In a landmark event in Canadian politics and among the Eezham Tamil diaspora in Canada, Neethan Shan, vice chair of the NCCT, was elected as the President of Ontario New Democratic Party. The 33 year old Eezham Tamil activist, who is also the Executive Director of the Council of Agencies Serving South Asians, won the election competing against two other candidates. "As the President of the Ontario New Democratic Party, I will continue to advocate for the rights of all marginalized communities in Ontario and maintain my focus on helping children, youth and families,” Neethan Shan told TamilNet, adding that his history of being a refugee from his occupied homeland is what led him to become involved as a community organizer in his own community and the broader Canadian community to fight for the rights of the marginalized.
"I cannot forget that my roots are intricately woven with the collective history of the oppression and resistance of my people. I will also continue to support my fellow Tamil activists who are campaigning for the rights of our people facing genocide in our homeland under a brutal military occupation," he further said.
Neethan Shan, who was born in Jaffna, with his father from Nedunthivu and mother from Analaithivu, arrived in Canada as a refugee at the age of 16. As an activist, Shan was deeply rooted in the Tamil community in Canada and has been involved in passionately advocating for the social needs of Tamils living in the city and for the rights of Tamils living in the homeland. Neethan Shan is a well known face in the Eezham Tamil community in Canada and often speaks at major community events.
"Neethan is an exceptional role model, a dedicated activist, and a principled advocate for the rights of oppressed people. We are extremely proud of his accomplishment which is both a personal victory for him and a major milestone for the Tamil Canadian diaspora," Krisna Saravanamuttu, spokesperson of the National Council of Canadian Tamils, told TamilNet.
"We look forward to working closely with Neethan in his new capacity as the President of the Ontario New Democratic Party as we continue our efforts to advocate for the freedom of our sisters and brothers in our homeland," he added.