Human Rights Solidarity speak on Tamil refugees

Human Rights Solidarity commemorated refugee week and world refugee day by speaking to Gayathri Thivyaa, a medical student at Imperial College London and the child of Tamil refugees who fled the genocide of Tamils in Sri Lanka. Reflecting on her own experiences as well as the experience of her parents, Thivyaa spoke about the impact that trauma has on refugees and their children, saying also that “the impact […} on subsequent generations is overlooked.” She also spoke about the hardship of Tamils in Sri Lanka as well as the difficulties they face once they come to a new country. “I’ve seen...

Tamil Canadian community worker dies after stopping to help at highway crash

Tributes have poured from across the Tamil Canadian community for 52-year-old Surendran Thambirajah, who passed away earlier this month after he stopped to help another driver who had crashed their car in Ontario. Thambirajah had stopped at the scene of a crash to offer his assistance, after another vehicle has crashed into a hydro pole. He passed away after being struck by a downed wire. He was a popular and well known community activist after he moved to Canada in 1986, fleeing the armed conflict in Sri Lanka. Once in Canada, he was a founding member of a Tamil school in Ottawa and created...

'Since no amount of words could ever outweigh, what we have lost on the 18th of May'

The following pieces are by Yhalisai and Kulalisai, both escaped the war in the Vanni in 2009 and now live in the diaspora. 18th of May Our hopes and dreams, they did betray. For all their cruelty, they must pay. For our freedom, it's a long delay. We didn't want war, but there was no other way. Some people think Sri Lanka's a display, A "beautiful" island for their holiday. But they only see what the government portrays, Not the truth that's hidden away. The Sri Lankan government is to be blamed. Tamil genocide has always been their aim. By calling us "terrorists", they wanted to frame Us,...

The story behind the Quebec’s Tamil Heritage Month stamp

I had the greatest honour to design Quebec’s Tamil Heritage Month stamp for 2020. Designing is something I love to do and I am so grateful that it is a huge part of my life. As someone who is Tamil, when I was asked to design a stamp that represented my culture and heritage, I did not think twice.

Thalir - Reflections from Mullivaikkal survivors

The following pieces are reflections from Tamil children who all survived the massacres at Mullivaikkal. Eleven years later, they are telling their stories around the genocide they faced and are reclaiming the narrative. They have all lost at least one family member during the massacres of 2009. All are now living in the diaspora.

Tamil diaspora keeps frontline workers fully fed

As healthcare workers around the world have been battling the coronavirus, Tamil diaspora activists and businesses have been helping to keep frontline workers fully fed and fighting fit over the last two months. Activists in London and Toronto were handing out free meals to healthcare workers in both cities, as part of community efforts around the globe. In London, the Tamil Coordinating Committee delivered supplies to Northwick Park Hospital. Food was also donated to frontline workers last month by the Shri Kanaga Thurkkai Amman Temple. Meanwhile, the Walthamstow Sri Karpaha Vinayagar Temple...

Mullaitivu student thanks widowed mother for top O Level results

With many schools in Mullaitivu, considered to be among the most deprived districts on the island, celebrating the success of their students in national exams, one student in Thunukkai paid tribute to her widowed mother for her top results. Manoja Jeganathan, a student at the Katchilamadu Panadaravannian Maha Vidyalayam, achieved 8 As in her O Level examinations. She has attributed her success in large part to the support and hard work of her mother Suganthini, who has raised her and her elder brother single-handedly, since she was widowed thirteen years ago. Manoja and her brother Piranavan...

British Tamils mourn popular miruthangam artiste and teacher

Amidst the losses caused by the coronavirus crisis, the passing of much loved miruthangam teacher and artiste Kandiah Anandanadesan on April 16 has shocked and saddened the Tamil community in London. Born in 1961 in Thellipalai, Jaffna, Anandanadesan attended Union College and Mahajana college, and trained in miruthangam under Guru K P Sinnarajah. His father was a teacher at Union College, and his mother one of the first women to teach at Mahajana. Part of an influential generation of Eelam-born artistes and teachers who transported the traditional fine arts and Tamil language education to...

‘Love and unity’ in times of COVID-19 after Toronto couple passes away

A fundraiser for the family of a Tamil husband and wife who passed away from coronavirus to leave behind three daughters has raised more than $100,000 in what the organisers have called a lesson in the “power of love and unity during this heartbreaking time”. 61-year-old Nagarajah Thesingarajah died in hospital on April 15, just two days after his 56-year-old wife, Pushparani Nagarajah, passed away, as they both became victims of the coronavirus pandemic. They leave behind their three daughters, Lavanya, Aranya and Thivya, who are between the ages of 19 and 29. "It's all three of them,...

Tamil healthcare workers around the world on the COVID-19 frontline

With healthcare workers across the globe working to tackle the coronavirus pandemic, we look at some of the Tamils on the frontlines of the battle to save lives. From nurses and doctors to our paramedics and porters, every single contribution is invaluable. And alongside thousands of other workers, the Tamil community has been actively involved in efforts to fight the pandemic. Throughout this month, we will be highlighting stories around the world from those who are working to keep us all safe. Click on each country below to see stories from each region: United Kingdom Canada Singapore USA...

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