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Tamil Genocide Remembrance Day Commemorated in Ottawa

On 18 May, Tamil Genocide Remembrance Day was jointly commemorated by the Ottawa Tamil Association (OTA), the National Capital Region Tamil Association (NCRTA), the University of Ottawa Tamil Student Union (TSU), Ottawa Tamil Academy of Culture & Technology (OTACT), Canada Muththamizh Sangam,  Carleton University Tamil Student Association (CUTSA), Ottawa Tamil Seniors Association (OTSA), and Tamil Genocide Memorial (TGM). 

The event at the Walter Baker Sports Center in Ottawa was opened with a Land acknowledgment, the Canadian National Anthem, and the Thamil Mozhi Valththu. 

Attendees participated in a prayer and a moment of silence in remembrance of the lives lost in the Tamil genocide. 

Speaking at the event, MP Gary Anandasangaree highlighted the resilience of the Tamil community. He notes that it is the Tamil people's relentless pursuit of justice that has forced the international community to pass UN resolutions to hold the Sri Lankan government accountable. 

Anandasangaree continued that the Tamil community stands more united and stronger today. 

The book "Ina Alippin - Porin Satchiyam" translated as Unyielding Witness of a Genocidal War by Mr. Suren Karthikesu, a photographer, journalist, and witness to the Tamil Genocide was introduced at the event. The book illustrates the continued dehumanization, persecution, polarization, and discrimination of Tamils in Sri Lanka.

Various organizations also took to the stage. In their speech, the TSU recounted the history of the Tamil struggle for liberation in Sri Lanka.

Speeches and poems by the NCRTA reflected on the memories of Tamils lost in 2009 and the long continuous journey for justice.

The OTSA spoke about the current land grabs by the Sri Lankan state in the Tamil homeland. Tamils across the homeland have resisted numerous attempts by Sri Lanka to acquire land which forms part of the state's efforts to alter the demography of the North-East. 

Mulivaikkal Kanji was served to attendees at the event, a commemorative gesture to honour the memory of those who perished and the hardship faced by survivors in the final days of the genocide.

The event was attended by over 150 participants. 

 

 

 

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