Canada has an option and an obligation to use its considerable economic and diplomatic muscle in any way possible to bring about an immediate cease fire in Sri Lanka.
However this clear and obvious course of action is lost in the confusion of political chest thumping and well intentioned but essentially short sighted local hand-wringing.
In Canada, we must focus on the humanitarian reality first.
The main issue is not the nature of Canada’s relations and interactions with a foreign government.
The major issue is not that the Canadian government has declared the Tamil Tigers a terrorist organization or who carried what flag at a demonstration.
The major issue is not the tactics of civil disobedience or the citizenship status of some demonstrators.
And the larger issue is most definitely not the transgressing of traffic or right of way laws that amount to no more inconvenience than that created by a burst water-main or a St. Patrick’s Day parade.
The main issue is the wretched reality of thousands of innocent people trapped in a war zone through no fault of their own.
Canada is being asked by the Canadian Tamil community to take a lead role in restoring sanity in the region. Advocating loudly and vigorously for a cease fire and using whatever tactics available to bring it about could save countless lives, will cost us little and will enhance Canada’s standing in international humanitarian issues.
It’s also clearly the right thing to do.