Today, we remember the Tamil genocide of 2009 and mark the 6th anniversary of the end of decades-long civil war in Sri Lanka that cost tens of thousands of lives and dramatically impacted the lives of Ontario’s Tamil-Canadian community.
According to the United Nations, between 40,000 and 70,000 Tamil civilians were killed during the final phase of the war. During the month of May, Tamil Canadians from coast to coast are gathering together to participate in memorial services to honour their loved ones.
This annual memorial is vital to ensuring we never forget the innocent civilians killed during that war. It gives us the opportunity to once again demand justice for those who died, for the families still living in that country, and for those who fled abroad.
It is also time to reflect on the principles of peace, democracy and equality that we are able to enjoy here in Canada.
I am proud of the many contributions of Tamil Canadians that they have made in our province and in Canada. They exemplify the very best of the Canadian community spirit.
It was a proud moment for our party last year when, thanks to the hard work of my caucus colleague, Todd Smith (Prince Edward-Hastings) the Ontario Legislature passed an Ontario PC bill to forever mark January as Tamil Heritage Month.
As Leader of the Ontario PC Party, I will continue to call for accountability from the Sri Lankan government.
Once again, I would like to extend my support for the Canadian Tamil community, especially those who chose Ontario as their home, as you observe this solemn occasion.
Never will we forget the human rights abuses that occurred at Mullivaikkal. We remember the fallen today.