New trees living memorial to genocide victims

As part of the activities marking Tamil Genocide Remembrance Month, Tamil youths in Canada organised a tree planting event in Downsview Park, Toronto, on Sunday May 22. The planting of numerous trees to commemorate the victims of the peak in May 2009 of Sri Lanka’s genocide, was organised by the Tamil Youth Organization (TYO-Canada) in partnership with Evergreen, a not-for-profit environmental organization. “The trees we planted will stand in future as a living memorial to the countless Tamils who were systematically murdered by the Sri Lankan government,” said TYO member Thurga Vijayapavan...

St. Georges bake sale raises abuse awareness

Two student societies at St. Georges Medical School of the University of London - the International Tamil Society (ITS) and Amnesty International (AI) - cohosted a bake sale on Monday May 23 to raise awareness of war crimes and rights abuses in Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe, and to raise funds for a children's charity and rights advocacy campaigns. Drawing undergraduate and postgraduate students and other visitors, the day-long event was intended to inform future health professionals in Britain and elsewhere on war crimes in Sri Lanka and rights abuses there and in Zimbabwe, organisers said. The...

In Memoriam – Songs from Purananuru - Song 191

Tinai: potuviyal (general heroism) Thurai: porunmolikkanci “How can it be you that don’t have any grey hair though you have lived for many years?” You have asked the question and I will give you an answer ! My children have gone far in learning. My wife is rich in her virtue! My servants do what I wish and my King, who shuns corruption protects us! And in my city there are many noble men who through their deep Knowledge; have acquired calm, have become self-controlled, and the choices they make in their lives are built on the quality of restraint ! - When Kopperuncolan was sitting facing...

In Memoriam – Songs from Purananuru - Song 216

Extracted from ‘An Anthology of Poems from classical Tamil: The Purananuru’ translated and edited by George L Hart and Hank Heifetz. This is part of our selection from the Purananuru, chosen to represent some of the feelings of the Tamil people as, two years on, they remember the events of 2009. Tinai: patantinai (praise or elegy as well as asking for gifts) Thurai: iyanmoli Don’t speak of your doubts to me, saying “Yes we may have heard of him But we’ve never seen him at all though many years have passed. Yes, he has the right to sit beside you as your familiar friend Of faultless conduct,...

In Memoriam – Songs from Purananuru - Song 74

Extracted from ‘An Anthology of Poems from classical Tamil: The Purananuru’ translated and edited by George L Hart and Hank Heifetz. This is part of our selection from the Purananuru, chosen to represent some of the feelings of the Tamil people as, two years on, they remember the events of 2009. Tinai: Potuviyal (general heroism) Thurai: mutumolikkanci If a child was stillborn or what emerged was only a mass of flesh though they though it not yet human my ancestors treated it as such and as they should, they cut it with a sword! Has it come down to their descendant sitting and suffering like...

In Memoriam – Songs from Purananuru - Song 226

Tinai: Potuviyal (general heroism) Turai: Kaiyarunilai Marokkattu Nappacalaiyar sings: If Death had come to him in hatred, or shown anger or so much as touched him, there would have been no escape for Death ! He must have joined his palms together in respect as a singer would and praised him and begged to take Valavan who wore a garland of gold Whose chariot was powerful, whose army won victory in dense battles! Extracted from ‘An Anthology of Poems from classical Tamil: The Purananuru’ translated and edited by George L Hart and Hank Heifetz. This is part of our series on songs from the...

In Memoriam – Songs from Purananuru - Song 245

Tinai: Potuviyal (general heroism) Thurai: Kaiyarunilak Though it is so immense, does my grief nonetheless have its limits, since it is not fierce enough to finish with my life? On the salty earth all overgrown with sedge, on the burning ground, my wife has gone her way to the other world, her bed the shining fire of the pyre whose wood yields its glow of blazing fuel ! and I am still alive! What kind of place is this world ? - The song of Ceraman Kotampalattut Tunciya Maakottai when his wife Perunkoppentu had died Extracted from ‘An Anthology of Poems from classical Tamil: The Purananuru’...

TYO-Canada launches ‘G for genocide’ campaign

Tamil activists in Toronto marked the second anniversary of Sri Lanka’s mass killings of Tamil civilians by launching an awareness raising street campaign titled ‘G for Genocide’. Initiated by the Tamil Youth Organisation (TYO-Canada) on Friday, the campaign included engaging with members of the public in symbolic locations across the Toronto downtown core, as well as collecting signatures for a petition to the International Criminal Court to investigate Sri Lanka. “We are encouraged that the international community has finally begun to open its eyes to [Sri Lanka’s] atrocities,” said Laxana...

Thaalam 2011 on June 19

Thaalam 2011, an inter-university/college dance competition, will be hosted by the Arts and Culture Council of Canadian Tamil Youth Alliance ( CTYA ) on Saturday June 19 at the John Bassett Metro Toronto Convention Centre . Thaalam dancers speak: The dance competition will be an event uniting youth across Canada, providing the youth with a platform to express their talents as well as the Tamil culture to the Canadian society. Funds raised by Thaalam 2011 would be allocated towards initiating a youth recreation centre in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). The Arts and Culture Council of CTYA is “...

SL cricket tour begins with genocide protest

Sri Lanka’s cricket team began their tour of England Saturday with a match against Middlesex that was accompanied by the din of a lively protest at the Uxbridge ground by Tamil expatriates and others. A changing group of several dozen protestors holding banners, placards, and Tamil Eelam flags chanted slogans through megaphones and played drums, as some passing cars blew their horns in support. The protest, organized by the Tamil Youth Organisation (TYO), was supported by other Tamil organisations and campaign group Act Now, representatives of which joined the protestors. The protestors took...

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