Headlines      Issue Released May 7 2003

Some members of the South Asian community with MPP Raminder Gill (second from left) at the Queens Park reception held in honour of South Asian Heritage Month.



Month of activities gets underway with Gill’s Queens Park reception


Toronto — South Asian Heritage Month 2003 has begun with a packed slate of over 50 events and an acknowledgement by Ontario MPP Raminder Gill of the Caribbean contribution towards recognition of the event by the government of Ontario. To kick off the month of activities, Gill hosted a reception at Queen’s Park on May 1st and received the support of members from all the major political parties, diplomats and representatives from community groups including the Council for South Asian Canadians.

He said that South Asian Heritage Month was something all the 600,000 plus South Asians in Ontario could celebrate, and he thanked the Indo-Caribbean community for inspiring him to gain official recognition by the Government of Ontario. Citizenship Minister Carl de Feria, Pakistan Consul General Ghalib Iqbal, South Asian Heritage Month Foundation chair Harry Mann, NDP Parliamentarian Gilles Besson and Royal Bank director Imtiaz Seyid were among those who spoke warmly in support of the month of celebration.

A flurry of events have marked the beginning of South Asian Heritage Month 2003, the 106th anniversary of the first appearance of South Asians in Canada in 1897. In that year Indian soldiers from the Sikh Lancers and Infantry) passed through Canada on their way home from Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee celebration in London, England. They were specially impressed with British Columbia, and on their return to India started the migration of a people who now number over a million in Canada.

This is also the 165th anniversary of the coming of South Asians to the Americas, which took place on May 5, 1838 in Guyana, and is celebrated as South Asian Arrival Day. Over 100,000 South Asians in Canada have roots in the Caribbean, with the Trinidadian Dr Kenneth Mahabir being one of the first “second migration” South Asians in this country. He came to Nova Scotia in 1908 to study medicine, and after graduation from Dalhousie University in 1912 and service in World War 1, settled down in Halifax.

Following several cultural events on Friday May 2nd, including one at the Royal Ontario Museum, the Vedic Cultural Centre in Markham presented a major celebration called Bharat Darshan or “Seeing India” on Saturday May 3.

A display/exhibition explored the origins of South Asians in the Indian subcontinent, their languages, religions and culture, and how they developed new

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Money now the problem

By Sandra Chouthi

Special to Indo Caribbean World

Port-of-Spain — Money is the issue among doctors and two chief executive officers in Trinidad and Tobago, except that the former want more and the latter are being criticised for getting too much.

In the last few weeks, Errol Grimes, CEO of the Water Sewerage Authority (WASA), has come under heavy fire for his monthly salary, (Can) $12,500, plus perks. This even though Prime Minister Patrick Manning, in a letter to the WASA chairman Roland Baptiste dated April 23, stated that Grimes’ salary had increased from (Can) $9,000 even though the Public Utilities Minister had given Cabinet the assurance that he had instructed that such a salary approval had not been sought or obtained from the Public Sector Negotiating Committee.

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Premier’s message on South Asian Heritage Month

On behalf of the Government of Ontario, I am pleased to extend greetings to everyone celebrating South Asian Heritage Month.
   The people of Ontario honour and appreciate the work of the many communities and individuals who have built our Province. The South Asian community has made tremendous and significant contributions to our development as a prosperous, culturally diverse and tolerant society.
   While most South Asians came to our country from India, many others came to Ontario from such places as Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Uganda, Kenya, South Africa, Mauritius, Singapore, Malaysia, Fiji, the United Kingdom, Trinidad and Tobago and Guyana. Today, South Asians make up a significant proportion of Ontario’s population and are proud to draw upon their heritage and traditions, contributing to many aspects of culture, commerce and public service throughout their communities and our Province.
   Many long hours are required to organize the events the members of the South Asian Community have planned for this month, and I want to recognize the hard work and dedication of the organizers and volunteers who helped to make them possible. You can be justifiably proud of your contributions.
Please accept my best wishes for a memorable and enjoyable month.
Ernie Eves, MPP
Premier, May 2003

Ethnic extremism: The politics of evil

The largest ethnic organization in Guyana is the PPP/C political party. Because of its majority Indian support base, it has won the largest number of votes in every democratic election held so far. That is, the party can "attract popular support of their own ethnic kind". The evil steps in when, as their supporters find, the PPP/C is not "looking out for their ethnic kith and kin". They have abandoned them to wanton ethnic/political criminality in order to support the lies that they are multi-ethnic, that their government represents all Guyanese, and that there is no need for inclusive governance. The party, terrified to admit its ethnic origination, rushes to take care of every other race group except Indians in order to disprove its own truth.

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