Ilankai Tamil Sangam

24th Year on the Web

Association of Tamils of Sri Lanka in the USA

CTC 'Ocean Lady' Appeal

These Tamil refugees who have arrived on our shores give our community a direct opportunity to directly help save the lives of Tamils fleeing persecution. We need not remind you if they are returned to Sri Lanka what the government will do to them and as a community, we have a responsibility to do what we can to not let these individuals end up as statistics. 

Dear Community Members,

The Canadian Tamil Congress is appealing to community members to open their hearts to support the newcomers who risked their lives to flee to Canada. Many of them have arrived in Canada after much difficulty. Some have families, but many of them have come here alone and don't know or have anyone in Canada. We are in the midst of a dark year where often times we felt helpless in the face of the arbitrary killing of tens of thousands of Tamils and the internment of 270,000 more. But these Tamil refugees who have arrived on our shores give our community a direct opportunity to directly help save the lives of Tamils fleeing persecution. We need not remind you if they are returned to Sri Lanka what the government will do to them and as a community, we have a responsibility to do what we can to not let these individuals end up as statistics. 

At the Canadian Tamil Congress, we are doing everything in our power to assist the newcomers. We are in constant touch with 74 out of 76 newcomers and their families. Earlier this week, we sent legal and media representatives to Vancouver. There, we actively worked to help brief legal counsel in the region and translated the refugee process into Tamil documents for the newcomers. CTC also met with some of the newcomers. We also conducted multiple interviews and held a press conference in Vancouver, which was attended by major media outlets. In our interviews, we asked the government to show compassion to Tamil newcomers and informed the public and media about the plight of Tamils in Sri Lanka (including the 270,000 IDPs trapped in camps). Additionally, we have set up a hotline and are currently taking calls from necomers who are detained and helping connect those, who have families, to their relatives in Canada and around the world. We are also working directly with the relatives who we have been in contact with and are holding meetings to inform them about the newcomers legal rights. In addition, we are working alongside with elected leaders, political leaders and parties to raise awareness about the plight of the newcomers. We also gave $1,500 to help pay for phone cards for the newcomers, to help them connect with relatives if they have any and lawyers.

But in the coming days, we humbly ask you to stand with us in helping the newcomers. As a Diaspora, we watched with pain as thousands died and those in the international community failed to hear our plea. Now, we have a direct chance to make a difference in the lives of these Tamils, who are fleeing persecution. We are currently arranging for housing for the refugees in Vancouver and Toronto, once they are released, and we asking you to come forth to help provide temporary shelter for these individuals when the time comes in these two cities. Shelter is immensely needed particularly for those who have no one in this country. We are also asking for those who can provide translation services in Vancouver and Toronto to come forth to help assist these migrants. Furthermore, sureties and bonds are needed for Tamil refugees with no family in the country to be released from the detention centre. Moreover, we are collecting funds to help pay the legal fees of those newcomers without any support networks.

We urge you to join us in helping our fellow Tamils at this much needed time. Please contact 416.240.0078 if you wish to help these Tamil newcomers.

Canadian Tamil Congress  

For more information and coverage on Ocean Lady please check link below http://www.canadiantamilcongress.ca/oceanlady.htm