York U panel examines impact of Sri Lankan conflict on Canadian society


TORONTO, November 30, 2009 -- York’s Centre for International & Security Studies will hold a panel discussion on Dec. 2, exploring how Tamil and Sinhalese Canadians have mobilized to shape public opinion and policy in Canada.

Part of the Contentious Conflict and Canadian Society Series, the panel discussions will take place from 4:30pm to 6:30pm in the Conference Centre, 519 York Research Tower, at the university’s Keele campus.

The panel consists of community representatives and experts on the Sri Lankan conflict and its impact on Canadian society.

Issues the panel may address include:

·            How is the civil war in Sri Lanka represented by the diaspora living in Canada?

·            What are the political options for members of a diaspora in terms of both direct and indirect action, and can they exert a positive influence on Canadian foreign and domestic policies?

·            What should be the policy response in Ottawa to calls for intervention or action from diasporas in Canada?

·            How can the diasporas contribute to developing an effective and peaceful response to the problems within the community in both Sri Lanka and Canada?

·            What should be the role of universities in providing a space for the debate of contentious conflicts within Canadian society?

Panelists include:

·            Rudhramoorthy Cheran, a University of Windsor anthropology and sociology professor who specializes in ethnicity, international migration, diasporas and transnationalism.

·            Ken Kandeepan, a member of the Canadian Tamil Congress.

·            Stewart Bell, National Post reporter who has covered the Sri Lankan civil war.

·            John Argue, coordinator for Sri Lanka, Amnesty International in Canada.

·            Clem Marshall (panel moderator), an educator and president of MangaCom Inc., which provides a range of equity-enhancing services in education, organizational change and the arts.

Members of the public wishing to attend this event should register online in advance.  


York University is the leading interdisciplinary research and teaching university in Canada. York offers a modern, academic experience at the undergraduate and graduate level in Toronto, Canada’s most international city. The third largest university in the country, York is host to a dynamic academic community of 50,000 students and 7,000 faculty and staff, as well as 200,000 alumni worldwide. York’s 10 Faculties and 28 research centres conduct ambitious, groundbreaking research that is interdisciplinary, cutting across traditional academic boundaries. This distinctive and collaborative approach is preparing students for the future and bringing fresh insights and solutions to real-world challenges. York University is an autonomous, not-for-profit corporation.


Media Contact:


Melissa Hughes, Media Relations, York University, 416 736 2100 x 22097, mehughes@yorku.ca