Categorized | Culture

Tamil Heritage Month

Posted on 20 January 2012 by admin

It is important to remember during this month that there is still much work to be done in order to achieve justice and proper reconciliation for Tamils in Sri Lanka, while also working towards creating an equal and just society in Sri Lanka, in Canada and around the world.

 

As we enter the New Year, we look forward to a year of happiness and prosperity. In January, we also enjoy festivities, in celebration of the Pongal festival and the Tamil Heritage Month. There will be events in Tamil communities across the country celebrating Tamil language, culture, and overall Tamil Heritage in Canada.

The Thai Pongal festival, allows us to give thanks for our blessings over the past year and to look forward to a new and hopeful year.  Canada has become the most popular destination for Tamils outside of Sri Lanka with approximately 300,000 Tamils calling Canada our new home. What better time to celebrate our culture and heritage among fellow Canadians than during this joyous time of year.

We must commemorate the accomplishments of Tamils in Canada and our contributions to the social, cultural, and economic prosperity of our country.  Tamils are often among the most engaged and active communities and maintaining this high level of community involvement is an important part of our culture and history in Canada. I am sure that this Tamil Heritage Month will be a wonderful celebration and I look forward to seeing many friends at community events throughout the month.

I would also like to take this opportunity to recognize and thank the municipalities that have shown leadership by officially recognizing the importance of celebrating Tamil Heritage here in Canada. The Town of Markham declared January 13-15 are Tamil Heritage Days and the city of Pickering recognized January as Tamil Heritage Month and January 14th to be Tamil Heritage day.

I am truly blessed to celebrate my Tamil culture and heritage with such freedom in Canada and I am proud to call myself a Canadian. Many Tamils have come to Canada in search of peace and liberty in an attempt to escape the terrible conditions created by the civil war. Although conditions have improved, and people around the world have recognized the crimes that were committed over the last 30 years, there are ongoing concerns regarding human rights abuses and the treatment of minority Tamils within Sri Lanka.

The report from the Lesson Learnt and Reconciliation Committee’s uncritical take on events has glaring discrepancies from the UN report.  This is why we need an independent investigation into these atrocities in the hopes of creating true peace and reconciliation in Sri Lanka. I along with my NDP colleagues have been asking the government to call upon the United Nations to follow the recommendations provided by its own panel of experts to launch and independent investigation into the allegations.

For this reason it is important to remember during this month that there is still much work to be done in order to achieve justice and proper reconciliation for Tamils in Sri Lanka, while also working towards creating an equal and just society in Sri Lanka, in Canada and around the world.

While we enjoy this month and celebrate our language, literature, art, history, traditions and more and we look back on our achievements and successes, as a community, and as a country, we also look forward to create a better world for all.

To everyone during this month of celebration and the Thai Pongal festival I wish you peace, love and joy.

Thai Pirandhal Vazhi Pirakkum!

 

MP Rathika Sitsabaiesan is the NDP MP who represents Scarborough Rouge-River at the House of Commons.

 

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