Canadians mourn tsunami victims at Tamil vigil

[TamilNet, Monday, 10 January 2005, 23:24 GMT]
Thousands of Canadians from all walks of life braved chilling temperatures to show solidarity with the victims of the Asian Tsunami disaster at a vigil at Nathan Phillips Square at the Toronto City Hall organized by the Canadian Tamil Congress on Saturday, sources in Canada said.

Canadian Vigil for Tsunami Victims
City of Toronto Mayor, David Miller, speaking.
The vigil included interfaith prayers from religious leaders of various faiths across the city. Community representatives and leaders were also present at the vigil and addressed the gathered masses to offer their words of support.

Canadian Tamil Congress representative, Ms. Surendini Pathmanathan, addressed the crowd and thanked Canadians for their generosity. “Canadians have shown that their hearts are as big as their land,” the representative said in her address. She further thanked the tireless efforts of organizations such as Tamil Rehabilitation Organization (TRO) which she described as “working around the clock to help the affected populations.”

Ms. Pathmanathan called for a commitment to work together for the long-term needs of the affected region. “World Leaders like the UN Secretary General Kofi Annan should not be restricted by local political interferences in such a moment of immense human tragedy. We do not need local governments and their militaries to dictate the terms of the relief effort,” the CTC representative further said in her address.
Canadian Vigil for Tsunami Victims
Leader of Canada's National Democratic Party (NDP), Mr. Jack Layton, speaking.


Canadian politicians from all levels of government gathered there in the cold in a line up to offer words of encouragement and support. Among those that addressed the crowd include, Defense Minister Bill Graham, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development Joe Volpe, Leader of the New Democratic Party of Canada Jack Layton, Ontario Minister of Health and Long-Term Care George Smitherman, Ontario Minister of Finance Gerry Phillips, Leader of the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party John Tory, Leader of the New Democratic Party of Ontario Howard Hampton and Toronto City Mayor David Miller.

Also in attendance were federal parliamentarians Gurbax Malhi, Jim Karygiannis and Maria Minna, Provincial Minister of Transportation Harinder Takhar and over 10 city councillors. Community leaders and representatives and organizational representatives were also present at the event.

The 8th of January was declared as a national day of mourning for victims of the Asian Tsunami disaster by the Government of Canada. Memorial services were also held in Ottawa by the Federal Government which was attended by Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin and Governor General Adrienne Clarkson. Approximately 400 people were in attendance, media sources in Canada said.

The Provincial Government of Ontario also held a memorial, led by Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty. Approximately 200 people showed up for the event, media sources further said.

Canadian Vigil for Tsunami Victims
CTC Representative, Ms. Surendini Pathmanathan.
Canadian Vigil for Tsunami Victims
Masters of Ceremony, Neethan and Manjula.

 

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