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Queens Honours two Tamils from New Zealand once again.

 

the receipients of the Honours from New Zealand are husband and wife as well.

Queens Honours  two Tamils from New Zealand once again.

 

Among the receipients of Queens Honours for the New Year 2012, two are Tamils from New Zealand once again. Last year too, three Tamils two from England, one of Indian origin and the other of Sri Lankan origin and one from New Zealand of Sri Lankan origin received Queens Honours. Of the receipients from UK, one, an Engineer who hails from Vadamaradchy was hono0ured for his long years of service to Tamil education. The lady of Indian origin and the Sri Lankan Tamil who also incidentally hails from Vadamaradchy had besides their community services distinguishing scholastic achievements in Tamil studies as well.
 
Incidentally, this year, the receipients of the Honours from New Zealand are husband and wife as well. They are Mr. George Arulanantham and Ms. Anne Umadevi George. They distinguished in two different areas of community services.
 
Mr. George Arulanantham is a Mechanical Engineer by profession, and hails from Anaicottai in Jaffna. He is an old boy of Manipay Hindu College and graduated from Peradeniya University where he was an active member of the Tamil Society. On arrival in New Zealand, he spared time to care for the welfare of the Tamil community – especially in integrating refugees into the New Zealand larger community. He became popular among the Tamils and was elected the President of the New Zealand Tamil Society. On being elected the President, he made the Tamil Society more meaningful and purposeful as a Community organisation. Past Presidents of the Tamil Society confined mostly to cultural activities and helping people to migrate to New Zealand. Only one introduced the Tamil Radio programme while another introduced the Building Fund. But George Arulanantham was able to align those with like thinking on his side and make headway in intimating opinion builders and politicians of all shades on the ground situation in Sri Lanka in regard to the Tamil crises. He even got the University Students to help in material inputs in organising an Exhibition on the plight of Tamils. He organised a series of seminars on the plight of Tamils in Sri Lanka ably assisted by knowledgeable persons. After his term of Office was over, he took the reigns of the Consortium of Tamil Associations in New Zealand as Co-ordinator and continued his mission of fighting for the rights of the Tamils in Sri Lanka. This led to many groups coming into play, relieving George of a tiresome and long journey. Yet George is there when his services are solicited. Mr. George Arulanantham is also a JP.
 
Anne Umadevi George wife of George Arulalnantham . She is socially oriented. She became the Chairperson of the Mt. Roskill Community House Advisory Committee after being a Committee member for a while. She was involved with the Asian Social service group and “REACT NOW” organisation.
 
Her services extended to the Refugee Community where she had founded Auckland Refugee Community Coalition, National Refugee Network and Refugee Womens’ Group. Her landmark contribution was the help she extended to different ethnic groups of immigrants in establishing Play Groups in their respective languages.
 
Since 2003 she is running POONGA a Tamil community Play Group teaching Tamil to children. She has used the New Zealand Early Childhood Curriculum with the approval of the Ministry of Education. She has earned the recognition of the Ministry of Education in this venture. She did not stop at that. She got the graded syllabi prepared by the late Vendanar Ilanko for Tamil Examinations which has been approved by the Australian Government . She prepared students to sit for the Australian Tamil Examinations. Following next she got the International Tamil Examinations syllabi and now students are sitting for these Tamil Examinations as well. The Tamil children and their parents are happy that their efforts are recognised through valid Certificates after passing the Examinations. 
 
She has personally served people affected by the Tsunami on the spot in Sri Lanka by joining a team sent by the Association of Medical Doctors of Asia and attended a Conference on Disaster Relief Initiative held in Okayama, Japan in 2005. She has also participated in Refugee allied Conferences held in Geneva, Switzerland and Thailand.
 
(A.Theva Rajan - Tamil Action Front NZ) 
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