Jan 25 – Jan 31

Canadian Political Leaders Confident on the Charm of Thai Pongal Ushering Positive Change in Sri Lanka

by Harrish Thirukumaran

On January 17, 2015, the Canadian Tamil Congress (CTC) held its 8th annual Thai Pongal Gala at the Sheraton Parkway Toronto North Hotel in Richmond Hill, Ontario. As with previous dinners, the occasion is proudly set under the symbolic backdrop of Thai Pongal.

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A number of Canadian politicians, from various political stripes, were in attendance of this event to showcase support for these major changes. Elected officials included Bonnie Crombie, Justin Trudeau, and Chris Alexander, among other individuals. Some also had the privilege to deliver speeches to further convey the significance of the CTC to Tamil community development. [MJ]

Jan 18 – 24:

Jaffna kids get creative for Thai Pongal

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Pictures and Text via U.S. Embassy Colombo, Sri Lanka:

The American Corner in Jaffna welcomed a group of children from the Thiyagih Trust – a home for the underprivileged – for a fun day of making greeting cards to celebrate the New Year and Tamil Thai Pongal day. [TW]

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi likely to visit Sri Lanka in March

By Siva Sivapragasam

The invitation was extended on behalf of the Sri Lankan Government by it’s Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera who was in India recently on a goodwill mission after the new regime came to power.

Commenting on the recent election in Sri Lanka,Modi categorized it as a vote for “unity and change”. The Indian Prime minister hoped that the verdict will ‘advance peace, reconciliation and development in Sri Lanka and peace and progress’ in the region. [MJ]

Jan 19: Tribute Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Faceting diamond makes it luminance MLK

Faceting diamond makes it luminesce
Finishing gold brings on radiance
Blooming flowers blossom fragrance
Burgeoning love builds lasting peace
– by Azha Valliappa (1922–1989), children’s poet, resided in Rayavaram, Pudukkottai district in Tamil Nadu, India.

Pope’s speech at the Shrine of Madhu, former refuge to thousands during Sri Lanka’s civil war

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January 14, 2015. In his speech, the Pope noted that among the pilgrims attending there were families that had suffered the consequences of Sri Lanka’s civil war. He concluded that the country will only embrace true reconciliation as long as it truly repents from all “evil which this land has known.” [MJ]

Monsoon Journal: January 2015 [MJ]

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Click to flip & Read the print edition published in Toronto, ON: Monsoon Journal: January 2015 [MJ]

Jan 11 – 17:

Pope tweets and blessings in three languages:

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Thai Pongal Greetings from Sri Lanka’s Newly elected President Maithiripala Sirisena

Sri Lanka’s Hindus join their fellow Tamil religionists in most countries of the world today to celebrate Thai Pongal the traditional Thanksgiving and Harvest festival of the Hindu religious calendar.

It is the tradition at this festival to offer thanks to Surya – the Sun God, for the blessings received for a successful harvest. The Pongal or the boiling of milk and rice is another important aspect of this festival, which is also referred to as the Surya Mangalyam or the Festival of the Sun God, for all blessings received for success in agriculture and all aspects of livelihood. [MJ]

Pongal Paraphernalia

by K. Thirukumaran

“Dawn of the Month of Thai, Paves for the Birth of Way” the renowned Tamil proverb has been in the centerpiece of Tamil heritage eternally. Tamil month of ‘Thai’, falling on January 15th, 2015 is Pongal day, the Tamil Thanksgiving Day celebrating sun, rain, farm cattle and ushering in pureness and prosperity.

Pongal Promo

Even a livelihood as traditional farmer declined over a generation or two ago, the time of the year Thai Pongal falls and the traditions associated with its celebration still makes it an ideal time to take stock of sentiments. [TW]

facebook.com/popevisitsrilanka2015

The moment we have all been waiting for has finally arrived. His Holiness Pope Francis Arrives in Sri Lanka.

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நாமனைவரும் காத்திருந்த தருணம் இதோ. பரிசுத்த திருத்தந்தை எம் இலங்கை நாட்டிற்கு வருகைதந்துள்ளார்

අපි බලාපොරොත්තුව සිටි මොහොත උදාවී අැත. අති උතුම් ෆ්‍රැන්සිස් ශුද්ධෝත්තම පියාණන් ශ්‍රී ලංකාවට සැපත් විය. [facebook.com/popevisitsrilanka2015]

Many facets of Thai Pongal: Pongal as Tamils’ Passover

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Upholding tradition and heritage, Tamils observe Thai Pongal with festivities on January 14/15 across the globe

Among other things, Thai pongal has long become a festival marking or taking gauge of prosperous sentiments in the lands of our roots, as one aspiring to be a farmer declined over a generation or two ago, the time of the year Thai Pongal falls and the traditions associated with its celebration make it an ideal time to take stock of sentiments. [MJ]

75th birthday of K. J. Yesudas, January 10, 2015

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♫ Difficult to to imagine any of his songs in another voice ♫ [TW]

What the Newly Sworn in Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena Plans to do in his First 100 Days of Office

100 Day Work Programme After Maithripala Sirisena Becomes President – Detailed diary description [DBSJ]

Selvarasah Pathmanathan alias “KP” has not left the Country but is in Kilinochchi Under Protective Custody Administering Three Orphanages

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj

Contrary to a news report in “The Hindu” where former Fisheries minister Dr.Rajitha Senaratne is quoted as saying that ex-LTTE leader “KP”has left Sri Lanka, the former tiger stalwart is still living in Northern Sri Lanka.

“The Hindu”report filed by Meera Srinivasan from Colombo states that “Kumaran Pathmanathan or ‘KP’, who was wanted in Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, is missing from Sri Lanka”. [DBSJ]

Jan 4 – 10

Sri Lanka’s Rajapaksa admits defeat in election

Sri Lanka’s long-time leader Mahinda Rajapaksa has admitted defeat in the presidential election, his office says.

President Rajapaksa has dominated politics for a decade, but faced an unexpected challenge from his health minister Maithripala Sirisena.

The statement said Mr Rajapaksa would “ensure a smooth transition of power”. [BBC]

Re-elect Mahinda or Elect Maithripala as President?- Day of Decision for Sri Lanka!

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj

January 8th 2015 is upon us!

It’s the Day of decision for Sri Lanka as it faces yet another election to either re-elect or elect the most powerful person in the Country. [DBSJ]

Is Maithripala Sirisena Who was Acting Defence Minister During the Last Two Weeks of War Implicated in Alleged War Crimes?

by D.B.S.Jeyaraj

What was the nature of the role played by Former Health minister and current Common Opposition Presidential Candidate Maithripala Sirisena during the final phase of the war conducted against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE)? [DBSJ]

Dec 28 – Jan 3

வட-கிழ மக்கள் அல்லலுடன் இருப்பதில் ஒரு சில புலம் பெயர்ந்த தமிழர்கள் ஆவலாய் உள்ளனர்

சட்ட அமுலாக்கல் பற்றிய மாற்றங்கள் வடக்கு – கிழக்கு மக்களையெட்டுமாகில் அது அவர்களுக்கு நல்ல அன்றாட பிரதிபலன்களைக் கொண்டுவரும்!!

Jan 8 2015

இந்த புலம் பெயர்ந்த தமிழ் அணுகு முறையானது, பச்சைத் தண்ணியில் பலகாரம் சுடுவதுமட்டுமின்றி, உலகத் தமிழர்களின் சகல அரசியல்-சுய நிர்ணய வேட்கையின் பாரத்தினையும் மீளவும் வடக்கு – கிழக்கு தாயக மக்களின் தலையில் சுமத்தும் நடவடிக்கையுமாகும். [TW]

Happy New Year ♫ Featuring ♥ Kakkai Siraginile ♫ Flute Recital by Palghat Sree Ram ♫

~ Wishing Everyone A Very Happy New Year ~

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Kakkai Siraginile ♫ by Subramaniya Bharathiyaar Photos Captured on New Year’s Day ♫ January 1, 2015 ♫ at Sri Ranganatha Temple, Pomona, NY, USA [TW]

Tamil National Alliance Wants all Citizens to Defeat Rajapaksa Regime by Voting in Large Numbers for Sirisena and the Swan Symbol

(Text of Media Release Issued by the Tamil National Alliance on December 30th 2014)

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The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has given careful consideration to the positions and pronouncements of the two main candidates at the upcoming Presidential election and has also undertaken an extensive process of consultation to hear the views of the Tamil speaking people, particularly those in the North and East. As the political leadership of the Tamil people in Sri Lanka, we have a historical duty to guide our people and the wider citizenry in the choice they will be called on to make at the election. [TW]

Dec 21 – 27:

Over 675,000 affected due to inclement weather in Sri Lanka

via reliefweb

Heavy flooding in Sri Lanka since 19 December 2014, in 18 districts has affected an estimated 675,000 people according to the Disaster Management Centre (DMC). Six people have been reported dead due to floods & landslides. Currently, 80,736 people are living in 344 safety centers (evacuation centres). Its is reported that 3,175 houses are fully destroyed and 11,366 houses partially damaged due to floods.

Out of the total 72 major made tanks (reservoirs) in Sri Lanka, 53 are already over-spilling expanding the flood damage to agricultural lands. Extremely heavy rainfall was observed during 16th -21st December in Eastern and North Central regions. [RW]

♫ To Nurture Humanity, The Shepherd arrived as Bundle of Joy

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Poignant lyrics of “Mannulagil Indru Devan Irangi Varukiraar” was penned by Poet laureate Kannadasan and rendered by Golden voiced Vani Jeyaram, with Immortal music composition by M.S. Viswanathan ~ in Tamil movie ‘Punitha Anthoniyar’ (released in 1977).

My attempt at translating “Mannulagil Indru Devan Irangi Varukiraar”:

[DBSJ]

How the People of Sri Lanka United Briefly to Help Each Other After the Tsunami 10 years Ago

By D.B.S. Jeyaraj

Ten years ago on December 26th 2004 a series of giant Tsunami waves engulfed the coasts and littoral areas in different parts of Sri Lanka. It was a terrible tragedy that resulted in tremendous loss of human life,limb and property.Until the destructive waves rolled over our shores on that fateful day most Sri Lankans were unaware of the Japanese word Tsunami.Today it has entered the vocabulary of the Sri Lankan people in everyday life. [DBSJ]

Dec 14 – 20:

MA Sumanthiran MP Denies he Facilitated “Secret Deal” Between TNA and Maithripala Sirisena as Alleged by President Mahinda Rajapaksa

Tamil National Alliance (TNA) National list MP M. A. Sumanthiran has denied President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s allegation at a meeting in Chilaw that the TNA had signed a secret deal with Common opposition candidate Maithripala Sirisena and that he (Sumanthiran)had facilitated it. [DBSJ]

How Senior Minister from Polonnaruwa CP de Silva Crossed Over With 13 MP’s From SLFP Govt on Dec 3rd 1964

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj

Fifty years ago on December 3rd 1964 , Charles Percival de Silva the minister of Land, Irrigation and Power in the SLFP-LSSP Coalition Government of Prime Minister Sirima Bandaranaike crossed over to the opposition in dramatic fashion with a group of thirteen MP’s. [DBSJ]

On January 8, 2015, “Exercise the public trust, as a Chief Magistrate”

by K. Thirukumaran

This is a first post on this blog (tamilweek.com/thiruvedkai) urging “civic action”; or it might as well be “political” too, in the eyes of readers :)

VOTE JAN 8

Exercising the privilege of voting – in any election is an utmost importance among civic duties. [TW]

Dec 7 – 13:

Mother is reason the soul being spirited ♫

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In Remembrance of the Birth Anniversary of Mahakavai Subramaniya Bharathiyaar – 11 December, 2014 [TW]

Tale of Two Crossovers by Rajarata Stalwarts: CP de Silva in 1964 and Maithripala Sirisena in 2014

By D.B.S. Jeyaraj

The controversial cross over of Senior minister Pallewatte Gamaralalage Maithripala Yapa Sirisena from the United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA) Government headed by Mahinda Rajapaksa to the opposition and related developments have evoked memories of another cross over from treasury benches to the opposite side by another senior minister from the Rajarata 50 years ago. [DBSJ]

TNA Leader Sampanthan has Secret Discussions with Opposition Front Leaders Inclding Ranil and Chandrika at Taj Samudra Hotel Claims “Sunday Observer”

Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe and former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga had met a Tamil National Alliance delegation and held secret discussions on Tuesday at the Taj Samudra Hotel, Colombo, according to reliable sources.

TNA leader R. Sampanthan and parliamentarians M.A. Sumanthiran, Democratic People’s Front Leader MP Mano Ganeshan, Malik Samarawickrema and MP Mangala Samaraweera are believed to have taken part in the discussions to muster support for the Common Presidential candidate Maithripala Sirisena. [DBSJ]

Nov 30 – Dec 6:

Sri Lankan politics at cross-roads with cross-overs

By Siva Sivapragasam

There are neither permanent friends nor permanent interests when it comes to politics in Sri Lanka.Cross-overs have brought politics at cross-roads in this country once termed as the Island of paradise. [MJ]

Tamil National Alliance Adopts “Watch and Wait” Policy on 2015 Presidential Poll to Avoid 2010 Election Fiasco

by Arthur Wamanan

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The highly anticipated stance of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) on the upcoming Presidential polls and the Common Candidate of the Opposition will only be revealed after the main candidates publish their respective manifestos. [DBSJ]

Nov 23 – 29:

Owing a closure to the soul: 60th birth anniversary of V. Prabhakaran

Nov 26 is the 60th birth anniversary of Veluppillai Prabhakaran.

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In these five years passing since May 2009, yet to be duly and wholly recognized – that his soul has left the body, spiritually speaking. [TW]

60th birth anniversary: Life and Times of Tiger Supremo Thiruvengadam Veluppillai Prabhakaran

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj

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If Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam(LTTE)leader Thiruvengadam Veluppillai Prabhakaran was alive now,he would be celebrating his 60th birth anniversary on November 26th.The tiger supremo who was killed in Mullaitheevu district on May 19th 2009 was for decades the determining force in Sri Lankan politics.Though Prabhakaran is no more, the Sri Lankan Tamil people are yet to recover fully from the ravages of the long war fought by the LTTE.A battered and shattered community is slowly struggling to pick up the pieces and resume a peaceful, normal life that was torn asunder by years of long conflict.