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Indian diaspora influences Sri Lankan Tamils in Britain to demand for Ministry of Overseas Sri Lankans

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New Delhi: Impressed by what India has done for its large diaspora, influential Sri Lankan Tamils have come together in Britain to seek from Colombo a “Ministry of Overseas Sri Lankans”.

The newly formed Non-Resident Tamils of Sri Lanka (NRTSL) also wants special status for the children of the people of Sri Lankan origin “similar to that granted to the overseas citizens of India”.

The NRTSL is the latest Tamil grouping to be formed in Britain, which is home to more than 300,000 Tamils from the island nation and where once pro-LTTE feelings ran high.

“We realise the need for a new group within our community because the present day diaspora activism has new dimensions,” a senior member of the group who did not wish to be identified by name told IANS.

“We are impressed by what the Indian state has done for its diaspora,” he said, “and what the Indian diaspora has achieved.”

Many of those associated with NRTSL are leading professionals in various fields. They have already met and exchanged views with several British and Sri Lankan political leaders.

Besides a “Ministry of Overseas Sri Lankans”, the outfit is demanding a “Department of Overseas Sri Lankans” – to engage with the non-resident Sri Lankans.

“We are inspired by the constructive role played by the Non-Resident Indian organisations and the institutional mechanisms and arrangements created by the Indian state to harness the expatriate resources,” the Tamil source said.

The NRTSL’s founder members feel that the attitudes of extremists from both the Tamil and Sinhalese communities have, to a great extent, stigmatized the term “Tamil diaspora”.

This, they say, is one of the main reasons preventing a positive engagement between the Tamil diaspora and the Sri Lankan state, which is dominated by the Sinhalese community.

For long years when it fought for an independent Tamil state in Sri Lanka, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam forced most diaspora members to toe its line.

The decimation of the LTTE in May 2009 opened up space within the diaspora community, including in Britain.

But over the years, most Sri Lankans, particularly the Sinhalese, began to view the Tamil diaspora as an extension of pro-LTTE politics.

“We think that the ‘Sri Lankan government-versus-Tamil diaspora’ label is fundamentally flawed,” the Tamil source told IANS. “There is a need to recalibrate the relationship between Sri Lankan communities.”

The new group wants Sri Lanka to grant dual citizenship to overseas Sri Lankans, invite non-residents to invest in Sri Lanka to take part in the task of nation building – a la India.

It desires that overseas Sri Lankans, Tamils included, should get legal rights to buy land, houses, retirement homes and holiday homes as well as to inherit property in Sri Lanka.

Although the NRTSL was formally launched on May 31 in London, its founding leaders have already held meetings with new Sri Lankan President Maitripala Sirisena.

It is also reaching out to members of the Sinhalese and Muslim communities from Sri Lanka living abroad as well as other Tamil groups. (IANS)

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Indian-Origin Doctor Arpan Doshi to Become Britain’s Youngest Physician to Start Working at Hospital

An Indian-origin medical graduate broke the record to start work in the UK by 17 days

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Indian-Origin Doctor Arpan Doshi
A Sheffield University graduate becomes the youngest physician to work in Britain. Wikimedia
  • An Indian-origin doctor breaks record and becomes the youngest physician in Britain to start working 
  • He received scholarship of 13,000 pounds from University of Sheffield
  • He will start his two-year training at York teaching hospital in August

London, July 21, 2017: An Indian origin doctor named Arpan Doshi is becoming Britain’s youngest physician to begin working at a hospital located in the northeast of England. He completed his graduation with a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery degree from the University of Sheffield on Monday. Doshi, whose age is 21 years and 335 days, will start working in York as a junior doctor the following month.

The record of the youngest doctor starting work in the UK was broken by him by only 17 days. He said that he didn’t even realize that he became the youngest individual to qualify till his friend checked the internet. He has not told his parents till now but he knows they’ll be proud of his achievement, mentioned PTI report.

ALSO READ: Indian-origin Doctor Balvinder Mehat held for ‘illegal’ Circumcision of 3-month-old Baby in London

He was sent to a school situated in Gandhinagar, Gujrat, till the age of 13 after which Bharat Doshi, his father who was a mechanical engineer, was employed in Aix en Provence for an international project causing his whole family to shift to France.

Arpan, in his statement, said that he realized that he had already studied the things being taught in his school in France which made him skip a year.

Soon after his 17th birthday, he started sending his applications to universities. He faced one rejection but the other three accepted him. The University of Sheffield offered him a 13,000 pounds scholarship after being impressed with his credentials.

To fund his doctorate degree, he received some financial aid given by his parents but he also had to work part-time as a local school’s lunch supervisor and in the service of careers.

“My dream is to become a heart surgeon but it is a very competitive field. It is not really a surprise I have ended up as a doctor,” he said.

Arpan broke the record of Rachael Faye Hill, the former youngest doctor eligible to qualify, who graduated from University of Manchester with a medical degree when her age in 2010 was 21 years and 352 days.

Doshi, with his doctorate degree, is all set to break her record in August when he begins with his training of two years at York teaching hospital as a junior doctor.

-prepared by Harsimran Kaur of Newsgram. Twitter Hkaur1025


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