Defend Bill 104, Tamil Genocide Education Week Act, 2021 - Combatting Tamil Genocide denial and distortion
Bill 104, Tamil Genocide Education Week Act passed in May 2021 by the Ontario legislative assembly is now being constitutionally challenged again by the Tamil Genocide deniers.
This bill proclaims that the seven-day period each year ends on May 18 as Tamil Genocide Education Week. During this week, Ontarians will learn and raise awareness of the Tamil Genocide and other genocides that have occurred in world history.
Bill 104 was introduced by Vijay Thanigasalam, Member of the Provincial Parliament of Ontario for Scarborough - Rouge Park on April 30, 2019. Since then, bill 104 has faced numerous hurdles, including foreign interference by the genocidal state of Sri Lanka. Yet, despite these challenges, the Tamil people - the genocide survivors, students, and families of the victims of the Tamil Genocide, continuously advocated patiently for three years. This bill was unanimously passed after the 3rd reading with the full support of elected representatives across all parties and received royal assent on May 12, 2021, making it a law in the province of Ontario.
When bill 104 passed, it was met with great community support as it acknowledged the Tamil Genocide, its historic trauma and the intergenerational impact it caused. It also stood for principles of justice for the ongoing genocide against the Tamil people in Sri Lanka and learning about the prevention of such crimes in the future.
Acknowledgement is an important part of healing. Having a publicly acknowledged period to focus on education about genocide allows so many who are in the grips of trauma caused by the Tamil Genocide and other genocides to begin the journey to healing.
Shortly after passing the bill, Tamil Genocide deniers filed a constitutional challenge against Bill 104, Tamil Genocide Education Week Act, 2021. In addition to the foreign interference and propaganda campaign to deny and distort the Tamil Genocide, the Foreign Minister of Sri Lanka also met with the High Commissioner of Canada to protest Bill 104, Tamil Genocide Education Week Act, 2021.
To defend bill 104, and to stand up against Tamil Genocide deniers, over 60 Tamil Canadian organizations came together with the National Council of Canadian Tamils (NCCT), Canadian Tamil Youth Alliance (CTYA) and Canadian Tamil Academy (CTA) to make submissions to the court as interveners in this case. To legally intervene to argue the significance of Bill 104, Tamil Genocide Education Week Act, 2021, Goldblatt Partners law firm was retained by the Tamil Canadian community.
Bill 104, Tamil Genocide Education Week Act, 2021 was upheld on June 28, 2022, at the Ontario Superior Court of Justice. Judge Hon. J.T. Akbarali found that the Tamil Genocide Education Week Act, 2021 is constitutional and the constitutional challenge made by the Tamil Genocide deniers was dismissed.
However, once again, the Tamil Genocide deniers have appealed the judgment of Bill 104, Tamil Genocide Education Week Act, 2021 at the Court of Appeal for Ontario.
As history repeatedly reminds us, the perpetrators have always denied genocide. The deliberate attempt to target bill 104 suggests that Tamil Genocide deniers are actively working to silence the victims of the Tamil Genocide.
The passing of bill 104, was a historic moment for Tamil people across the world. It was the first time a government officially passed such a bill to educate Tamil Genocide.
We need your support again to defend this bill as interveners on behalf of the Tamil people. We request everyone to financially support our efforts by donating to help cover the legal fees to defend bill 104 as interveners in the Court of Appeal for Ontario.
We must come together to protect and defend bill 104 - the first-ever legislation to educate about the Tamil Genocide. Of the ten stages of genocide, denial is the final stage that lasts throughout and always follows a genocide. It is among the definite indicators of further genocide.
Let’s combat Tamil Genocide denial and distortion.
Thank you for your support.
National Council of Canadian Tamils
Canadian Tamil Youth Alliance
Canadian Tamil Academy