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More than 50,000 determined Tamils in Toronto pay homage to heroes

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 30 November 2010 16:52 No Comment]

The temperature was freezing. Permission was half-hearted. Venue arrangement was last minute due to anticipated obstacles. Yet, a determined mass of 50,000 Eezham Tamils in Toronto, Canada, congregated on Saturday in four sessions in a temporarily built hall for the purpose, to pay homage to the heroes who laid down their lives for the cause of the liberation of Tamil Eelam. The hall was built on an open terrain where permission to congregate was granted, and the floor was paved with wooden planks to bear with the cold. The event was marked with heart-touching cultural programmes. Meanwhile, the resolution seen in the diaspora now makes Colombo think tanks to question their present strategy of countering the diaspora through hired Public Relations firms and lobbyists. The Tamil diaspora would out-bid the Colombo government they are afraid.

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Colombo, known for its decades-long policy of approaching the national crisis in the island not through acceptable political models but with genocide, is at present spending huge amounts of money to carryout subversive activities in the diaspora and campaign in the host countries. Colombo’s present strategy is wasteful not only in terms of money but also in terms of accountability by way of results, an article in The Island conceded Monday. The writer of the article, Neville Ladduwahetty, wanted Colombo to ‘pursue proactive approaches’ to meet the ‘long-term challenges’ of the diaspora.

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The diaspora, especially in Canada, is very well aware of the nature of the kind of challenges it is facing.

"In the last two years the Tamils in the diaspora have worked with much perseverance, and as a result are growing in their organizational and political strength in challenging the discourse that has undermined the legitimacy of the Tamil peoples’ liberation movement." said Siva Vimalachandran, a student leader and National Council of Canadian Tamils (NCCT) member in Canada, in his address to the gathering in Toronto on Heroes Day.

“However, it is the responsibility of Eezham Tamils, and more specifically the Eezham Tamil youth, to challenge this discourse and ensure that discussions surrounding Tamil peoples’ right to self-determination are based on accurate accounts of history”.

“We see Heroes Day as not only a time of remembrance, but also a time for accepting the responsibility of pursuing our struggle for liberation and preserving our identity and history,” he further said.

The global attention is centering on South Asia. As a nation of the region, Tamils should be ready to face the evolving geopolitical equations by closely working the masses in Tamil Nadu, said Nehru Gunaratnam, who gave the main speech at the event, presenting his views on the current geopolitical scenario.

Mr. Gunaratnam also touched on how the human civilization is being evolved through knowledge-based systems despite the wrong policies adopted by various powers of the global order. Tamils, especially the future generation, should be forward thinking and design their knowledge-systems appropriately, he said.

Neethan Shan of the NCCT, in his address urged the Tamils to take productive and proactive steps and not get distracted by the shallow matters being propagated by a few disturbing elements in the society.

The first session started at 6:50 a.m., the second at noon, the third at 3:30 p.m. and the last at 6:30 p.m. Due to the traffic congestion on the road leading to the event venue, the local radio news channel 680AM wrongly reported a "Tamil Protest". It later corrected the report saying that the Tamil gathering was taking place to remember the war dead.

The remembrance event in Toronto was organised by Canadian Tamils National Remembrance Foundation.

[Full Coverage]

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