Students across eight different Canadian universities held events to commemorate Tamil Eelam’s Maaveerar over the last week, with Tamil Student Associations (TSAs) conducting campaigns and remembrance ceremonies at various campuses.
Memorial events at numerous campuses over the last weeks saw students stage dances, dramas, sing songs and recite poems dedicated to those who gave their lives for the liberation of the Tamil homeland.
Speaking after an moving commemoration at the University of Toronto Scarborough, UTSC TSA President L Baskanthan said,
“UTSC TSA remembers the sacrifice of our heroes as the bright stars, transforming them into shimmering immortality, defining their love for our nation as light, that will outshine those voices that tell us that our dream in unattainable”.
York University Tamil Students Association held their event in co-ordination with the United South Asians Alliance at York, with Usman Shabbar from USAS reciting a spoken word poem “I Dream” at the university’s remembrance event.
James Clark from the Canadian Peace Alliance also spoke at the York event saying,
"Maaveerar Naal is an occasion not only to remember and pay tribute to the martyrs and heroes of Tamil Eelam, but also to reflect on the lessons of the struggle for peace and justice."
See the report from TamilNet here.
Links to more photos from TSA Maaveerar Naal can be found on Facebook, courtesy of TYO Canada.
In addition to remembrance events, students also carried out several awareness raising campaigns throughout the run up to Maaveerar Naal.
Speaking to TamilNet, said Priyanth Nallaratnam, Executive Committee member of York University Tamil Students Association spoke on a “flash mob” held at the university.
“Tamil students had stuck written messages pertaining to the significance of the Tamil liberation struggle and had all simultaneously staged a “die-in” to draw attention from those around them. This tactic was dramatic and was staged in a high traffic area on campus to draw large numbers of spectators. Passers-by stopped to read the messages and engaged in conversation with the Tamil students to learn about the ongoing plight of the Tamil nation,”
"We wanted to show the other students on campus that Tamil Eelam is the aspiration of the Tamil people. We feel we were successful because the campaign garnered massive attention and positive feedback from the student community on campus”.
See a video from the flash mob below.
Another campaign held by the UTSC TSA involved students signing their names on photos of karthikaipoo, the national flower of Tamil Eelam, a symbol of their support for the Tamil struggle.
Aperame Arubalasingam, Awareness Director at UTSC TSA told TamilNet,
“For our vow campaign, we printed out pictures of the Eezham national flower, Kaarthigai Poos, and had students sign their names on them. The significance of this was to allow Tamil students and students from other backgrounds to learn and discuss about the plight of Eezham Tamils and the Tamil liberation struggle,”
“By signing their names on the national flower of Eezham Tamils, the students have paid their respect to Tamil liberation heroes and have taken an oath to continue to fight for the rights, people and homeland of Eezham Tamils”.
See another video by university students, talking about why they wear karthikaipoo flowers below.