Ilankai Tamil Sangam

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Association of Tamils of Sri Lanka in the USA

CTC Announces Sivaram Memorial Scholarship

As his friends, and admirers, and those who seek and respect justice and human rights, we are today launching yet another means by which to preserve Sivaram's legacy... The endowed Award will assist a student in the Bachelor of Journalism program to excel in the promotion and preservation of human and civil rights. 

Canadian Tamil Congress announces

Dharmeratnam “Taraki” Sivaram Memorial Scholarship.

Those responsible for the death of Dharmaratnem “Taraki” Sivaram two years ago no doubt wanted to mute one of the most prolific voices of our lifetime.  While they may have temporarily silenced him, his legacy will go on forever.  It will go on forever because he was a journalist like no other.  In the Tamil context, in particular, Taraki was a pioneer in many respects.  He was a military analyst whose work was illuminated in the newly emerging internet era.  In effect, he was one of the first online editors. 

Despite our loss, his legacy cannot be forgotten. Mark Whitaker, in his biography of Sivaram, has offered one way in which this legacy can be preserved. 

As his friends, and admirers, and those who seek and respect justice and human rights, we are today launching yet another means by which to preserve Sivaram's legacy.  I am proud to announce, on behalf of the Tamil Canadian Community, the establishment of the Dharmaratnem “Taraki” Sivaram Memorial Scholarship, to be established at Ryerson University, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. 

The endowed Award will assist a student in the Bachelor of Journalism program to excel in the promotion and preservation of human and civil rights.  The criteria will be established once the entire donation is received by the University.  Greatest weight will be given to enhance the voice of those who are traditionally not represented in the media. 

Many of you may rightly ask the question, “why Ryerson.” The answer to this question is quite simple.  Ryerson University is located in Toronto, with the largest Tamil Diaspora outside of South Asia.  Toronto is, as of last year, the home of the Late Sivaram’s family, namely his wife Bavani, and Children, Vaishnavi, Vaitheki and Seralathan. It is quite appropriate to have a symbol enshrined in a place that is accessible to the family. 

In a broader context, representation by the media of the Tamil community has not always been favourable.  In fact, it is often negative.  In establishing an award at Ryerson, we are hoping to make a dent, albeit small, in bringing out the voice of the Tamil Community.  In naming this scholarship, we want curious journalism students to seek an answer to the question, "who is Sivaram?"  In finding the answer, the starting point may be that he was Tamil.  He was a journalist.  He was killed for being a Tamil Journalist.  This is a powerful story which can and should resonate with those who enter the profession. 

Equally, Ryerson School of Journalism is one of the finest places to study this art in Canada.  It has a sound international reputation as a practical, hands-on institution which has created leading journalists around the country and around the world.  As such, the legacy of Sivaram is well positioned to be preserved. 

The endowment requires the community to raise a minimum of $25,000.  The return on the money that is invested funds the scholarship each year.  4.5 % of the initial investment will be handed down as an award.  In this case, the amount is approximately $1,000 per annum.  Our aim is to have the first award presented for a student in September 2008.  This will require an additional investment on our part of $1,000 as the university typically requires the money to be invested for a year before it is handed out. 

We have here a pledge form from Ryerson University which names the Dharmaratnem “Taraki” Sivaram Memorial Scholarship as the beneficiary of the contribution you can make.  Our goal is to have this completed by December 31, 2007.  We ask you to make a pledge today and be generous in your pledge.  The amount you give today is completely tax deductible.  We also encourage you to speak to your friends and have them contribute as well. 

Please make a contribution towards the

Dharmeratnam (Taraki) Sivaram Memorial Scholarship

Please make cheques payable to “Ryerson University” and mail to Canadian Tamil Congress, 31 Progress Avenue, Suite 202, Toronto, Ontario, M1P 4S6, Canada. Please print your full name, address and phone number. In the memo please  indicate “Dharmeratnam (Taraki) Sivaram Memorial Scholarship.”

We will acknowledge receipt of your contribution and an official tax receipt will be issued by Ryerson University.

You could also contribute directly through the Ryerson University website (https://www.admin.ryerson.ca/cgi-bin/ryegiving), But make sure you indicate very clearly your contribution is towards the Dharmeratnam “Taraki” Sivaram Memorial Scholarship.