Montreal, February 24, 2010— Justin Trudeau, MP and South African High Commissioner Abraham Nkomo will be among the many guests of honor who will attend CRARR’s interfaith event to commemorate this year’s International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (March 21st).
On Saturday, March 20th, from 7 to 9:30 pm, CRARR [Quebec-based Center for Research-Action on Race Relations] will join many of its institutional and community partners such as the Institute for Research and Education on Race Relations, the Alliance of South Asian Communities, the Quebec Jewish Congress and the Japanese Canadian Cultural Center of Montreal, the Concordia Student Union and youths from many schools in Montreal, in celebrating this occasion.
This year’s March 21st also marks the 50th Anniversary of the Sharpeville Massacre, a deadly state-sponsored crackdown on anti-apartheid demonstrators in 1960 that took place in South Africa and that eventually led the United Nations to proclaim March 21st the International Day against racism.Sounds very "inclusive" and "multicultural," doesn't it? Well, you might be interested to know that prior to becoming South Africa's Canadian rep, High Commish Nkomo held the same position in Malaysia. In that capacity back in 2004 he voiced grave concern about what he viewed as the most pressing of all international issues:
The commemoration and celebration will be held at St. James United Church, and hosted by Rev. Arlen Bonnar. The evening will feature performances by Imani Gospel Singers, Tonal Ecstasy and Every Kid Choir. There will be special cameo appearances by some local artists.
There will also be an interfaith ceremony with representatives of different faiths as well as Aboriginal leaders; video messages from special guests, and a highlight of major civil rights achievements in the last 50 years. There will also be a celebration of South Africa’s hosting of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, which will be led by a local soccer star...
...South African High Commissioner to Malaysia Abraham S. Nkomo today said there was an urgent need to place the Palestinian cause back at the top of the international agenda.
“We need to mobilize the international community. Although the Palestinians constitute a just cause, it is my opinion that they have lost the propaganda war to those supporting Israel,” he said in an interview in conjunction with the 10th anniversary of South Africa’s freedom day today.
Nkomo said the 116 NAM [Non-Allied Movement] countries need to rectify the situation by highlighting the plight of Palestinians in international fora.
He said South Africa intended to initiate a “people-centred campaign” to heighten international support for the Palestinians.
"We feel the need to do this as it was international solidarity that helped bring freedom to South Africa 10 years ago. Civil society worldwide persuaded their governments to take a stand and they did.”…Hmmm. The High Commish kind of sounds like one of those "Israel is an apartheid state" types. But, hey, now that he's in a country that lives and breathes "diversity," I'm sure he's moderated his stance re "the Palestinian cause" and is exactly the kind of guy we Jews should feel comfortable crawling into bed with.