One Tamil protester told The Canadian Press the government is trying to use the flag to distract the public from their inaction towards the crisis in Sri Lanka.
"We can see that they are using the flag kind of like a shield to kind of divert any bad situation," said Siva Vimal, 20.
The red flags in questions feature a tiger jumping through a ring of fire under two crossed rifles. Vimal said the flags are a symbol of the Tamil Eelam movement, not the Tamil Tigers.
He said the writing on the flag that linked the flag to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam was removed in 1990 when it came to represent the Tamil Eelam.
Tamil supporters in Canada have told the media repeatedly that they will not stop their protests until the government speaks out against the civil war in Sri Lanka that has killed thousands of Tamil civilians.
Oda told Canada AM that the Conservatives have taken "significant steps" by calling for a ceasefire for months.
She said she is sympathetic to Tamil Canadians and their fears they have for their families and friends who live in the conflict zone back in their homeland.
"I think the international community all face the same frustrations," she said. "We don't have the ability to get accurate information or numbers. It's so frustrating because journalists and humanitarian workers are all being prevented from entering the conflict zone."
"We need unhindered access to provide humanitarian workers into those camps to help those victims," she said.
Why don't do press harder to achieve just that, Oda? Where is your United Nations motion? Where is your lobbying of the Security Council, of the United States?
Mr. Speaker, violence continues in Sri Lanka today while Tamil Canadians mourn death after death. Civilians are being massacred and Canada has failed to step up to the international plate. Yesterday the UN called this conflict a “bloodbath”, but the UN is still not allowed a role in securing safety for civilians.
Mr. Speaker, volunteers are today digging mass graves for Tamil women and children killed by Sri Lankan army shelling. Tens of thousands more have been herded into government detention camps where British television exposed horrific living conditions, murders, disappearances and rampant sexual abuse of women.
Hon. Bev Oda (Minister of International Cooperation, CPC):
Statement by New Democrat Leader Jack Layton on Tamil protest in Toronto
Mon 11 May 2009
Tamil-Canadians continue to protest to stop the violence in Sri Lanka. Last night, I worked with the Toronto Chief of Police, Chair and Vice-Chair of the Police Services Board and representatives from the Canadian Tamil Congress to ensure the safe conclusion of the protest that had blocked the Gardiner Expressway.
I have urged the Prime Minister to have officials meet with respected Tamil-Canadian leaders in Toronto to discuss how Canada can better work towards an end to violence in Sri Lanka. I repeat that call today.
New Democrats will also continue our call for the Prime Minister to apply diplomatic pressure on the Sri Lanka President to end the conflict and work with the UN Security Council towards a lasting peace process.
The ongoing protests have caught the attention of Canadians, the media and the opposition parties, yet the Prime Minister and his Conservative MPs still refuse to act. Too many women, men and children are already the casualties of violence in Sri Lanka. Canada must work to stop the violence now.
Flaherty railed against the "American-style tactic" of Liberals allowing his budget to pass last week but, on the very next day, approving a bill that "subverts" the integrity of the budget's fiscal plan.
Really??? American-style tactics? You don't say, Jim.
Flaherty also said McTeague's [RESP tax-deductability bill] would benefit primarily rich parents.
No shit Jim!! Kinda* like your Tax-Free Savings Account you introduced in this very budget!!
*: Okay, that you can't deduct TFSA deposits, but that's another fucking tax-saving scheme that will mostly benefit the rich, particularly older people who have had tons of time to accumulate money during their life, and that would have had enough money to max out their RRSP before putting money in their TFSA. Gee whiz.
So far this year, the Conservatives have raised $13,3 million, the Liberals $4,1 million and the NDP $2,8 million. The Conservatives, like the NDP, have good experience raising multiple small contributions, whereas the Liberals were more reliant on fewer, larger donations. I don't know if Liberal leadership donations are counted in the Liberal total or not, but whichever way, the total annual limit a contributor is allowed to give a party includes leadership race donations, so people who have donated the maximum contribution to a leadership candidate this year cannot give to the party as well. I *hope* for the Liberals that that explains a part of the lopsided income, compared to the Conservatives.
The parties also rely for their income on $1,75 per year per vote gathered in the last election.
(Sorry for the multiple postings today, there's just a lot of stuff to talk about...)