Media Release: Canada Suspends Voluntary Commonwealth Funds

April 14th, 2014

April 14, 2014 -

Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird today announced that Canada will suspend its voluntary contribution to the Commonwealth Secretariat and reallocate the funds for the next two years.

“As host of the 2013 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting and current Chair in Office, Sri Lanka has a duty to take meaningful action on human rights, political reconciliation and accountability. However, Sri Lanka has failed to realize progress on any of these issues,” said Baird. “Under the leadership of Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Canada took a strong and principled stand in not attending the 2013 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Colombo, and today’s announcement is an extension of that leadership.

“As Prime Minister Harper has stated, Canada believes that if the Commonwealth is to remain relevant it must stand in defence of the basic principles of freedom, democracy and respect for human dignity, which are the very foundations upon which the Commonwealth was built,” said Baird. “This decision was not taken lightly. We can no longer justify providing additional funding to an organization that turns a blind eye to human rights abuses, anti-democratic behaviour and religious intolerance in its member states.”

While Sri Lanka is Chair in Office, Canada’s $10-million annual voluntary Commonwealth contribution will instead go for two years toward supporting initiatives that espouse the Commonwealth’s values and help to deliver results for those who need them the most.

“Canada remains deeply concerned about the absence of accountability for alleged serious violations of human rights and international humanitarian standards in Sri Lanka,” said Baird. “We will reallocate the funds to assist in combatting the practice of child, early and forced marriage, and help Commonwealth civil society advance the promotion of human rights. Canada will continue to work with its partners to uphold the Commonwealth’s core values, which are cherished by all Canadians.”

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For further information, media representatives may contact:

Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada
343-203-7700
media@international.gc.ca
Follow us on Twitter: @DFATDCanada

Source:

http://www.international.gc.ca/media/aff/news-communiques/2014/04/14c.aspx


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“Epiphany” – Kalvi Connections

By admin - April 12th, 2014

“Epiphany” – Kalvi Connections

“Epiphany” – Kalvi Connections ~ Youth – Talent – Charity
Canadian-Tamil Youth In Support Of Kalvi Connections
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world” – Nelson Mandela
As youth living in Canada, we are extremely privileged to be able to pursue our dreams, goals and aspirations through education. We realize that many across the world are unable to receive the gift of education.Join our own Canadian-Tamil Youth as they perform in there very own production called “Epiphany”. Epiphany is an theatrical event put together by youth to support the building dreams of other youth, who may experience barriers in achieving their educational goals. An event filled with drama, dancing, singing and more!

Come join us on April 12th, 2014 @Middlefield C.I.
525 Highglen Avenue Markham, Ontario L3S 3L
For a fun-filled night of entertainment showcasing rising talents from across the GTA!

All proceeds from the event will go to KALVI CONNECTIONS. Kalvi Connections is a non-profit organization that provides assistance to students around the world to further their education goals. Kalvi Connections aims to promote, develop, and foster an interest in furthering the educational aspirations of youth.To learn more about Kalvi Connections please visit: www.kalvi.ca or visit facebook page Kalvi Connections
For Ticket Information Contact:

Geetha – (416)-841-2855
Garishan Ravishankar – (647)-221-3854

You can check out our event Facebook for more info.
https://www.facebook.com/events/446539795477320/



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The UNHRC Resolution: A Critical Interrogation

By admin - April 6th, 2014

The UNHRC Resolution: A Critical Interrogation

Written By: Krisna Saravanamuttu

“The struggle for liberation sharpened only because the people realized that they were being taken for a ride. Those same realizations helped keep our struggle on track. If these are to be blunted we will become a race prepared to give up its ideals in return for concessions.” – Taraki Sivaram, former senior editor of TamilNet

Five years after the international community, the co-chairs to the peace process, and the United Nations failed to stop Sri Lanka’s 2009 genocide, Tamils appear to finally be upon a new beginning in the decades long struggle for justice. The US sponsored resolution passed an intense session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) last week. The motion carried and supposedly sets up an international investigation into wartime abuses. The fact that some Tamil activists lobbied for this resolution at the Human Rights Council does not preclude a closer, critical, and more constructive interrogation. The question remains, how exactly will the resolution advance Tamil freedom in the international arena?

A political solution to end Tamil genocide

A cursory glance at the text of the resolution tabled by the United States leaves something conspicuously absent. Besides a vague insinuation to the Sri Lankan campaign to “combat terrorism,” there is not a single mention of the word ‘Tamil’ (not even once). Instead, the resolution declared “its commitment to the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of Sri Lanka.” Upon closer scrutiny, minorities and religious groups are mentioned, but still no mention of the unique oppression Tamils suffer.

Tamils qualify as a Nation of people, not a minority group, with their own identity, language, culture, history and an identifiable territorial homeland. So any reference to minorities in the UNHRC resolution is irrelevant to the Tamil Question. Indeed, the Tamil People today resist Sri Lanka’s attempts to make them into a scattered minority across their homeland, for the struggle has always been about the survival of the Tamils as a Nation. There are minorities in the island like the Berghers, the mixed descendants of Europeans. What makes us, the Tamils, the target of genocide is that we are a nation with a specific claim to a homeland in the NorthEast. Of course, such arguments are nothing new to the policy makers behind the resolution. Although political will to recognize Tamil Nationhood leaves much to be desired, it is a prerequisite to resolving the island’s conflict.

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News Release: HRAC Calls for Travel Ban and Economic Sanctions

By admin - April 4th, 2014

News Release: HRAC Calls for Travel Ban and Economic Sanctions

News Release: HRAC Calls for Travel Ban and Economic Sanctions

April 03, 2014

Human Rights and Advocacy Council (HRAC), Canadian Tamil Youth Alliance (CTYA)

The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) adopted a resolution that mandates a comprehensive international inquiry into the war crimes in Sri-Lanka for the Sri-Lankan state failed to investigate these allegations sufficiently itself. The resolution was adopted by a vote of 23 states in favour, 12 opposed and 12 abstentions. President Mahinda Rajapakse, in a statement to AFP said that Sri Lanka rejected the UNHRC resolution.

The HRAC welcomes the UNHRC resolution as it highlights the failure of Sri-Lanka as a sovereign state to bring about any meaningful justice to the people affected during the last phase of the armed conflict. However, considering the on-going genocide of the Eelam Tamil Nation, this resolution falls short in protecting the remaining Tamil population in the island. The condition of Tamils in their traditional homeland continues to deteriorate. Tamils continue to face rape, disappearances, intimidation against freedom of speech and assembly, destruction of heritage sites, coercive population control and disenfranchisement of land as the different forms of genocide are under swift implementation. Without a stronger action by the International Community to achieve a permanent political solution to protect the Tamil nation, the conditions will only continue to worsen.

The HRAC calls upon the Canadian government and the International Community to immediately call for travel ban and economic sanctions against Sri Lanka noting President Rajapakse’s statement rejecting their cooperation to UNHRC resolution.

The HRAC will continue to voice against the genocide of Tamils by collecting evidences from the witnesses and survivors through the Thazhumbakam project. Thazhumbakam, A Tamil Genocide Memorial Museum aims to broaden public understanding of the history of the Tamil Genocide through comprehensive programs: art and artifact exhibitions, research and publication, collecting materials, distribution of educational materials and resources, and a variety of other public programming designed to enhance understanding of the Tamil Genocide.

The need for Thazumbakam to safeguard the history of Tamils and work towards collocating evidence pointing to genocide is imperative. The HRAC further calls upon the Tamil youth in Canada to continue to raise awareness about the genocide of Eelam Tamils and participate in Thazumbakam by hosting events and exhibitions to enhance public awareness of the Tamil Genocide.

The HRAC aims to build the capacity of Canadian Tamil youth by equipping them with the necessary knowledge and skills to advocate for the protection of human rights in Canada and abroad. This Council will strive to not only uphold international law and the Geneva conventions, but also educate our youth and the broader Canadian society about the ongoing plight of Tamil people.



Tamil Eelam Challenge Cup Volleyball – Results

By admin - March 31st, 2014

Tamil Eelam Challenge Cup Volleyball – Results

Tamil Eelam Challenge Cup Volleyball – 2014 Results
Canadian Tamil Youth Alliance’s Athletics Council successfully held its first annual Tamileelam Challenge Cup Volleyball Tournament. This tournament took place Saturday March 29th at Cederbrae Collegiate Institute. The event was coordinated by CTYA with full support from its members, who acknowledged the importance of such an event from the very beginning and assisted in all the phases of the event.

CTYA would like to congratulate and recognize all the participating teams. All 10 teams played with great team spirit and sportsmanship and made the 1st Annual Tamileelam Challenge Cup Volleyball tournament an event to remember. This year’s finals showcased a great match between Scarborough and Markham from the Canadian Tamil Volleyball League. After an extremely tight game, Scarborough prevailed as the winners while the runners up were Markham.

Awards for best players were presented; each one being representative of Tamil Eelam’s National symbols: Vaahai being the national Tree; Siruththai being the national animal; Karthigai poo being the national flower and Chenbagam being the national bird.

The Most Valuable Player award was presented to Sinthujan Nanthakumar from Scarborough. The Vaahai award was presented to the best setter of the tournament, Hellenic Vincent De Paul from Markham. The Chenbagam award was presented to the best defence of the tournament, Kobu Kunaratnam from Scarborough. The Karthigai poo award was presented to the team with the best sportsmanship which was Eelam Squad. Finally the Siruthai was presented to Sinthujan Nanthankumar from Scarborough for being the best striker of the series.

programs. The aim of this council is to educate through athletics, promote outstanding sportsmanship and build team spirit.



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