The Toronto PDSB – Peel District School Board on June 17,2020 reaffirmed their support to recognizing May 18 as Tamil Genocide Remembrance Day in a letter addressed to the Canadian Tamil community. The school board stands by the first tweet it made on May 18.
After receiving direct pressure from the Consulate General of Sri Lanka the board had amended a clarification tweet by apologizing on it’s statement on June 4th,
Our tweet of June 4th caused significant hurt in the Tamil community and has been removed. This letter from Director of Education Peter Joshua outlines our plans to act on the concerns we have heard: https://t.co/uSqDSVm3gV pic.twitter.com/55ssiqYX4Q
— Peelschools (@PeelSchools) June 17, 2020
After meeting with Tamil community organizations (Brampton Tamil Association, Canadian Tamil Youth Alliance, National Council of Canadian Tamils, Mississauga Tamil Association, Peel Tamil Senior Association, Tamil Youth Organization and the Tamil Canadian Centre for Civic Action) the Peel District School board recognized the sorrow and pain the second tweet had caused Tamils in Canada.
Peter Joshua, the Director of Education “I simply cannot imagine what it would be like in this day and age to either live through, be the victim of, or suffer through the loss of loved ones as so many in the Tamil community have in the genocide perpetuated by the Sri Lankan state against the Tamil people during that country’s civil war ending in 2009. […] As an educator, I know the best way to influence future behaviour is to learn from past mistakes, no matter how difficult that past may be. That is why I am pleased to add my name to those who support the passage of Bill 104, an Act to proclaim Tamil Genocide Education Week. It was great to see the Tamil Genocide Education Week Act, 2019 ”
Truth, Identity & Me
Speaking to Montamil , Neethan Shan – Director at Tamil Canadian Civic Action said the social media campaign ““I am Tamil, and Genocide is a part of my identity” played a significant role in shaping the recent reaffirmation by the board. We are happy to see major progress on this issue, and will continue working to enact meaningful change at PDSB.
Vijay Thanigasalam Scarborough Rouge-Park MPP said “It is great to see Peel District School Board reaffirm their original statement recognizing the Tamil genocide. Their acknowledgement of the pain they caused by removing the words “Tamil genocide” in their clarification tweet is welcomed. While we have more work to do in terms of addressing racism and discrimination, this is a positive step forward. The advocacy of the community, especially our youth, has been instrumental in bringing about this change. ”
Letter by the Peel District School Board :