Prime Minister Trudeau praises contributions of Canadian Tamils to Canadian Society

September 8, 2017 1:29 AMComments Off on Prime Minister Trudeau praises contributions of Canadian Tamils to Canadian SocietyViews: 8

Prime Minister Trudeau with Mr. Gary Anandasangaree, MP for Scarborough-Rouge Park

Prime Minister Trudeau with Mr. Gary Anandasangaree, MP for Scarborough-Rouge Park


Prime Minister Trudeau at Tamil Fest – “Diversity is not a liability – indeed, it is the source of our greatest strength as Canadians.”

“Contributions of Canadians of Tamil Origin have been felt for decades since the very first boat of Tamil Refugees arrived in Newfoundland up until today.” – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

By Siva Sivapragasam

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau paid a glowing tribute to Canadian Tamils for their contributions to Canadian society in the presence of 200,000 visitors at the recently held Tamil Fest street festival.

Tamil Fest is an annual street festival event sponsored by the Canadian Tamil Congress and draws several thousands of visitors. It is the biggest Tamil diaspora festival that showcases Tamil culture, heritage and cuisine. This year’s festival was of special significance since for the first time a sitting Prime Minister was attending a Tamil Canadian event.

The Prime Minister also stated that Canada consistently raised its voice in support of Tamils during the ethnic war in Sri Lanka. Though the conflict has ended, he said, the long-term solution to Tamil grievances is yet to be reached. Mr. Trudeau added that the contributions of Canadians of Tamil Origin have been felt for decades since the very first boat of Tamil Refugees arrived in Newfoundland up until today. The Prime Minister also reminded that although the war is over, long-term peace has yet to be reached on the island. He stressed that Canada has long called for a process of accountability that will have the trust and confidence of the victims of the war in Sri Lanka and that Peace and reconciliation remains an urgent imperative.

The Prime Minister said that the Tamil community has enriched Canadian multicultural society in a short period since its first arrival in large numbers in the 1980s. In recognition of this contribution, Trudeau remarked amidst applause, his government has declared January as Tamil Heritage Month in Canada. The Prime Minister also complimented the MP for Scarborough-Rouge Park Gary Anandasangaree for bringing up this motion in Parliament. Mr. Trudeau called for a big round of applause for Gary for the incredibly hard work he does for the Tamil community and other communities too. The crowds present responded with loud bursts of applause for the MP.

The Prime Minister congratulated the Canadian Tamil Congress for the hard work the organization does for the Tamil community. He stated that the organization would grow in the years ahead under the leadership of Dr. Shanthakumar, the President.

The MP for Scarborough-Rouge Park Gary Anandasangaree thanked the Prime Minister for attending the event and stated that Mr. Trudeau has broken new ground as the first sitting Canadian Prime Minister to attend a Tamil-Canadian event. He further thanked the Prime Minister for asserting the need for Sri Lanka to fulfill its commitments to the international community and for personally engaging on issues relating to Tamil-Canadians. He mentioned that the Prime Minister had stood in solidarity with the Tamil community, in good times and bad, to ensure that its voice is projected in Canada and around the world.

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