Second Canadian Cabinet Minister Who Patronized Tamil Organization Suspected Of Being A Front For LTTE Fundraising Relinquishes His Post.

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Canadian Finance Minister Paul Martin who together with former cabinet member colleague Maria Minna were accused of patronizing a Toronto based Tamil Organization in the not too distant past, long suspected of being a front for the LTTE in attending one of its formal gatherings which caused a hue and cry that they were LTTE sympathisers has resigned from his post.

Maria Minna was released from her cabinet post in the latter part of the year 2001 and together with Martin were involved in a vehement campaign against accusations by Sri Lankan Organizations such as S.L.U.N.A. Sri Lanka United National Association, and media coverage by the National Post of Canada an Ottawa based Newspaper, protesting their innocence using the theme of 'Racism and Discrimination' and continued to justify their involvement in the fund raising event of the Tamil Cultural Organization which was never addressed by the Liberal Party despite many protestations by representations of the Sri Lankan Community.

Mr.Martin's departure from his post has raised issues within the Liberal Party of Canada the incumbent party of the Prime Minister Jean Chretien pointing to a power struggle for leadership of the party and a projection towards Martin's ambitions for the future which has resulted in a confrontation with Mr.Chretien and dealt with swiftly by Mr. Chretien as Prime Minister in asserting his authority and eventually evoking Martin's resignation.

Mr.Martin, a powerful figure in the economic infrastructure of Canada attributed as being the architect of Canada's present economic stability was seen by many as the next Prime Minister of Canada although he appears to have overplayed his hand in making premature preparations to take over Mr.Chretien's position and has paid a price for his indiscretions while causing mild fluctuations in International Money Markets relative to the Canadian dollar.

To the Sri Lankan Community and its representative organizations such as SLUNA, Global Sinhala Village and the Sinhala Sangamaya within Canada the exit of Paul Martin is a moral victory and a vindication of the defiance both Martin and Minna showed in being openly sympathetic towards the LTTE showing no remorse in continuing to justify their presence at the event which drew publicity and angered many of the Global Sinhala Community although coincidental and unrelated to the broader issue of LTTE tolerance in Canada which goes back to the post Joe Clark / Brian Mulroney era. Mr.Martin has indicated that he will remain in the Liberal Party as a backbencher.


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