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Canadian city of Brampton recognises May 18 as Tamil Genocide Remembrance Day

The city of Brampton, passed a motion on Wednesday recognising that the atrocities perpetrated by Sri Lanka against the Tamil nation constituted genocide, and recognising May 18 as Tamil Genocide Remembrance Day.

The motion entitled ‘proclamation declaring Tamil genocide’ and moved by Mayor Patrick Brown, was passed unanimously by the council of the city, which is home to a significant Tamil population.

The full motion stated:

WHEREAS, The Tamil people, living in their traditional homeland in North-East Sri Lanka, were subjected to severe persecution and injustice by the rulers of the Government of Sri Lanka after the independence Granted by British in 1948, including widespread massacres, usurpation of land and property, and acts of wanton destruction; and

WHEREAS, the horrible experience of the Tamils at the hands of their oppressors culminated in 2009 what is known as the Genocide of the Twenty first Century; and

WHEREAS, The Tamil Genocide began with the arrest, exile, and murder of thousands of Tamil intellectuals, and political, religious leaders; and

WHEREAS, the regime in control of Sri Lanka planned and executed the unspeakable atrocities committed against the Tamil people from 1958 through 2009, which included the torture, starvation, and murder of more than 100,000 Tamils; and

WHEREAS, newspapers in Canada commonly carried headlines such as "Toronto's Hidden Genocide" "Thousands protest Tamil Genocide", and "How the world should react to Sri Lanka's Killing Fields"; and

WHEREAS, Unlike other peoples and governments that have admitted and denounced the abuses and crimes of predecessor regimes, and despite the overwhelming weight of evidence, adamantly denied the occurrence of the crimes against humanity and genocide, and those denials compound the grief of the remaining survivors of the atrocities, desecrate the memory of the victims, and cause continuing trauma and pain to the descendants of the victims; and

WHEREAS, the passage of time and the fact that few survivors remain who serve as reminders of indescribable brutality and torment, compel a sense of urgency in efforts to solidify recognition and reaffirmation of historical truth; and

WHEREAS, Canada has become home to one of the largest population of Tamils from Sri Lanka, and those citizens have enriched our country through leadership in the fields of academia, medicine, business, agriculture, government, and the arts and are proud and patriotic practitioners of Canadian citizenship;

Therefore Be It Resolved That the City of Brampton:

(a) Endorse the United Nations Human Rights Council's (UNHRC) findings on Sri Lanka's crimes against humanity and UNHRC HighCommissioner's recent call for Sri Lanka to enact legislation to criminalize war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide; and

(b) Recognize that these crimes against the Tamil Nation in Sri Lanka constitute a genocide; and

(c) Recognize that May 18th as Tamil Genocide Remembrance Day as commemorated by Tamil Canadians every year for the last 9 years; and to educate others about the tragic loss of life, land, and human rights of the Tamil Nation and the crimes of genocide committed against them; and

(d) Send a copy of this Resolution to the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM), the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO), and Brampton Members of Parliament (MPs) and Members of Provincial Parliament (MPPs).

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