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Tamil Canadian organizations band together as Bill 104 faces another challenge


Rugsha Sivanandan from National Council of Canadian Tamils (NCCT) hosts Bill 104 townhall reception 

Over 60 Tamil Canadian organizations have banded together to fight an appeal challenging a previous court's decision to uphold Bill 104, Ontario's Tamil Genocide Education Week (TGEW) Act. 

TGEW was introduced by MPP Vijay Thanigasalam in April of 2019 and was enacted to recognize the genocide against Tamils in Sri Lanka and aimed to spread awareness about the atrocities. However, TGEW faced a constitutional challenge shortly after being enacted into law. Several Sinhalese groups claimed TGEW was unconstitutional and challenged the act at Ontario's Superior Court. However, Ontario Superior Court of Justice, Justice Akbarali, ultimately dismissed their challenge, upholding TGEW. 

Read more here: Ontario court upholds Tamil Genocide Education Week as Sinhalese challenge fails

However, TGEW has again been challenged, with the same groups appealing the court's decision at Ontario's Court of Appeal. 

This past weekend, the National Council of Canadian Tamils (NCCT), Tamil Youth Organization - Canada (TYO Canada), Canadian Tamil Youth Alliance (CTYA) and Canadian Tamil Academy (CTA), hosted a town hall reception to “come together and combat Tamil Genocide denial and distortion.”

NCCT, CTYA AND CTA previously collaborated as interveners with the support of over 60 other Tamil Canadian organizations'. They have now united once again to defend Bill-104 in the appeal.

In a statement, NCCT, CTYA and CTA stated, "As history repeatedly reminds us, the perpetrators have always denied genocide. The deliberate attempt in order to target bill 104 suggests that Tamil Genocide deniers are actively working to silence the victims of the Tamil Genocide." 

"In the ten stages of genocide, denial is the final stage that lasts throughout and always follows genocide. It is among the definite indicators of further genocide", the statement continued. 

Read the full statement in here. 

The kickoff event was hosted by Rugsha Sivanandan from NCCT. It included panellists Arathie Premananthan and Anojh Rajendram from Tamil Youth Organization (TYO) and Arrenan Ratnavelupillai from Canadian Tamil Youth Alliance (CTYA). The event stressed that Tamil Canadians have a "collective responsibility in defending Bill 104 as interveners."

The event also included remarks from Toronto District School Board (TDSB) Trustees Yalini Rajakulasingam and Anu Sriskandarajah. 

Learn more about NCCT, CTYA and CTA's campaign against genocide denial and distortion here

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