University Avenue remains shut for fourth day, as Tamils continue occupation

By Melissa Leong, National Post

For the fourth day in a row, hundreds of Tamil Canadians remain on University Avenue today, with many saying they will stay indefinitely.

‘‘University Avenue will remain closed between Dundas Street West and Queen Street West, throughout the day,’’ Toronto police said in a 9 a.m. press release. ‘‘The Toronto Police Service … is committed to working with those who wish to express their views in a peaceful and safe manner.’’

The peaceful demonstration at its peak drew thousands of protesters to the front of the U.S. Consulate to draw attention to the ongoing civil war in Sri Lanka.

“We’re going to be out here for as long as it takes,” Ghormathie Thevaraajah, a 21-year-old York University student, said yesterday.

People sat cross-legged on the pavement, with Canadian, American and Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam flags. A woman yelled into her megaphone: “We want!” The crowd responded: “Permanent ceasefire!” Members of the community brought bottled water and food for those who camped on the concrete over night.

“We protested in front of Parliament Hill.but no one cares,” said Kali Kumarasingam, a 59-year-old Toronto resident. He stood away from the main crowd at the corner of University Avenue and Queen Street, handing out pamphlets. The sign around his neck said, “Obama, support two state solution in Sri Lanka.”

He said he has stood on the street every day since Sunday, sometimes until 4 a.m.

“We don’t like to give a hard time to the public and there are many hospitals around here. but every day, [in Sri Lanka] they are killing people.”


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