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May 19, 2009 at 01:02pm IST

Tamils vow to bring Lanka to its knees

Toronto: The end of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Ealam (LTTE) simply marks the beginning of a new phase in their struggle for independence, the Canadian Tamil Congress announced in Toronto on Monday.

Confirming the deaths of top LTTE leaders, the representative body of the largest Tamil diaspora group in the world said all Tamil representative bodies in Europe and Australia will announce their future course of action on Tuesday.

"Our sources in the conflict zone have confirmed that top LTTE leaders are dead, but we have no independent confirmation about Prabhakaran. Our sources say that Sri Lankan forces continue their shelling. Sri Lanka is lying to the world when it says that the fighting is over," Canadian Tamil Congress leader and spokesman David Poopalapillai told IANS.

UNDYING SPIRITS: Pro-Tamil bodies in Europe and Australia will announce their future course of action on Tuesday.

He said they have been inundated with calls and SMSes from Tamils in Colombo and elsewhere saying that they are being subjected to humiliation by Sinhala crowds.

"Sinhala mobs are going from home to home in many areas of Colombo to force Tamils to fly the national flag. We just got a report that a Hindu priest was dragged by a Sinhala mob and forced to dance with them. Where is the civility?"

The Canadian Tamil leader said, "Mark my words, this Monday marks the beginning of the third phase of our struggle for independence. In the first 35 years since Sri Lanka became independent 60 years ago, we waged a peaceful, Gandhian struggle but achieved nothing.

"In phase two, the LTTE waged an armed struggle for 25 years (till today) and succeeded in globalized our mission. This Monday marks the beginning of the third and final phase of our struggle to achieve independence.''

Poopalapillai said, "The (Tamil) diaspora will spearhead this phase. We are now the voice of the Tamils of Sri Lanka.''

Asked about the means of their new struggle, he said, "We will adopt political means and work with the international community.

"The South African apartheid was broken by the African National Congress with the help of the international community. Similarly, we will break apartheid in Sri Lanka with the help of the international community.''

The Canadian Tamil leader said, "We know how to bring Sri Lanka to its knees. We will take them to the international court of justice and arrange their boycott by western governments and companies.''

Asked whether the Tamils will be satisfied with the devolution of power, he said, "We don't believe the Sri Lankan government even for a second. We have been hearing this for 60 years...it has been nothing but betrayal.''

The largest and most boisterous of the diasporic groups in the western world, the Canadian Tamils were quiet on Monday as it was a holiday in Toronto because of the long weekend.