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article imageOfficials help welcome National Council of Canadian Tamils office Special

By Andrew Moran     Jan 15, 2011 in Politics
Toronto - Members of all three levels of government in Canada and representatives of the Tamil community helped launch the official National Council of Canadian Tamils (NCCT) office in northern Toronto Saturday.
In the summer, Canadian Tamils nationwide participated in a national election that would represent various Tamil communities across the country. Thousands of Tamils from British Columbia to Ontario to Nova Scotia participated in the democratic process that elected nine national executive directors, 13 provincial directors and 22 regional directors to the NCCT.
Since then, the NCCT has organized, along with the Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) and other human rights agencies, various ceremonies, demonstrations, rallies and movements that would assist their friends, relatives and fellow countrymen in Sri Lanka.
Canadian Member of Parliament Paul Calandra
Canadian Member of Parliament Paul Calandra
On Saturday, during a massive snowstorm in Toronto, city, provincial, federal government representatives and Tamil officials gathered in the northern part of the city to welcome the formal opening ceremony of the NCCT’s office.
The NCCT Chairman, Mohan Ramakrishnan, and Member of Parliament, Paul Calandra, took part in the traditional cutting of the ribbon. Furthermore, attendees and officials all lit the lamp. Festivities began with national anthems and a welcoming speech.
“We are all glad to have you all join us,” said the NCCT Chairman. “On behalf of NCCT, I would like to welcome all of you on this wonderful snowy morning. Today marks the first day of our Tamil new year (Pongal) as well.”
Markham Ward 7 Councillor Logan Kanapthi
Markham Ward 7 Councillor Logan Kanapthi
The opening speech was followed by a presentation by NCCT members Krisna Saravanamuttu, Siva Vimalachandran and Darshika Selvasivam that highlighted what the organization has done for the past several months, its present initiatives and what its goals are for the future.
Calandra, aides and representatives of Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff, Conservative MP Patrick Brown and Member of Provincial Parliament Glenn Murray and Markham Ward 7 Councillor Logan Kanapathi presented the NCCT with a certificate and offered a note of congratulations.
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford was invited but did not attend.
“I am very lucky. I have a growing Tamil population in my riding,” said Oak Ridges-Markham MP Paul Calandra. “Over the last couple of years, I have come to know many individuals in the Tamil community and I count a number of them as my friends. I’m offered to hear as often as I can to hear what some in the community are facing and what some of the challenges are and some of the solutions they are coming forward with.”
NCCT representatives and attendees lighting the lamp.
NCCT representatives and attendees lighting the lamp.
Calandra went onto congratulate the NCCT on opening their office and noted that the Tamil community is one of the most successful communities in the nation.
“The time has come for the Tamils in the community to move forward with an organization that represents Tami communities and Tamil Canadians,” said Calandra. “This community has nothing to be ashamed of.”
The NCCT plans to release a “blueprint” of the “community’s vision” for the next 10 years in April. Some of their plans include social services, immigration services, political engagement, health, education and employment.
For more information on the NCCT and their organization, click here.
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