Saturday, May 23, 2009

Eatery targeted, Sinhalese say

Sri Lanka's consul blames Tamil sympathizers for restaurant fire a week after temple torched

An early-morning fire at a Sinhalese restaurant in Brampton yesterday was set by Tamil sympathizers, Sri Lanka's consul-general in Toronto believes, while investigators say the blaze is "suspicious."

Standing with an RCMP bodyguard outside the scorched Lanka Gardens restaurant on Wexford Rd., in the Kennedy Rd.-Bovaird Dr. area, Bandula Jayasekara urged Canadian politicians to take a strong stand against violence targeting Sinhalese Canadian citizens, businesses and places of worship.

"First a temple is attacked. Now a restaurant," said Jayasekara.

"It's tragic that this is happening here. Canada has to take a serious look at this and put a stop to it," he said, adding Sinhalese Canadians "are living in fear here."

Jayasekara said an RCMP officer was assigned to accompany him for security in public about two weeks ago in response to the tensions escalating here over the recently ended war in Sri Lanka.

He had met earlier yesterday with a representative of federal Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney to express his concerns over a fire last Saturday set by intruders at a Scarborough Sinhalese Buddhist temple, causing $20,000 to $30,000 damage. He also spoke to Kenney about yesterday's incident.

The temple fire coincided with the announcement by Sri Lanka that the Tamil Tigers had been defeated.

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