Ontario is first to legally recognize Tamil Genocide Awareness Week

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Tamil Genocide Awareness Week Act, has been approved as law by the Governor of Ontario in Canada.

This gives legal recognition to the observance of the annual Tamil Genocide Awareness Week in Ontario for 7 days ending on May 18th. It is also the first time that a foreign province has legally recognized the charge of Tamil Genocide by the Sri Lankan government.

Ontario Assembly Tamil Member Vijay Thanikalam submitted his personal proposal for Tamil Genocide Awareness Week in the year 2019. The third reading on this individual motion took place last Thursday the 6th. During the debate, members of the ruling and opposition provincial councils, including the Leader of the Opposition, spoke of genocide against Tamils ​​and the denial of rights that Tamils ​​continue to face. It was subsequently sent to the Governor for approval. The Governor of the Province approved and signed the bill yesterday, the first day of the Mullivaikkal Tamil Massacre Week.

GOSL took more effort to stop the bill, even Minister Dinesh Gunawardena met Canadian Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Mr.David McKinnon, at the Ministry of External Affairs a few days ago. In that meeting, The Minister expressed the deep concerns of the Government of Sri Lanka over the passage of Individual Membership Bill 104 by the Ontario Legislature on 06 May 2021 in connection with the ‘Tamil Genocide Awareness Week’.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that Minister Dinesh Gunawardena had explained to the Canadian Ambassador that the Ontario Legislature had found that genocide had taken place in Sri Lanka, contrary to the official position of the Government of Canada, which had confirmed that genocide had not been detected in Sri Lanka.

Despite strong opposition from Sri Lanka, the Tamil Genocide Awareness Act was passed with the governor’s approval.

Vijay Thanikachalam the member of the Assembly said the passing of the law has given legal recognition to make the public aware of the Tamil genocide and other crimes against humanity.

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