The office of a Tamil newspaper in Scarborough, Canada has come under an attack, the Star website reported. The attack came just hours after the Editor of the Tamil newspaper received threatening phone calls.
According to the Star website, the Canada Uthayan newspaper office, not affiliated with the Uthayan newspaper in Sri Lanka, was attacked as a result of a meeting the Editor of the Canadian newspaper had with President Mahinda Rajapaksa recently.
The front window of Uthayan newspaper’s office looked like a “vehicle drove right through it” when Kula Sellathurai arrived at the scene.
Overnight, Sellathurai said, the newspaper’s editor received a threatening call and hours later its office on Progress Rd., near Markham Rd. and Highway 401, was vandalized.
Police are on scene, but said their investigation is still in the early stages.
The threats stemmed from a recent meeting Sellathurai, President of the Canada-Sri Lanka Business Council and the United Tamil Council of Canada, had with the Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa.
The meeting was covered in Uthayan, a paper widely read by Toronto’s Sri Lankan diaspora, as well as Sri Lankan media and websites.
Sellathurai said the call made to newspaper editor Logan Logendralingam said, “your friends went and met the president, now you go and see what happened to your store.”
When Logendralingam arrived he saw the damage. The whole front of the store was smashed, Sellathurai said.
Neither he nor police could estimate the cost of the damage done.
The presidential meeting came about after Sellathurai delivered funds raised by Tamil businesses in Canada for children orphaned and displaced in Sri Lanka. Sellathurai called his meeting with the president “very positive,” and said Rajapaksa vowed to work through the “ethnic issues” in the country.
The vandals were “trying to send a message” to Logendralingam to “not carry that message,” said Sellathurai.
Sellathurai describes Uthayan as a “neutral” paper that carries news about both the Tamil community and the mainly-Sinhalese Sri Lankan government. “We are not against the Tamil people and their struggle,” he said.
Sellathurai said this is the first harm done to the newspaper. However, when the Tamil community held a symbolic vote to create an independent Tamil homeland in Sri Lanka last December, Uthayan was pulled from three GTA stores and replaced with pro-referendum leaflets.
Editor Logendralingam said at the time the paper was maliciously pulled because of its limited coverage of the vote.
This is not unusual as the tamils who live in Canada are not migrants but refugees. So these type of attacks has taken place many times in Canada the Ealam state
Monday, 22 February 2010 10:45 PM
While I strongly condemn this attack, I think this newspaper should focus on promoting 'Canadianism' instead of bringing Sri Lankan politics, into Canada.
Monday, 22 February 2010 05:30 PM
An inside job, to gain popularity with the Sri Lankan government ...
Monday, 22 February 2010 03:57 PM
it is the thugs who attacked the news agency and not the Govt. sponsored goons, that's the difference, and the Canadian police is keen on finding out the culprits and not like the SL police waiting for orders from the president or diff. sec to take actions.
Monday, 22 February 2010 11:12 AM
Media freedom in Canada
Monday, 22 February 2010 10:56 AM
So no MEDIA FREEDOM in Canada??
Monday, 22 February 2010 07:59 AM
Now, will this incident be condemned by the international journalist NGOs, or will they keep their mouths shut because it did not happen in a 3rd world country? Will they ask the Canadian Government for an "impartial inquiry" and "end the culture of impunity"?
Monday, 22 February 2010 07:54 AM
Freedom of speech Eeelam style....
Monday, 22 February 2010 07:38 AM
If it is as a result of meeting with MR, Same thing would happen even The office is at jaffna.
Monday, 22 February 2010 02:48 AM
This shows the extent the extent of some elements of the diaspora will go to promote their circle of violence. Still they haven't learned from all the mistakes n the past.
Monday, 22 February 2010 06:45 AM
When Tamils attack, kill, vandalize, it is their struggle!
Monday, 22 February 2010 06:16 AM
No Freedom of Press in Canada ! every one scream! where is HRW, Amnesty international. Lets put trade sanctions on Canada
Monday, 22 February 2010 06:07 AM
In Srilanka, if you associate with SF, then you're target, Anywhere else association with MR seems to be a target eh?
Monday, 22 February 2010 05:53 AM
Monday, 22 February 2010 04:21 AM
Sri Lanka is exporting terrorism and war crime to rest of the world
Monday, 22 February 2010 03:48 AM
Dont get caught to this as this is a Propaganda to win the sympathy. I know this for sure. Cheap Tacktics. We are also againt this kind of attacks, but this is an own goal!
Monday, 22 February 2010 03:22 AM
must be the media freedom everyone is screaming about,,,wether it be here or in canada
Monday, 22 February 2010 02:58 AM
A TASTE OF DEMOCRACY TAMILS IN THE NORTH OF SRI LANKA MISSED DUE TO THE DEMISE OF THE LTTE THERE?
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