The Canadian Tamil Congress has announced that it has awarded “Lifetime Living Hero” to the leader of Tamil National Alliance R. Sampanthan . The award was received by TNA MP M.A Sumanthiran on behalf of Mr.R Sampanthan from Fr.E Emmanuel at an event organised by the Canadian Tamil Congress on the 16th of January 2016.
Excerpts of speech by M.A. Sumanthiran accepting the Living Hero Award on behalf of Hon. Sampanthan :
Canada has for many years been a great ally of the Tamil People. As a country, Canada has on several occasions taken a strong stand on issues concerning our People. On behalf of the Tamil People, I would like to say that we deeply appreciate the support of our friends here. Canada has been a true friend to our People, and we look forward to that friendship continuing into the future.
I am greatly honoured to accept this award on Mr. Sampanthan’s behalf. In 2011 we visited the United States for a series of meetings. At an important meeting with the US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman, Mr. Sampanthan spoke for 45 minutes without interruption on the grievances of our people. When he ended, she stated “your people must be a privileged lot to have such an eloquent voice speaking on their behalf’.
During my speech on Soft Power, a year ago at the Raviraj Memorial Oration, I said these things about Mr. Sampanthan to make the point that we – the Tamil People – possess the first necessary characteristic of soft power – that of a leader respected the world over. I said then, that it is our duty to make the most of this by making it clear to the world that he has the support of his people in treading the political path he is leading them on. I said that we must be vigilant concerning attempts to sabotage this endeavour, not merely from outside, but, as happens far too often, from inside – by efforts that sometimes seem to undermine the mandate and support of our leader. The danger of sabotage is also still a very real one. However, the Tamil People have always stood steadfastly behind their leader. In election after election they have reiterated their resounding support for him, and for the path he is leading them on. They have refused to
be swayed by any effort to undermine him.
One of Mr. Sampanthan’s strengths has been his implicit trust in the Tamil People – in their political wisdom, understanding and astuteness. I am certain that the Tamil People will continue to strengthen both Mr. Sampanthan and the TNA, and that together, we will be able to make the most of this opportunity that has arisen, for the good of our People.