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Pakistani Nobel Laureate Malala Yousafzai bestowed with honorary Canadian citizenship

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Toronto, April 12, 2017: Pakistani Nobel Laureate Malala Yousafzai was bestowed honorary Canadian citizenship on Wednesday.

Yousafzai was greeted on the steps of the Centre Block by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, as well as a parade of dignitaries, cabinet ministers and diplomats inside the rotunda beneath the Peace Tower, The Toronto Star reported.

Moments later, Trudeau presented her with a certificate documenting her as an honorary Canadian, making her the sixth and youngest ever person to receive the honour.

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“It is not just an honorary citizenship of Canada; it is also being Canada’s friend, and I warmly accept it,” Yousafzai told the gathering afterward.

“I want to thank Canada for its passion for girls’ education, for its passion for humanity, for refugees, and for standing up for women’s rights, and for peace.

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“You are a true example to the world of what it means to stand up for humanity, and I’m hopeful you will inspire many more countries and many more leaders to follow your footsteps,” she said.

At the ceremony, Trudeau said that Malala’s story was inspirational.

“All the violence you survived at the hands of the Taliban didn’t deter you as it would have so many others,” Trudeau told the ceremony. “You stood even stronger in the face of oppression; your passion for justice only intensified,” he added. (IANS)

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‘Vanakkam!’ Tweets Canadian PM: Justin Trudeau Joins over 200,000 People at the Biggest Tamil Diaspora Festival in Toronto

According to Canadian PM Justin Trudeau, the Tamil community has enriched Canadian multicultural society in a short period since its first arrival in large numbers in the 1980s

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Tamil Fest
Justin Trudeau attended the Tamil Fest organized in Toronto. Wikimedia
  • A Tamil Fest was organized in Toronto to celebrate Tamil culture, cuisine, and heritage.
  • The festival was also attended by Canadian PM Justin Trudeau
  • The month of January has been officially declared as Tamil Heritage Month in Canada.

Toronto, August 29, 2017:  Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau joined over 200,000 people here at the biggest Tamil diaspora festival that showcased Tamil culture, heritage, and cuisine.

Toronto’s Markham Road turned into a little Tamil nation on the occasion as hundreds of vends came up to treat visitors to rare tropical Tamil cuisine, displaying cultural items and offering rare glimpses into Tamil way of life.

Some rare forms of Tamil dances were also performed.

“People generally associate Tamil dance with bharatnatyam. But there are over 50 old forms of Tamil dance which very few know. These were showcased here for our future Tamil generation and Canadians,” said Canadian Tamil Congress spokesperson David Poopalapillai.

A big attraction at the festival was one the two lifeboats in which first Tamil refugees (numbering 155) fleeing the Sri Lankan ethnic conflict had reached Canadian shores in August 1986.

It was the first time after 1912 that Canada accepted boat refugees who happened to be Tamils, Poopalapillai said.

“These refugees had reached Germany from Sri Lanka. From Germany, they took a ship, but were dumped in the ocean in two lifeboats to fend for themselves. Luckily, they drifted into Canadian waters off Newfoundland and were saved by Canadian fishermen,” said the Tamil spokesperson.

The Canadian Prime Minister posed with some of those who were on the two lifeboats.

Trudeau said Canada consistently raised its voice in support of Tamils during the ethnic war in Sri Lanka. Though the conflict has ended, he said, the long-term solution to Tamil grievances is yet to be reached.

He said the Tamil community has enriched Canadian multicultural society in a short period since its first arrival in large numbers in the 1980s.

In recognition of this contribution, Trudeau said amid applause, his government has declared January as Tamil Heritage Month in Canada.

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Numbering about 350,000, Tamils are one of the youngest and fastest growing communities in Canada, with their major concentration centred around the Greater Toronto Area. (IANS)