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Home > Tamil National Forum > Selected Writings - V.Thangavelu > Tamil New Year is Thai first (January 14th ) NOT April 14th
Selected Writings V.Thangavelu, Canada
Tamil New Year is Thai first (January 14th ) NOT April 14th
Addressed to Canadian Prime Minister and his cabinet by Mr. Veluppillai Thangavelu, President, TCWA, Canada
14 April 2008
We appreciate your gesture on behalf of the Government of Canada in wishing Thamils "a year filled with hope, peace and prosperity."
You have also expressed the hope that "As you gather with family and friends to visit the Temple, you may contemplate and pray that peace and harmony will prevail in the New Year through a negotiated settlement to the ongoing ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka."
Unfortunately, prayers alone have been of no use to stop the bloody war and bring peace to the war ravaged people. On the contrary their tribulations have multiplied many-fold due to Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) opting for a costly and destructive war in defiance of the international community, including Canada. The collapse of Canada's reputation and moral authority is too obvious to be ignored.
Yesterday, 11,000 Thamils, including 600 children, have been displaced from the Madhu area in Vanni following heavy artillery shelling and aerial bombardment by the Sri Lankan armed forces. To the Thamils in Vanni New Year is a nightmare having to eke a living without adequate food, medicine, clothing and shelter. As a people they are down on their knees economically, socially, and politically.
Apart from expressing pious platitudes the international community is not doing enough to usher in "peace and prosperity" to our people. Canada is merely parroting the oft repeated hope "that peace and harmony will prevail in the new year through a negotiated settlement to the ongoing ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka" but fails to take concerted action to help solve the problem. This is a shame for a country that upholds the hallowed principles of democracy, liberty, freedom and human rights.
The Government of Canada (GoC)... continues to deny charity status to the Thamil Rehabilitation Organization (TRO – Canada) the only indigenous outfit providing basic relief to our people on the ground. Therefore, the Prime Minister's wish for "hope, peace and prosperity" sounds hypocritical. To add insult to injury the Conservative government had thought it fit to ban the Liberation Tigers of Thamil Eelam, the only bulwark Thamil people have against a blood thirsty racist and fascist state!
Finally, April 14th is not New Year for the Thamil people... Recently, the Thamil Nadu legislative assembly unanimously passed a law to make Thai first as Thamil New Year Day. Describing the event as "historic" Chief Minister of Thamil Nadu said the law was adopted in view of the consensus amongst Thamil scholars that the first day of the "Thai" month (Pongal) was the first day of the Thamil year.
He stated that "Thai One" would be celebrated as the Thamil New Year. All government offices and boards, corporations, industrial establishments, public sector undertakings and local bodies, established by the Tamil Nadu Government, should follow the new Tamil New Year. Now those who celebrate Pongal as the festival of Thamils can celebrate it as Thamil New Year Day also with redoubled joy" he concluded.