by Vasuhi (Balachandran) Collins
I was surprised to read that, according to the 2006 census, there are no Sri Lankan families living in the Victoria area and none who list Tamil as their mother tongue (Aug. 14).
Admittedly, the Sri Lankan population in Victoria is not large, but we are at least one Sri Lankan family living in Victoria and have been here since 1980.
My parents came to Canada from Sri Lanka almost 40 years ago, before the height of the civil war. My sisters and I were raised with an appreciation for our Tamil culture and a keen awareness of what has been happening in Sri Lanka. It has been sad to see the beautiful country where my parents grew up devastated by the civil war of the past 30 years.
It has been interesting to read the articles and comments about the ship arriving in Victoria; however, I am saddened by the comments of "send them back" made by people who seemingly have no knowledge as to why the Tamils are seeking refugee status. Sri Lanka has not been a safe place for them to live.
My extended family was in Sri Lanka until the late 1980s, at which time they arrived in Toronto. They left the only home and culture they ever knew, but did so knowing that they had a chance to provide their families a better life here, a life free from conflict and war.
I am very thankful to have been born in Canada; if my parents had not come to Canada when they did, life would have been very different for me and my sisters. Who knows? You might have found us on this very boat. - Vasuhi (Balachandran) Collins
Letter to the Editor, published in Victoria Times Colonist
Courtesy: Victoria Times Colonist ~ Read more: http://www.timescolonist.com/opinion/Lankan+migrants+flight/3407389/story.html#ixzz0wsnS1QNA