Canadians pay tributes to Mumbai victims

December 8th, 2008 - 10:28 am ICT by IANS  

Toronto, Dec 8 (IANS) In an unprecedented show of solidarity with India, Canadians and members of the Indian diaspora came out in large numbers here to pay homage to the victims of the terror attacks in Mumbai.At a candlelight vigil and solidarity rally Sunday, organised by the Canada-India Foundation along with the Indo-Canada Chamber of Commerce and more than 70 cultural and ethnic groups, the Canadians pledged support to India in its fight to defeat terrorism.

Prominent leaders, including Canadian Immigration Minister Jason Kenney, former Canadian health minister Ujjal Dosanjh, Ontario minister Harinder Takhar, Canada-India Foundation chairman Surjit Babra, MPs, and Hindu, Sikh, Muslim, Christian and Jewish representatives lit candles in memory of the victims.

Terrorists who India says came from Pakistan struck at several places in Mumbai Nov 26 evening, eventually seizing two luxury hotels and a Jewish centre. The nightmare left 172 people dead, including 22 foreigners.

Paying tributes to the victims, Kenney said Canada was committed to standing with India and its people in their fight against terrorists.

He also read a message from his leader Stephen Harper in which the Canadian prime minister pledged all support to a fellow democracy in eliminating terrorism.

Dosanjh said India was one of the most free and secular countries in the world but its freedom and secularism were under attack.

“If India cannot survive as a free and secular country, then there is little hope for the world. But my hope is that India will survive,” he said.

“We owe it the victims of the Mumbai terrorist attacks - and before them other victims - to make this world a better place,” Dosanjh said.

Indian Consul General Preeti Saran said the Mumbai attacks were part of a larger game plan to hit landmarks in India such as the Taj hotel near the Gateway of India.

The terrorists picked up their targets carefully to spread panic in Mumbai’s busy places like hotels, malls and railway stations. The Mumbai mayhem has led to unprecedented public anger in India, she added.

Saran sought support from the international community to eliminate terrorism at its source.

Takhar, minister for small business in Ontario province, said Canadians felt the deep pain of these attacks as “we are deeply connected with India”.

He read a message from his premier Dalton McGuinty, who said Canadians stood shoulder to shoulder with Indians in their fight against terrorism

“Mumbai vigil” organiser and Canada-India Foundation (CIF) chairman Surjit Babra concluded the rally by saying: “Let us all join to create a tsunami of peace in the world.”

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