Tamil Newspaper Ransacked in Toronto

Toronto, Feb 22 (IANS) The office of a prominent Tamil newspaper here was ransacked Saturday night for covering the talks of a local Tamil leader with Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

Kula Sellathurai, president of the United Tamil Council of Canada and the Canada-India Business Council, had recently met Rajapaksa in Colombo to discuss the Tamil issue and hand over funds raised for the orphans of the war. His talks with the Sri Lankan president were covered in the Uthayan newspaper edited by his friend Logan Logendralingam.

The coverage earned the newspaper the ire of many sections of Tamil Canadians. Before the newspaper office was ransacked overnight, the editor got a call from the attackers, chiding him for covering the talks of his friend with the Sri Lankan president.

"Your friends went and met the president, now you go and see what happened to your store (office),'' Sellathurai told a local newspaper quoting the attackers telling his editor friend.

When the editor reached his office Sunday morning, he was shocked to see its front portion totally smashed.

Condemning the attack, Canadian Tamil Congress (CTC) leader David Poopalapillai said, "We are against all acts of violence to resolve differences. Everybody has a right to free expression, and we respect that right.''

However, he expressed its strong opposition to any talks with the Sri Lankan president "who is a war criminal declared by many human rights bodies.''

He described the Tamil leader who met the Sri Lankan president as an agent of the Sri Lankan government. "Sellathurai is a stooge of the Sri Lankan government which is trying to divide the Tamils. People like him are falling into the government's trap,'' Poopalapillai said.


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