Canada is a change for the better

Reporter: Reshanthy Vijayarajah

Even though I love the warm weather in Sri Lanka, growing up there was never safe. Thousands fled the country during the civil war to have a better life in peace and thousands died to bring peace to a country they called home. Life in Canada is much easier and safer than in Sri Lanka.
In parts of Sri Lanka, where my family is from, the fear of another war torments many civilians. Poverty is not something new; families are left to survive with a pint of rice to feed a family of four for a week.
According to Frances Harrison, a reporter from BBC world news, the war in Sri Lanka is still not over.
There are civilians still dying every day and the numbers of dead are uncountable. In her report, she has talked about people being raped, suffocated, beaten with pigs and burned with metal rods.
Harrison said Human Rights Watch has documented over 62 cases of sexual violence in the Tamil territory since the end of war.
But new evidence from the United Nations shows there are even more than that.
Young females are kidnapped from their schools and prostituted, resulting in unwanted pregnancy or HIV infections.
These cases of rape, abuse, non-proper medical systems go unidentified in Sri Lanka. Recently, the United Nation has agreed that war crimes are in effect, and the government is using chemical weapons, killing more than 80,000 civilians.
It has come to a point where it is a problem for children to have friends. Enjoying childhood is never possible; they are forced to have the mentality of an adult at a very young age.
Child labour is common in Sri Lankan communities. The government cannot do anything about it as it is corrupted in its own politics. Many families count on child marriage to get their children to a better place.
Even though Canada has it own ups and downs, the government is not as corrupt as the ones in Sri Lanka.
This country has rules and regulations to make sure the laws are being followed. We do not have separate rules for different religion and ethnicity, which the Sri Lankan government should consider.
An education in Canada is something the government wants everyone to have. Children go to school and it is part of their daily lives.
Children having friends is something normal, without the fear of child labour and child soldiers.
Government authorizes schools to have extracurricular activities where children are able to pursue their interests. It is a pity to see Canadian children take the facilities they have for granted.
As Tamils, we lost our culture, warm weather and our country but we realize that we are living in a great country that protects its people with peace and support.
The thought of hoping for a change is still with me, even though I do not know where to start.
Yet, it is important to me that I give back to the place where my family is from and help both the Singhalese and Tamil families.

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