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TYO - Canada

SEPTEMBER 2009

Vol - 19

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SEPTEMBER 2009

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

History

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Tamil Eelam Challenge Cup

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Youth Canada

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A handful of rice and a glass of water, this is equivalent to a three course meal for the Tamils in Sri Lanka. However, our blood relations live in unfavourable conditions back home, without access to this. Our Tamil brothers and sisters have gone through times that no one would even have dreamt about. They suffered through the dreadful act of nature during the tsunami, the discriminatory acts of the military forces, raids, riots, and war. They have lost mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, children, newborn babies, and grandparents. The blood dripping from the scars of their loved ones as they were dragged across the floors, the shrieks of young girls as they were heartlessly stripped of their dignities, the hollers of young boys as they were inhumanely abducted; these images still replay as horror movies in the minds of those who witnessed and survived the barbarism. To the Tamil Diaspora, the tragedies that took place in the lives of our Tamil brothers and sisters are merely stories that could run shivers down one’s spine, stories that are too brutal to be true. To one who witnessed it, to one who lived through it, to one who lives in Tamileelam, this is life. Prior to the uprising of the armed struggle, respected individuals took the path of ahimsa, standing up for the rights of the innocent Tamils of Tamileelam. Thileepan Anna, an individual kept in a warm place in the hearts of all Tamils, was one such fellow. Twelve days, without even allowing a drop of water to touch his tongue, Thileepan Anna fasted, persuading the Indian Government to honour the obligations to help his people. Thileepan Anna’s voice was ignored, and he was left to die. We, as youth in Canada, take everything we have, from food to education, for granted. But put yourselves into the shoes of our brothers and sisters back home. The food you throw out when you’re full, the drinks you spill down the sink once you’re done drinking them, the water bottles thrown into the garbage, half-filled; all of this can be enough to prevent at least one death back home. Our relations are suffering back home, and it is our utmost responsibility to speak on their behalf. We must remember our heroes from the past, who have given up their lives for the people, and walk in their footsteps, taking action to end the atrocities faced regularly by our people.

In Solidarity, TYO - Canada

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SEPTEMBER 2009

TYO - Canada

History (Continued from August)

Normative Structure of National Liberation Movements The archetypal organisational structure of armed national liberation movements is composed of: 1) The nation people who seek liberation 2) A political organisation or party 3) The guerrilla army The guerrilla army is, of course, always illegal or “underground,” but the political organisation is sometimes legal or quasi-legal. It’s purpose is to serve as the respectable facade of the armed movement, a civilian front, or, as the Cubans called it, resistencia civica: Made up of intellectuals, tradesmen, clerks, students, professionals, and the like - above all, of women - capable of promoting funds, circulating petitions, organizing boycotts, raising popular demonstrations, informing friendly journalists, spreading rumours, and in every way conceivable waging a massive propaganda campaign aimed at two objectives: the strengthening and brightening of the rebel “image”, and the discrediting of the regime (Taber 1965:332-33). It is also frequently the case that there are serious divisions within the liberation movement and more than one liberation organisation in a country. In this situation, these competing factions frequently fight each other as well as the oppressive government, and the government will employ “divide and rule” tactics against them. In fact, some of the most vicious fighting is not between the liberation movement and government forces, but between competing liberation factions struggling for dominance and support. There are two basic ways liberation movements seek to overcome this factionalism. First, the strongest faction can seek to destroy their competitors. Second, they can combine together to establish a higher-level organisation - a “national liberation front”. Fronts are umbrella organisations bringing together several independent insurgent groups. Sometimes they are formally organised as a “people’s liberation front” made up of organisations representing a number of nation-peoples. A successful recent example was the Eritrean People’s Liberation Front (EPLF) which represented nine Eritrean nationalities and won independence from Ethiopia in 1992 after 30 years of war. Inequality, Stratification and National Liberation Movements Earlier, I stressed the general connection between national liberation movements and the rise and spread of imperial states. To take this one step further, we can identify what it is about sates that produces this effect. The social causes of conflict and political violence in states can be traced directly to the correlates of social stratification - major institutionalized inequalities in access to wealth, status and power, or what the great social theorist Max Weber termed “life chances” 10. Stratification refers to the fact that some categories of people get more of the valued things in life and others get less; a few get most, and most get what’s left; some live well and long, more live poorly and briefly. Social stratification leads to such conflict inducing factors as ethnic, religious and ideological discrimination; socioeconomic deprivation; political inequality

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and its correlates such as infringement of rights, injustice, and oppression; the absence of effective channels of peaceful or systemic resolution of grievances and conflicts; and, of course, exploitation and alienation. Gerald Berreman, an anthropologist who has dedicated his professional life to the study of systems of social inequality, has noted that wherever there is significant disparities between social groups in access to life chances: There is suffering and conflict because these are systems which assure privilege to some at the expense of others, and people do not acquiesce easily to that situation.When they do, it is not because they agree to its legitimacy or inevitability, but because they know the uses of power (Berreman 1977:229). Berreman argues that systems of social stratification are “everywhere characterized by conformity rather than consensus, by conflict rather than tranquility, by enforcement rather than by endorsement, by resentment rather than contentment” (1977:229). This is worrying because what Berreman observed nearly twenty years ago seems to be even truer today: Naked power is being resorted to more unabashedly as the conflict becomes more evident . . . the incidence, the likelihood and the impact of overt conflict between unequals is increasing both within and between societies and nations . . . Present trends suggest a worldwide polarization in access to power, privilege and resources - the gap between the “haves” and the “have nots” increases with a diminishing willingness among the poor to continue to suffer deprivation, and among the wealthy to ameliorate it (Berreman 1977:236). All of the major world problems are growing at an accelerated rate. The gap between the few who have much and the many who have little, between rich and poor, between “developed” nations and “developing” ones, is growing ever wider11. Karl Marx, who argued that this was the inevitable result of freemarket capitalism, referred to this as “progressive emiseration.”12 Put simply, stratification or gross forms of institutionalised social inequality are the “root cause” of revolution, including national liberation movements. That is why I emphasize social inequality here - and in my research, teaching, and writing - because I think it is the most dangerous feature of contemporary society. I think it worth focusing upon because it is an entirely cultural, human-made phenomenon which could be changed if people were to decide to do so. If it is not, the animosities it arouses may well be the end of us. The ultimate cause may the pattern of states, of accumulation, territoriality, bureaucracy, poverty and accumulation which define or accompany stratification, but the proximal cause is surely the greed and envy, excess and suffering that inequality causes, especially that kind of inequality among entire categories of people which we call stratification. It is inequality alone that can be blamed for armed liberation movements today. To be continued…

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TAMILEELAM Challenge Cup

TYO - Canada

Canadian Tamil Youth Alliance held its first ever TAMILEELAM Challenge Cup Soccer Tournament on September 6 at L’Amoreaux Sports Complex. The tournament served as a forefront for the Tamil youth to stand in solidarity bringing together 35 soccer teams and hundreds of soccer fans. Soccer tournaments were held for the age groups under 8, under 10, under 12, under 14, under 16 and for open men. The Champions and Runners Up for each soccer tournament were awarded with prestigious cups, in order to further encourage Tamils to continue their involvement in the sports.

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SEPTEMBER 2009

Vol - 19


SEPTEMBER 2009

Vol - 19

TAMILEELAM Challenge Cup

TYO - Canada

It is necessary for the upcoming Tamil generation to carry the national symbols of Tamileelam with them into the future. In attempt to engrave the symbols of Tamileelam in the hearts of the future generation, awards for the tournament were named after the national symbols of Tamileelam. The Best Goalie Trophy was named after the national tree of Tamileelam, the vaakai (Sirissa).Vaakai has been an important part of the Tamil history. It has existed in Tamileelam since the early times and was used by warriors as a means to declare their victory in war. Because of its abundance in Tamileelam, and its importance in the Tamil history, this tree was declared the national tree of Tamileelam. The Most Valuable Player Trophy was named after the national animal of Tamileelam, the siruthai (leopard). The siruthai found in Tamileelam is unique to the homeland and is found in high numbers in Tamileelam. Researchers, when comparing the lion and tiger to the siruthai, have stated that the siruthai is the more skilled animal when it comes to hunting. The Best Defence Trophy was named after the national bird of Tamileelam, the senbagam (crow pheasant). The senbagam, has become an asset to the land of Tamileelam, as it does not fly large distances, and thus, remains in the Tamil nation in large numbers. Tamils must take pride in their nationality and symbols. CTYA attempted to do so by refreshing the minds of the Tamil youth with the symbols related to Tamileelam, touching up on connotation of the Tamil identity among the Tamil youth.

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SEPTEMBER 2009

Youth Canada

TYO - Canada

Protest in front of CBC

Hundreds of Tamils gathered for a demonstration in front of CBC on September 4th, to persuade the Canadian Government to ensure that the rights of the media in Sri Lanka, which are currently at stake, are protected. Canadian Tamils believe that media should be allowed to enter Sri Lanka and report the true story, without the limitations set by the Sinhala government.

Protest in front of Red Cross

Tamils came together to protest in front of Red Cross, encouraging the organization to get as much help as possible to the civilians trapped in concentration camps in Northern Sri Lanka.

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Youth Canada

TYO - Canada

SEPTEMBER 2009

Vol - 19

Protest in front of US Consulate The Canadian Tamil youth, along with the Tamil community, protested in front of the US Consulate on September 17th, reminding the world that it has been 150 days since Tamils have been detained in concentration camps. The Sri Lankan Government stated that the Tamils detained in concentration camps will be released in 180 days. This event reminded the world that only 30 more days remain.

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SEPTEMBER 2009

Youth Reflection

TYO - Canada

Viduthalai Velvi

The Canadian Tamil youth organized and held Viduthalai Velvi, a 24 hour famine, to commemorate Thileepan Anna and the sacrifice he made for the Tamils. The famine, held at Everest Banquet and Convention Centre, started at 3:00pm on September 25th and ran until 3:00pm on September 26th. All the youth who took part in the famine were given a chance to speak, and share their emotions with the rest of the community.

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SEPTEMBER 2009

Get Involved

TYO - Canada

Vol - 19

WRITE

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. TYO - Canada

Guidelines: 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, 2009 o Must be e-mailed to reach@canadatyo.org with the subject ‘Reach-OCTOBER 2009’ o Please attach a word file or copy and paste your work in your e-mail

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SEPTEMBER 2009

Vol - 19

Get Involved

TYO - Canada

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

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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 - September 2009  

Official Newsletter of TYO-Canada

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