The Tamil family is an “important family” in multicultural Toronto, Councillor Pam McConnell told a gathering of Tamil expatriats gathered to honour local Tamils who have excelled in various fields from academics to university studies and real estate and others such as OMNI-TV vice-president Madeline Ziniak for her work in multicultural broadcasting.
“We must pressure our federal government to make sure it speaks up and pushes for the fighting in Sri Lanka to stop,”Ms. McConnell said. “We must alsopush Ottawa to help the Tsunami victims in Sri Lanka many of whom are still suffering.”
The other guest of honour at the 16th annual awards function organized by Tamils’ Information Magazine, a community resources that helps newcomers toOntario was CheriDiNovo, a New Democrat Member of the Provincial Parliament (MPP).
She congratulated the community and outline some of the NDP platform issues that it was pushing, such asincreasing the minimum wage to $10 from the current $8 and helpingimplement free post secondary education for all Ontarians.
Ms Ziniak, one of the award recipients, pointed out in her acceptance speech that “ethnicity does not replace Canadian identity, it is Canadian identity.”
OMNI-TV broadcasts programs in 40 different languages.
Among the organizers of the function was Thiru Thiruchelvan, a newspaper editor who had to be smuggled out of Sri Lanka by the Canadian government afterhis son was shot and killed by the Indian army which was stationed in that country in the 1980s. He thanked those present for their tireless support of the community.
Those honoured included Dr. Nagaraja Iyer Subramanian, a religious scholar and writer, Pandit S.V.Panchadcharam, poet, Dr. Selva Thayaparan, physicist, K. Sabesan, entrepreneur, C. Ranjanalingam,an outstanding student,Mrs. Meena Thavaratnam, a religious speaker and science teacher, Kalaignar Vasu Sinnarajah, a dance teacher, SelvaVettyvel, a realtor, and Ms. Nala Balarajan, a youth activist from Pickering, Ontario.
In his opening remarks, P. Kanagasabapathy, Principal Emeritus, told the guests that every month, Tamils’ Information publishes 5,000 copies and distributes it free to the community which funds the printing.
“It has become a valuable resource for the community, guiding Tamils in their new home in Canada,” he said. “The magazine is now focusing on the second generation of Tamil youth, supporting those who want to enter politics.”
(–Zuhair Kashmeri, Editor / Webmaster / Executive CEMA)