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TYO - Canada

SEPTEMBER 2010

Vol - 28

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SEPTEMBER 2010

TYO - Canada

To work towards the enhancement of the Tamil Nation and to provide an avenue for the betterment of Tamil youth in canada

TYO Introduction

Feature Article Tamil History World History Youth Canada Did You Know? Youth Reflection Get Involved

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“Let the Thamil peoples’ war erupt” – Lt. Col. Thileepan

In 1987, the Sri Lankan and Indian governments signed the Indo-Lankan accord with the objective to resolve the ongoing conflict the nation was facing. It was not long upon the arrival of the Indian troops that it became evident to Thamils in the island that the accord was of not benefit to them as matters merely became worse; Sinhala colonization continued while Thamil nationalism was further suppressed. Medical student and later political leader for LTTE’s public wing in Jaffna, Lt. Col. Thileepan, decided to pursue the thoughts of the Thamil community through a peaceful protest. Lt. Col. Thileepan began his fast on August 15th, 1987 on the premises of Nallur Kandaswamy Temple. The objective of his fast was to force the Indian government to pay justice to their obligations. Lt. Col. Thileepan refused to not only eat but also refused to consume water until the following demands were met: Withdraw Sinhalese army camps from Tamil areas, suspend all rehabilitation work until the formation of an interim (Tamil) government for the Tamil homelands, stop the continuing Sinhala colonization in the Tamil homeland, halt the setting up of Sinhala-manned police stations in Tamil areas and release all detainees held under the Prevention of Terrorism Act. Thamils continuously watched and supported Lt. Col. Thileepan grow weak and lived on the hope that the Indian government will eventually recognize Lt. Col. Thileepan’s fast and respond with a favourable gesture. Unfortunately, Lt. Col. Thileepan’s body could not compete with his spirit and thus passed away on August 26th, 1987. Although Lt. Col. Thileepan’s demands were

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not met, he strengthened the unity within Thamils and made explicit the aid that India provides for Thamils. Similar to the respect paid to the numerous other Thamil martyrs, Thamils honour the anniversary of Lt. Col.Thileepan globally and carryout various events from memorials to educational events in memory of Lt. Col. Thileepan. Events are very informative; however, it is the responsibility of the youth to extract the knowledge and make opportunities to apply that knowledge. Lt. Col. Thileepan should be idolized as not only a hero in the Thamil community but internationally, as he proved the strength of determination of one single individual; this transition from a Thamil figure to an international figure is our responsibility.There are various things youth should learn from Lt. Col. Thileepan, his: approach to his vision, means of communication-actions, will power, confidence and most of all his determination. It is not only the matter of fact of attending the memorial annually but as youth we must take the initiative to question each year, what have we done in aid in pursuing Lt. Col.Thileepan’s vision? If we are incapable of answering this question with not even a simple action then there is no purpose in attending the memorial as we have already failed to pay respect. Let’s not forget that heroes do not die, as the true hero is the individual’s motive and actions. – Saru. N

In Solidarity, TYO - Canada

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TYO - Canada

SEPTEMBER 2010

Vol - 28

Voting Matters

The ability to vote is one of the most cherished of our constitutional rights. It is the right to vote that people have fought for, marched for, and even died for, over the centuries. It is the right to vote that enables you to express your opinion as to the fitness of our elected leaders and their policies. It is the right to vote that permits you to hire or fire those who represent you in government. It is the right to vote that allows you to determine, to a certain degree, your own future by electing officials who reflect your views and will speak for you in government. By not voting you are abdicating your right to influence government and allowing the will of others, whose opinions maybe contrary to your own, to prevail. And more importantly, by not voting you are allowing it to be no longer the will of the majority that governs this country, but rather, the will of the minority.

On October 25th, Ontarians will go to the polls to elect mayors, councilors, school board trustees and all other elected officials in all of the province’s municipalities. The municipal government is arguably the closest government to citizens. The municipal government is involved in the most important and vital programs that affect the lives the everyday lives of Canadians. The e municipal government is responsible from running programs such as: parks and recreation, garbage disposal and recycling, libraries and snow removal. The Tamil Youth Organization – Canada (TYO) urges Tamil Canadians with voting privileges to go to the polls to elect municipal representatives. It is important, as a marginalized community in Canada; we let our voices be heard. The active participation of Tamil Canadians in the democratic process in this country will open doors of opportunity that will benefit the entire community in Canada.

Feature Article

connection between individual Canadians and their community. Voting helps to safeguard our freedoms. A democratic community can only survive if its citizens see participation in the political process as a duty and a responsibility.

A healthy democracy depends on the active participation of citizens. Voting connects citizens with their political process. It helps choose our leaders. The simple act of marking a ballot tells our leaders what we think about decisions that affect our lives, such as how much taxation we think is fair or what issues matters the most to us. Voting connects us to one another as citizens. By taking part in an election and by expressing our point of view, we help our democracy work. By agreeing or disagreeing with our leaders we show that the political system can accept differing points of view and can resolve them. By not voting, we break the

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SEPTEMBER 2010

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Lt. Col.Theepan Nallur Kandaswamy temple. Notably, as well as refusing to eat, Thileepan wouldn’t drink water either. Thileepan hoped to end the misery of the Tamil people by putting forward the aspirations of the Tamil people through a peaceful mode of protest.

Tamil History

Thileepan’s demands on behalf of the Tamil people were: 1. The colonisation by Sinhalese in Tamil areas under the guise of rehabilitation should be stopped. 2. All Tamil prisoners detained in police stations, military camps, and prisons under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) should be released. 3. State of Emergency should be completely eliminated. 4. Sri Lanka’s home guards should be disarmed under the supervision of the Indian Army. 5. Sri Lankan government should halt the setting up of Sinhala-manned police stations in Tamil areas. Martyr Lt. Col. Thileepan was a prominent member of LTTE’s political wing and was in charge of Jaffna district. He sacrificed his life for our nation fasting to martyrdom demanding India to fulfill Tamil aspirations. He is one of Tamil people’s most popular national heroes. Rasaiah Parthipan was born in Jaffna, Tamileelam. His father Rasaiah was a school teacher. His mother died during his childhood and he was brought up by his single father. He was a popular student in Jaffna Hindu College, a prominent high school in Jaffna, before joining the LTTE, prior to the 1983 Black July pogrom. When the Indian and Sri Lankan governments signed the Indo-Lanka accord in mid 1987, the Tamil people were undecided as to whether the treaty was to their benefit or not. When large numbers of Indian troops arrived on the island, the Tamil people initially viewed them as ‘liberators’ from the excesses of the Sri Lankan army, even though the Indo-Lanka accord was primarily aimed at securing Indian strategic and geopolitical objectives and interests in the region. In an effort to persuade the Indian government to honour its obligations, Thileepan, the former political wing leader of the Liberation Tigers of Tamileelam, began a fast-unto-death on 15 August 1987 in front of the

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The Sri Lankan and Indian governments ignored his protest. Eleven days had passed and Tamils were waiting for last minute gesture from the Indian government. To the shock of Tamils, no words emerged from Indian government. The birth place of Gandhi and Buddha never understood a non-violent struggle based on Ahimsa. As hundreds of thousand people prayed and watched with progressive despair, he fasted unto death. On 26 September 1987, Thileepan became a martyr. Nallur Road was filled with sorrowful people, weeping and murmuring prayers. At the same time, his death sparked widespread anger across the Tamil homelands. The Tamil public overwhelmingly united behind the LTTE to spearhead a national liberation resistance movement for emancipation from the clutches of oppression. His death not only united Tamils but also revealed the true intentions of Indian government. The message from that selfless hero is loud and clear. His voice has been reminding us, the Tamils, that the path for freedom is ours to determine and that no one else will deliver it for us.Twenty-three years have passed since his death. Nevertheless, the situation hasn’t changed much. His demands are still not met. At this juncture, as we remember Thileepan, let us not forget the message from his supreme sacrifice and his last words: “Let the Tamil peoples’ war erupt, Let Tamileelam blossom”.


TYO - Canada

SEPTEMBER 2010

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Mexico’s Bicentennial lowest caste. He urged the exploited and embittered Mexicans to recover the lands that were stolen from their forefathers. That he was calling these people to revolution was a radical change from the original revolution plot devised by the Criollos, or Mexican-born Spaniards.

On September 16, 1810, a progressive priest named Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla became the father of Mexican independence with a historic proclamation urging his fellow Mexicans to take up arms against the Spanish government. Known as the “Grito de Dolores,” Hidalgo’s declaration launched a decade-long struggle that ended 300 years of Spanish colonial rule, established an independent Mexico and helped cultivate a unique Mexican identity. Its anniversary is now celebrated as the country’ Independence Day. In the early hours of September 16th, 1810, Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, a priest in the small town of Dolores, Guanajuato, rang the church bell to gather the townspeople. He called for the people of Mexico to rise up against the Spanish Crown, thus initiating Mexico’s War of Independence. The country did not achieve independence until 1821, but it is this event, known as the Grito de Dolores which is commemorated every year in town squares across Mexico. Although a movement toward Mexican independence had already been in progress since Napoleon’s conquest of Spain, Hidalgo’s passionate declaration was a swift, unpremeditated decision on his part. “Mexicanos, Viva Mexico!”, (Mexicans, long live Mexico!) Hidalgo told the Mexicans who were the members of New Spain’s

Hidalgo had close ties with this group. Approaching sixty years of age, Hidalgo was beloved and greatly respected by Mexicans. Once the dean of the College of San Nicolas at Valladolid in Michoacan (now Morelia), Hidalgo was a well-educated, courageous humanitarian. He was sympathetic to the Indians, which was unusual amongst Mexican clergymen. Against Gachupin law, Hidalgo taught Indians to plant olives, mulberries and grapevines and to manufacture pottery and leather. His actions irritated the Spanish viceroy who, as a punitive measure, cut down Hidalgo’s trees and vines.

World History

The Criollos plan for revolution did not originally focus on the manpower of the Mexicans. Instead, the Criollos sought to avoid military confrontation by convincing Criollo army officers to sever their allegiance to the Gachupines. By claiming loyalty to the defeated King Ferdinand, the Criollos aimed to establish Mexico as an independent nation within King Ferdinand’s Spanish empire. The Gachupines who claimed authority under Bonaparte’s rule would be driven out of Mexico.

When Hidalgo called the Indians to action, he tapped into powerful forces that had been simmering for over three hundred years. With clubs, slings, axes, knives, machetes and intense hatred, the Indians took on the challenge of the Spanish artillery. When the Indian and mestizo forces, led by Hidalgo and Allende, reached the next village en route to Mexico City, they acquired a picture of the Virgin of Guadalupe, the patron saint whose image was of a woman of color. The Virgin of Guadalupe, who was indigenous to Mexico, became the banner of the revolutionary forces as Hidalgo and Allende led the path toward Mexico City and the expulsion of the Gachupines.

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Youth Canada

TAMILEELAM Challenge Cup - Soccer 2010

Canadian Tamil Youth Alliance in partnership with Canadian Tamil Sports Association held its annual Tamileelam Challenge Cup Soccer Tournament on Sunday September 5, 2010 at L’Amoreaux Sports Complex. All the youth who participated demonstrated excellent talent and sportsmanship. Awards were presented to those players who distinguished themselves as fine athletes after the national symbols of Tamileelam. The Vaahai was presented to the best goalie, Siruthai was presented to the best player, and Chenpagam was presented to the best defense in various age categories. Most Valued Players were also presented to Under 14, Under 16 and Opens Mens teams. The runners up of Tamileelam Challenge Cup were the ENA Sports club. The winner’s of this year’s Tamileelam Challenge Cup’s Championships are the Jarvis Sports Club. Congratulations to everyone who participated, runner’s up ENA Sports club and champions, Jarvis Sports Club! – CTYA Athletics Council

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SEPTEMBER 2010

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NCCT Protest

Youth Canada

TYO - Canada

The National Council of Canadian Tamils (NCCT), organized a protest to condemn the recent visit of Sri Lanka’s president for the UN Summit, in New York. The protest was organized in front of the United States Consulate, located on 360 University Ave. The protest started at 3:00 PM and lasted until 8:00 PM. Tamil Canadians urged the United States and the United Nations to: conduct independent war crimes investigation to bring to light Sri Lanka’s war crimes. The protest was successful and a large presence of the community was visible. – Author

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TYO - Canada

SEPTEMBER 2010

York University Membership Cards

Youth Canada

The executive committee of Tamil Student’s Association at York University is pleased to announce the new membership cards for 2010 - 2011. The new membership cards for this year features the national symbols of Tamil Eelam, the Tamil Eelam National flag and the national flower, the gloriosa lily along with the Tamil Students Association’s logo. Since it was first unfurled in Tamil Eelam, the traditional homeland of the Eezham Tamils, the national flag of Tamil Eelam has become an icon which is rooted deep in the Dravidian civilization symbolizing martial valour, the uniqueness of Tamil language, culture and the Tamil people’s will to freedom. The Tamil Community worldwide show immense gratitude and love for their national flag. The national flag has become a sacred national symbol that identifies the unique Eezham Tamil nation. The flag is handled with outmost care as Tamils humbly remember the thousands of men and women who have paid the ultimate and supreme sacrifice so that the national flag will fly high in the skies of an independent Tamil Eelam. Similarly, the new membership cards also have the national flower of Tamil Eelam, the gloriosa lily or Karthikaipoo, which has the spectrum of colors contained in the Tamil Eelam national flag and which in November, the month of Heroes Day celebrations, ubiquitously spreads, sprouts new shoots and blooms throughout the Tamil homeland. Currently, the Sri Lankan government’s military occupation of the Tamil homeland has prevented the Tamil Eelam national flag, the national flower and other national symbols from being represented in the North and East of the island. Furthermore, the Sri Lankan government has initiated a culture genocide; destroying vast monuments, and symbols which signify the uniqueness of the Tamil Nation. YUTSA reiterates that national symbols should be granted a permanent place in nationality as these symbols carry the rich history of a nation, by doing this it bestows great importance to a nation. These national symbols serve as a direct nationality link between the youth of a nationality to its past. – YUTSA

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TYO - Canada

SEPTEMBER 2010

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Youth Canada

Planting for the Future

On September 26th, the Markham Regional Chapter of Tamil Youth Organization (TYO) organized a tree planting event in remembrance of Thileepan Anna. The event called, Planting for the Future, was very well received in the mainstream community. Tamil youth activists, wearing t-shirts honouring Thileepan Anna, spent the morning planting trees to protect and foster the environment. – TYO Canada

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TYO - Canada

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In Remembering

Youth Canada

Thiyaga Theepam Thileepan

Lt. Col. Thileepan contributed his precious life ‘fast-unto-death’ on August 26, 1987. Tamils globally treasure and cherish this memorable day. While the event was being recognized globally, in Canada it was remembered on September 26, 2010. As always this remarkable day attracted the heart of many Tamils to come together under one roof to pay their tribute to our hero. The Tamil community members gathered at Canada Kandaswamy Temple located in Scarborough, Ontario. Among the crowd was a large number of youth representation, they were mainly involved with the creative arts for the evening. The remembrance event showcased many stage performances; it was mainly performed by the Tamil Youth. There were varieties of stage based programs such as classical dancing, speeches, presentation/drama and other profound performances capturing the Tamileelam struggle. Thileepan Anna’s bravery brought the struggle for the Tamileelam beyond the borders of the so called the island of Ceylon. His true sacrifice and courage and his belief made him a remarkable human being. Thileepan Anna left a significant trace in the hearts of many and the same message is passed on from one generation to the next. Thileepan Anna left a burning desire in the hearts of Eezhathamilar. The flame still continues to burn within and grows furiously better than ever before to attain the vision once held by Thileepan Anna and other Maaveerar. He was counting his last breath nearing his death but was determined not even a droplet of water he consumed. Thileepan Anna was believed and was confident that Tamileelam will one day be ‘ours’. He departed from the land and people he loved to meet the goals which he placed forth. Today Thileepan Anna’s ambition and goal remains within the Tamils world-wide. He strongly believed in his people and that one day through the eyes of Eezhathamilar he and other Maaveerar will witness the birth of Tamileelam. – Thamayanthy. R

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The World’s Tallest Building Burj Khalifa

The Burj Khalifa, in the United Arab Emirates, reins as the world’s tallest building.

Not only is Burj Khalifa the world’s tallest building, it has also broken two other impressive records: tallest structure, previously held by the KVLY-TV mast in Blanchard, North Dakota, and tallest free-standing structure, previously held by Toronto’s CN Tower. The Chicago-based Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) has established 3 criteria to determine what makes a tall building tall. Burj Khalifa wins by far in all three categories.

Highest occupied floor Height is measured from the level of the lowest, significant, open-air, pedestrian entrance to the highest continually occupied floor within the building. Maintenance areas are not included. Height to tip Height is measured from the level of the lowest, significant, open-air, pedestrian entrance to the highest point of the building, irrespective of material or function of the highest element. This includes antennae, flagpoles, signage and other functional-technical equipment.

Did You Know?

Height to architectural top Height is measured from the level of the lowest, significant, open-air, pedestrian entrance to the architectural top of the building. This includes spires, but does not include antennae, signage, flagpoles or other functional-technical equipment. This measurement is the most widely used and is used to define the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat rankings of the Tallest Buildings in the World. Elevator with the longest travel distance in the world • Tallest service elevator in the world IMPRESSIVE FEATURES: Height: 828.00 meter / 2716.54 feet Highest floor: 584.50 meter / 1917.65 feet Height to tip: 829.84 meter / 2722.57 feet Observatory height: 452.10 meter / 1483.27 feet Floors: 163

World Records At over 828 metres (2,716.5 feet) and more than 160 stories, Burj Khalifa holds the following records: • Tallest building in the world • Tallest free-standing structure in the world • Highest number of stories in the world • Highest occupied floor in the world • Highest outdoor observation deck in the world

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Youth Reflection A hero arose from the flames of starvation A hero emerged from the anguish of thirst And yes, this hero was a result of deprivation But he was not deprived of food and water. He was deprived of his rights and freedoms Deprived of a voice Deprived of a choice And so he spoke to be heard through the sacrifice of his privileges He had a vision for the food he spared, A vision to one day eliminate the starvation of freedom A vision to one day see the brothers and sisters of Eelam rejoice in their homeland with pride Each passing day that he spent hungry, was in hopes that one day

Youth Reflection

the people of his country will be fed and nourished And free to walk atop their own soil with dignity In their own prosperous country He had a dream for every drop of water he spared his body A dream that one day the surrounding oceans of their homeland, would have its shores covered in footprints at play… wet with water, and not soaked in blood That a child’s thirst for education would be clenched and not have the educators be held behind bars as political prisoners With the weakening of his physical body, the strengthening of his mind and the minds of the community continued It continued generation after generation, proving that the power does not lie within the bullet of a gun, nor does it lie amongst the votes cast towards a corrupt government. Power lies solely in the hands of the determined, the ambitious, and the motivated. Those willing to risk themselves for the betterment of a nation and its people. Power is the blood of sacrifice, that seeps through soil to pump through our hearts. And today our veins pulse with lost and found blood Today, we feel his hunger for peace in Thamileelam And we feel his thirst for the right to freedom. His sacrifice is one of many that acts as the light that guides us towards the future – Kiruthika.T

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Join TYO

Speak Out

Our doors are always open to new members that are looking to make a difference for Tamils around the world.

As Tamil youth in Canada, we have the ultimate duty of educating others, as well as ourselves of the suffering of the Tamil people. Understanding is crucial. And with understanding comes awareness, the most essential step in the path to progress.

As an organization with the interests of Tamil youth at heart, TYO provides opportunities for Canadian Tamil youth to network, contribute, and develop their skills in various areas as well. Interested in getting involved? Please contact us at contact@canadatyo.org Or visit us at www.canadatyo.org

Get Involved

SEPTEMBER 2010

TYO - Canada

Ignorance is not a bliss. • Stay updated with recent news • Write to your local politicians • Attend rallies • Enlighten non-Tamil peers • Write a poem, articles, essay • Research, understand and recite

Reach Editor - Arul.M Reach Designer - Shiyamdev.S

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WRITE

Get Involved

For the beautiful moments For the tragic times With your heart and no regrets

For our next month’s issue: Submit your written work based on

‘what’s on your mind?’ Please follow the guidelines below. Don’t forget to add reach@canadatyo.org to your e-mail safe list. We appreciate all of your time and effort.

Guidelines:

TYO - Canada

o All submissions must be in English o You may create your own title for your work o Written work should be within 750 words (or 2 pages letter sized), 12 pt font (Times) o Can be written in any form (article, research essay, poem, story, etc.) o Include your name, contact info, and University/ College/ High School (If applicable) o Submit before OCTOBER 25th, 2010 o Must be e-mailed to reach@canadatyo.org with the subject ‘Reach-OCTOBER 2010’ o Please attach a word file or copy and paste your work in your e-mail

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TYO - Canada

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28th September 2010 REACH  

Tamil Youth Organization's Official E-Magazine

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