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Life's good comes not from others' gift, nor ill
Man's pains and pains' relief are from within.
Thus have we seen in visions of the wise !."
Tamil Poem in Purananuru, circa 500 B.C 

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Home > Tamils - a Nation without a State > Canada > Canadian Tamil, Dr. Bavan Sri Skanda Rajah concludes 6 day fast in sympathy with Tamils in Tamil Eelam > Usha Sri Skandarajah on Her Husbands Fast

Tamils - a Nation without a State

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- an estimated 300,000 Tamils live in Canada -


Dr. Bavan Sri Skanda Rajah concludes 6 day fast in Toronto

"By fasting for the past six days I was able to feel something of the pain and suffering of hundreds of thousands of Tamils in my homeland."







 23 April 2007

[see also Usha Sri Skandarajah on Her Husband's Fast  "..If Bavan's fast had helped to change some people and draw attention to the plight of the Tamils in NorthEast Sri Lanka in some small way, he would have accomplished his goal. For all the support he received both he and I feel indebted and humbled..."]

A Canadian Tamil peace activist in Toronto, Dr. Bavan Sri Skanda Rajah, on Saturday 21 April concluded a six day Gandhian fast, he undertook to sympathize with the victims in NorthEast Sri Lanka.

Urging the Canadian Government to exert pressure on the Sri Lankan Government to help "stop the carnage, starvation and the human rights abuses perpetrated by the Sri Lankan armed forces," Dr. Sri Skanda Rajah said the fast was a spiritual exercise that transcended partisan politics and asked those who attended not to make political capital of the endeavour.

Addressing the gathering at the end of the fast, Dr. Sri Skanda Rajah looked weak and could not stop crying as he spoke.  He said the fast was a cry for help, undertaken to demonstrate his "deeply felt concern and empathy for the pain and suffering that continues to be inflicted on the Tamil speaking people in the NorthEast of Sri Lanka."

"By fasting for the past six days I was able to feel something of the pain and suffering of the hundreds of thousands of Tamils in my homeland. I consciously chose to fast to explain the sufferings of my people to others.. This is a simple sacrifice on my part. True it hurts me and yet I chose to do this to portray to the people of this country the sufferings of my people."

He said the Canadian government should consider freezing financial aid to Sri Lanka, to send a strong signal to the Sri Lankan establishment.

Dr. Sri Skanda Rajah is 69 years old, with a doctorate from Cambridge University and retired from the Asian Development Bank.  He is a son of the late Saiva Sigamani  Justice P. Sri Skanda Rajah who was a contemporary of  the late Mr.I.P.Thurairatnam, Founding Principal of Union College,  Rev. Sabapathy Kulendran, Bishop of Jaffna and the late Somasunderam Nadesan Q.C. Dr. Bavan Sri Skandarajah had personal experience of the 1958 attacks on Tamils by Sinhala mobs when his home in Ratmalana in the vicinity of the Colombo Hindu College was attacked.

A multi-faith prayer gathering was held on Saturday, 21 April 2007 evening at the Canada Kandasamy Temple to mark the ending of his six day fast.

Professor Fr. C. Chandrakanthan from the University of Toronto, who led the Prayer and Meditation said fasting is a form of sacrifice that leads to inner purification. He commended Sri-Skanda-Rajah his fast has led Tamils to express solidarity. He dealt in detail the atrocities committed by Government of Sri Lanka and the sufferings of the Tamils in North and East of Sri Lanka. He detailed the plight of Internally displaced people in the East with statistics.

Canon Fr. Fancis Xavier of the Anglican church of Canada, in his emotionally charged speech, traced the evolution of fasting in the Tamil struggle.

Mr. Sivalingam, a trustee of Richmond Hill Pillayar Temple presided at the event. Raja Ibrahim from the Salahudeen Mosque and Bhuuvenedra Aiyar, Chief Priest of the Selavasannithy Temple Canada said prayers. Muslim devotional songs, Christian hymns, Hindu Thevarams, and Bhajans were also sung keeping the event a multi-faith spiritual occasion.

Organizers of the fast said the full six day fast could not be held at a public venue due to circumstances which they were not prepared to reveal but said there were many well-wishers and sympathizers who came to Sri Skanda Rajah�s residence to offer support and solidarity.

Tamil elected officials, Logan Kanapathy, Markham City Councillor and Neethan Shan, School Board Trustee were present. V. Thangavelu, a Canadian Tamil activist together with his wife, gave Dr. Sri Skanda Rajah some lemon rice and milk to end the fast.

Candidates belonging to the ruling Conservative of Party of Canada selected to stand for the next federal elections namely Jerry Bance of Scarborough Rouge River and Chuck Konkel of Scarborough Guildwood and Tim Dobson seeking nomination to stand in the riding of Pickering Scarborough East in the provincial elections in November were also there to lend support.

Mr. Chuck Konkel, Mr. Jerry Bance and Mr. Tim Dobson in the audience

Usha S Sri Skanda Rajah, wife of Sri Skanda Rajah thanking every one for their support said she strongly believes that the Prime Minister of Canada cares and thanked Mr. Steven Harper for the special official Tamil New Year greetings he sent to Canadian Tamils.

Statement Released by Usha Sri Skanda Rajah

A Fast to Stop the Genocide of Tamils in Sri Lanka 

Dr. Sri B. Sri-Skanda-Rajah, a peace activist, began a six-day fast to draw attention and seek help to stop the genocide of Tamils in the Tamil homeland comprising the North and East of Sri Lanka. 

Intended to be a cry for help, it is important to explain that the fast is not a �hunger strike� or a protest and is undertaken in strictly �Gandhian� style to demonstrate a deeply felt concern and empathy for the pain and suffering inflicted on the Tamil speaking people in the NorthEast of Sri Lanka. 

The fast began on Sunday, 15th April and will end on Saturday 21st April 2007 at an ecumenical and multi-faith prayer gathering to be held at the Canada Kandasamy Temple Hall, 733 Birchmount Road, Scarborough, Ontario between 4 and 6 pm.  

The fast is meant to be a spiritual exercise. It transcends partisan politics. No one should make political capital of this endeavor. 

Dr. Sri B. Sri-Skanda-Rajah is appealing to Canada, his adopted country for which he has immense respect, love and loyalty to help stop the carnage, starvation and massive human rights abuses perpetrated by Sri Lankan armed forces, deny any development-aid to the Sri Lankan government that could be used to kill and harm the Tamil people and save them from oppression and elimination. 

NB: Due to circumstances beyond control the six-day fast could not be held at a public venue. Those who wish to participate may fast in their homes and come together on Saturday to break the fast. It would mean a lot if as many people as possible could be there and if they could bring non-Tamil Canadians as well to participate in this solemn occasion.



வட-கிழக்கு மாகாணத்தை உள்ளடக்கிய தமிழர் தாயகத்தில் இடம்பெறும் இன அழிப்பை உலகத்தின் கவனத்துக்குக் கொண்டுவந்து அதனைத் தடுத்து நிறுத்து முகமாக முனைவர் ஸ்ரீ பவன் ஸ்ரீஸ்கந்தராசா ஆறு நாள் உண்ணா நோன்பை தொடக்கியுள்ளார். முனைவர் ஸ்ரீஸ்கந்தராசா ஒரு அமைதி வினையாளர் ஆவார்.

இந்த உண்ணாநோன்பு �உண்ணா நிறுத்தம்� அல்லது எதிர்ப்பு நடவடிக்கை அல்ல என்பதை விளங்கிக் கொள்வது முக்கியமாகும். அதன் நோக்கம் முற்றிலும் �காந்தீய� வழியில் வட- கிழக்கில் வாழும் தமிழ்ப்பேசும் மக்கள் மீது இழைக்கப்பட்டு வரும் துன்ப துயரங்களையிட்டு எமது ஆழ்ந்த அக்கறையையும் ஒத்துணர்வையும் வெளிக்காட்டும் நடவடிக்கை ஆகும்.

இந்த உண்ணாநோன்பு ஏப்ரில் 15 ஆம் நாள் (ஞாயிறு) தொடங்கியது. எதிர்வரும் ஏப்ரில் 21 (சனிக்கிழமை) 733 டீசைஉhஅழரவெ சுழயன ஸ்காபரோவில் அமைந்துள்ள கனடா கந்தசாமி கோயில் மண்டபத்தில் மாலை 4 � 6 மணிக்கு இடையில் நடைபெறும் பன்முக நம்பிக்கை பிரார்த்தனையோடு முடிவுறும்.

இந்த நோன்பு ஆன்மீக அடிப்படையில் ஆனது. பக்கசார்பு அரசியலுக்கு அப்பாலானது. இந்த நோன்பினை யாரும் தங்கள் அரசியல் முதலீட்டுக்குப் பயன்படுத்தக் கூடாது.

ஸ்ரீலங்கா படையினர் மேற்கொள்ளும் படுகொலை, பட்டினி மற்றும் பாரிய மனிதவுரிமை மீறல்களை கனடா தடுத்து நிறுத்த வேண்டும் என்றும் தமிழ்மக்களை கொல்லும் அல்லது பாதிக்கும் நடவடிக்கைகளுக்குப் பயன்படக் கூடிய எந்தவொரு மேம்பாட்டுக்கான நிதியுதவியை கனடா ஸ்ரீலங்கா அரசுக்கு வழங்கக் கூடாது எனவும் தமிழ்மக்களை அடக்குமுறையில் இருந்தும் அழிவில் இருந்தும் காப்பாற்ற வேண்டும் எனவும் முனைவர் ஸ்ரீ பவன் ஸ்ரீஸ்கந்தராசா தான் மிகவும் மதிக்கும் விரும்பும் நம்பிக்கை வைத்திருக்கம் குடிபுகுந்த கனடாவுக்கு வேண்டுகோள் விடுக்கிறார்.

பி.கு. எங்கள் கட்டுப்பாட்டுக்கு அப்பாற்பட்ட சூழ்நிலை காரணமாக இந்த 6 நாள் உண்ணாநோன்பை ஒரு பொது இடத்தில் வைக்க முடியவில்லை. இதில் கலந்து கொள்ள விரும்புவர்கள் தங்கள் வீடுகளில் இருந்தவாறே உண்ணா நோன்பை மேற்கொண்டு விட்டு உண்ணாநோன்பை முடித்து வைக்கும் சனிக்கிழமை நிகழ்ச்சிக்கு வருதைதரலாம். பெருந்தொகையான மக்கள் இதில் கலந்து கொள்வதோடு தமிழ்க் கனடியர் அல்லாதவர்களை அழைத்து வருவது விரும்பத்தக்கது.



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