[TamilNet, Thursday, 12 November 2009, 06:42 GMT] In the forthcoming elections for Norwegian Council of Eezham Tamils (NCET), scheduled to take place Sunday, all those of Eezham Tamil descent above 16 years will be permitted to vote according to the constitution of NCET. The move was in line with the trial project of the government of Norway enfranchising over 16 in commune elections in 2011. The NCET ballot will elect 5 under the national list and 10 under the regional list who will constitute the chamber of representatives. Another five members elected by Eezham Tamil institutions in Norway will make the second chamber. This is the first country-wide ballot taking place among diaspora Tamils, democratically electing representatives to form a Council.
The idea of recognising 16 as the age for voting and making opinion is in full conformity with traditional Tamil culture, said a retired Tamil teacher, citing literature and social traditions.
A familiar comment heard in south block countries is that non-recognition of natural adulthood and regarding the most dynamic section of a society as children are deficiencies of urban-dominated international thinking imposed on traditional societies, when traditional cultures concede over 16 or 15 in some cases, with the prestige of adulthood and responsibility.
The NCET elections are a welcoming endorsement to the Norway government’s fresh thinking on the age of adulthood, said a member of the constitution committee of the NCET adding that the move is of international sociological significance.