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Rosie DiManno coming out on the right side of the Tamil struggle.

Thomas Walkom's lame column: Tangled theology of terrorism  - Since when Rosie DiManno make more sense than Walkom?

Terrorism is a tactic, not an end. Throughout history, armed groups – from the Jewish Irgun in British-controlled Palestine to Nelson Mandela's African National Congress in South Africa to Hamas in Gaza – have employed terror.
[...]
Sorting out right from wrong in the decades-old Sri Lankan civil war is an impossible task. Both sides have committed atrocities. The LTTE, which invented the modern practice of suicide bombing, is criticized by Amnesty International for recruiting of child soldiers.
[...]
Here in Toronto, I sense that most public and media sympathy is with the Tamils. And why not? War is horrible. But we should understand that the alternative to Sri Lanka's civil war is another attempt at some kind of negotiated settlement with terrorists. That doesn't bother me. But it will bother those who are theological about such matters.
 

"Doesn't bother me," eh?  That's a strange formulation.  I'm also flabbergasted by his guess that "most public and media sympathic is with the Tamils"...  There was no media coverage, let alone sympathy, until very recently.  The Star's been pretty good so far though, other than in their unsigned editorials, but who reads these?

Ontario Liberals worry of losing Tamil-heavy ridings to the NDP

As protesters rallied at Queen's Park, the Tamils' plight dominated the weekly Liberal caucus meeting, with MPPs urging Premier Dalton McGuinty to support a politically loyal community.

Behind closed doors Tuesday, MPP after MPP reminded the premier that the 200,000-strong Tamil community has long backed the Liberals, voting en masse and volunteering in campaigns.

"If we're not careful, there are at least five ridings we could lose if the Tamils go over to the NDP. ... They work very hard for us," warned one MPP.
 

McGuinty urges Ottawa to act on Sri Lanka

Sri Lankan shelling of hospital kills 50 as aides hide in bunkers

Tamil rally spills into streets

Thousands of defiant Tamils and their supporters once again clogged downtown roads and brought traffic to a standstill as a daylong protest spilled into the streets from Queen's Park late yesterday.

And for the first time, signs of blatant anti-Tamil sentiments emerged in the form of an aircraft that circled the Legislature for 20 minutes dragging a sign that read: "Protect Canada Stop Tamil Tigers!"

The message incensed the large crowd and gave the police some tense minutes just before 4 p.m.

"It's not a smart thing to do," said Staff Insp. Don Campbell of the circling aircraft. "All it's doing is fuelling the crowd. It's inciting them."

About 60 anti-Tamil protesters on a footbridge spanning the Don Valley Parkway north of Gerrard St. held a similar banner in the evening. They said a wealthy local Sinhalese who wants to remain anonymous paid for the airplane and the two banners, but they denied links to the Sri Lankan government.

Tamil protest winds down peacefully and some Toronto Sinhalese start stirring shit up:

Members of Toronto's Sri Lankan community used a banner pulled behind a plane in the sky and a banner and placards over the Don Valley Parkway today to express their fear the Tamil community will bring Tamil Tiger violence to Canada.

"We want Toronto to be safe. The Tamil Tigers are controlling the Sri Lankan community in Canada and their agenda is the only one being heard. We feel we are being controlled," said Kumar Gunasekera, one of about 50 people who waved placards and hung a banner over the Don Valley footbridge to Riverdale during this evening's rush hour.

The airplane pulling another banner circled over the huge Queen's Park demonstration, enraging the protesters crowded there. The banners read: "Protect Canada - Stop the Tamil Tigers." The demonstrators at the Don Valley bridge said they represent more than 50,000, until now, silent Sinhalese Canadians. "What should be of real concern is the 1,000 cadres of Tamil Tigers in the GTA and the violence we have yet to see here," he added.

The bridge demonstrators were members of the Sri Lankan Youth of Canada and the Sir Lankan United National Association.They said today's airplane message was paid for by private citizens, and neither the Sri Lankan government nor consulate in Toronto. "We only hear one side of the story and it is the Tamil agenda," said Eranga De-Zoysa, a Ryerson architectural science student."They have ruined their motherland and now that Canada has offered them shelter they are ruining it here," added his mother Badra De-Zoysa.

The banners and placards urged Canadians to not accept the Tamil Tiger agenda and not cave into terrorism.


frandroid: (conservatives)
Who do you think are the greatest enemies of autoworkers in Ontario right now?

If you said "automakers", you'd be partially right at this moment. Chrysler, in particular, is demanding more wage and benefits concessions than GM agreed to, while the CAW says they've given enough.

If you are a GM autoworker though, you're in better hands. According to the Star, "General Motors' new chief says worker concessions in Canada already make the teetering automaker competitive", and is not requiring further wage cutbacks after those agreed to by its workers in the last few weeks. However, Dalton McGuinty and Stephen Harper are asking autoworkers to do more in order for the companies to receive more government funding. Can you believe this?

Let's follow the logic here. The two governments, who want to save the auto industry, because it brings wealth to the province and the country, wealth that is channelled in great part to the workers, is asking that less wealth be transfered to the autoworkers.

The worst part in all this is that these wage and benefits concessions are insignificant in the grand scheme of things, if we follow the numbers supplied by the CAW (I know, hardly neutral numbers here; but their economist, Jim Stanford, is respected). Ken Lewenza wrote that "the direct labour targeted by the [then-]Bush administration represents just 7 per cent of the average cost of a new vehicle should be proof enough that cutting wages cannot solve the automakers' problems."

So far, autoworkers have offered $7.25/hr of wage and benefits cuts, and Chrysler is looking at $19/hr in cuts. Now depending on two different Star articles referring to the $7.25/hr figure, the current cost of an autoworker is $70 or $75 an hour. So Chrysler is in effect asking for a 10% to 27% cut. But the thing is, this is a cut of 10 to 27% on the 7% of the new vehicle cost. So all in all, the governments are looking at cost reductions of .7% to 2% in order to grant their financial support.

Do the governments think that that difference is really what's going to make or break the automakers? As far as I'm concerned, AIG has received a $170 billion dollar bailout from the U.S. government and until the public expressed its outrage media whipped public outrage, the government was not asking for a bloody cent of employee wages and benefits cuts. Now if that's not class warfare, I don't know what this is.

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