Canadian protesters responding to the destruction of a Mullivaikkal memorial at Jaffna university.
In his statement he noted:
Recently, we saw Tamil-Canadians from coast to coast to coast come together in solidarity to condemn the destruction of the Mullivaikkal memorial at the University of Jaffna, in Sri Lanka, and call for its reinstatement. It is a reminder for all of us that commemoration is essential for reconciliation.
Trudeau’s message follows a series of messages by senior government figures and a number of Canadian politicians. Whilst Jaffna university administration has pledged to rebuild the monument, many members of the Tamil community have expressed scepticism.
The memorial, unveiled in 2019, was designed and constructed by locals, including those who had lost family to the massacres of 2009. Tens of thousands of Tamil civilians were killed during the Sri Lankan military offensive, led by the Rajapaksas.
Trudeau’s message also expressed gratitude for the Canadian Tamil community stating:
"January also marks Tamil Heritage Month in Canada. This month, we recognize Tamil Canadians’ contributions to building a better, fairer, and more inclusive country. I encourage all Canadians to learn more about the history, resiliency, and strength of the vibrant Tamil community in Canada and around the world".
Read his full statement here.