Category Archives: South/Southeast Asian community

TORONTO: Niran Murray charged with first-degree murder of prostitute Evelyn Castillo who came to Canada as a caregiver

Toronto man charged with murder of sex-trade worker in Mississauga

 | October 16, 2014 10:46 PM ET
More from Canadian Press
Niran Murray has been charged with first-degree murder in the death of a sex-trade worker at a Mississauga hotel

Peel Regional PoliceNiran Murray has been charged with first-degree murder in the death of a sex-trade worker at a Mississauga hotel.

BRAMPTON, Ont. – Peel regional police announced Thursday that they had charged a 32-year-old Toronto man with first-degree murder in the death of a sex-trade worker at a Mississauga hotel.

Forty-three-year-old Evelyn Castillo of Thornhill, Ont., was found without vital signs just before 7 p.m. at a hotel on Britannia Road East on Oct. 11.

Her body was found by emergency crews putting out a fire at the hotel.

Insp. George Koekkoek told reporters that an autopsy revealed that Ms. Castillo had died as result of injuries received prior to the fire being set.

Arrested and charged in the case is Niran Murray, more commonly known as Nick Murray. He was due to appear in court Thursday.

Police believe Mr. Murray may have allegedly assaulted other women in the past, particularly sex-trade workers, and are appealing for witnesses to come forward.

“He is currently before the courts facing an allegation of assault and mischief, the victim in that case was also a sex-trade worker and the offence is alleged to have occurred in a hotel as well,” said Insp. Koekkoek.

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Insp. Koekkoek said police believe Mr. Murray was a customer of Ms. Castillo’s, who also worked as a caregiver. But investigators are still trying to determine whether the two had any previous contacts.

Police did not reveal any other details about Ms. Castillo, but published reports said she arrived in Canada from the Philippines about two years ago.

Ms. Castillo’s murder was the Peel region’s fifth homicide of 2014.

The Canadian Press

Vancouver International Film Festival not enough Asian oriented ?

by CRAIG TAKEUCHI on OCT 6, 2014 at 4:02 PM

Vancouver Asahi stars Tsumabuki Satoshi and Kamenashi Kazuya drew crowds of fans to the Vancouver International Film Festival.
CRAIG TAKEUCHI

ANYONE WHO ATTENDEDThe Vancouver Asahi world premiere at the Vancouver International Film Festival on September 29 saw the intense J-power of the J-pop machine in full force.

 Japanese stars Tsumabuki Satoshi and Kamenashi Kazuya (who are actors as well as J-Pop stars) aren’t just big in Japan, but across Asia. And, as evidenced by the screaming throngs of fans at the Centre for Performing Arts, also around the world, including right here in little Vancouver.

Fans were not only vocal in their adoration, but also physical.

When the stars waltzed the red carpet, fans mobbed up against the line of security guards. At one point, the stars were ushered off the red carpet after the situation threatened to deteriorate.

A few days earlier, Vancouver was graced by another dazzling convoy of Asian stars: Abhishek Bachchan, Deepika Padukone, and Bollywood powerhouse Shah Rukh Khan. As Charlie Smith  reported, King Khan and his costars drew massive crowds to the Pacific Coliseum.

Of course, these aren’t the first or last times that Vancouver has seen the power of Asian stars to draw huge crowds, even if they fly under the radar of mainstream media.

However, there appears to be an opportunity for the Vancouver International Film Festival to recognize, should it be intent on balancing a commercially competitive future with an artistic one.

The Toronto International Film Festival has well established itself as a destination event for Hollywood’s glitterati. The VIFF has traditionally focussed more on being a filmmakers’ festival, and it can’t compete with TIFF for attracting stars. Well, from Hollywood, that is.

But contrary to what they’d have us believe (or beliebe, for all your Beliebers), there is a world beyond Hollywood.

Judging by this year’s changes at VIFF, there have been hints of more competitive marketing and a broader reach than in previous years, such as the creation of the new Style in Film series and the merger of the two print guides into one. Continue reading

VANCOUVER: Indo-Canadian women claim to hear taunt ‘Surrey’s that way!’ at Gastown bar (2013)

Indo-Canadian women claim to hear taunt ‘Surrey’s that way!’ at Gastown bar

Published: November 10, 2013

Raj Khangura 24, (left) Jas Dhillon (centre) and Mandeep Grewal 28, were out for Dhillon’s 26th birthday at The Charles Bar last month. She and her friends believe they were victims of racism because as they left the bar manager shouted at them “Surrey’s that way!” Mark van Manen/ PNG

LARISSA CAHUTE
VANCOUVER DESI

Vancouver’s Jas Dhillon will forever remember her 26th birthday – a day she’d much rather forget.

On Oct. 19 she hoped to celebrate over dinner with friends at The Charles Bar in Gastown. According to Dhillon, she and her friends – all Indo-Canadian women – arrived for their 6 p.m. reservation and were greeted with nothing but rude service, only to be kicked out of the establishment by 7 p.m. as a bar manager allegedly shouted at them, “Surrey’s that way!”

For Dhillon, that final comment changed it from being bad service to something more serious, she said, because she believes it was in reference to the Lower Mainland city’s large East Indian community.

“That’s ridiculous,” Dhillon told Vancouver Desi. “To be honest, we don’t think that kind of stuff still happens.

“To have that happen in Vancouver, in our own hometown – we were just shocked.”

According to Dhillon, the poor treatment began early in the evening, when she realized they were short a few chairs and sat at another booth , which seemed to prompt the manager to approach her and say she’d be kicked out if she didn’t go back to her table.

“The last thing I want to do is leave – it’s my birthday, I don’t want to ruin the party,” said Dhillon. “It’s six in the evening, we’re just sitting there having a good time … Why is this guy being so rude to me from the get-go?” Upon telling her friends what happened, some wondered if it was racism, but they brushed it aside and carried on with their evening. Continue reading

SURREY, B.C.: The Vedic Hindu Cultural Society ordered to hold election in Supreme Court ruling

Surrey Hindu temple ordered to hold election in Supreme Court ruling

Published: October 4, 2014

SAM COOPER
VANCOUVER DESI

There will be a court-ordered election at Surrey’s largest Hindu temple on Sunday, after a B.C. Supreme Court judge ruled members were wrongly terminated in 2012.

The Vedic Hindu Cultural Society near Bear Creek Park in Surrey has been torn by internal power struggles and court battles for years.

Leaders have battled over society finances and accounting, and traded accusations of gender discrimination and defamation, according to court documents. Continue reading

ABBOTSFORD, B.C.: Ongoing conflict between two Indo-Canadian groups in the Fraser Valley leaves young Sikh man dead

Friday, October 3rd, 2014 | Posted by admin

Teen Shot To Death In Abbotsford’s Ongoing Conflict Between Two Indo-Canadian Groups

Police on scene of an apparent drive-by shooting that ended the life of an Indo-Canadian in his late teens.

Homicide investigators in the Lower Mainland have been busy of late with murders taking place all over the lower mainland and now in the Fraser Valley with this latest killing of young Indo-Canadian which the LINK has learned is Herman Biring, the son of Sukhjivan Singh Biring “Thakra”,  who is also known as a promoter of Punjabi shows in the Abbotsford area.

By R. Paul Dhillon

With News Files

ABBOTSFORD – A drive-by shooting in Abbotsford left a young man dead, who sources out of Abbotsford say is an Indo-Canadian in his late teens

(…)

Sources tell the LINK that Herman Biring is the victim of ongoing conflict between two Indo-Canadian groups in the Fraser Valley, which police had earlier warned would get more violent and feared people dying as a result of the continuing escalation

Police responded to the area around Sparrow Drive and Goldfinch Street in the city just after 8 p.m.

They found a male, believed to be in his late teens, slumped over inside a dark coloured SUV and suffering from apparent gunshot wounds, reported CTV News.

He was pronounced dead on scene. Continue reading

VANCOUVER: City’s ghostly Punjabi market reflects demographic shift

Thursday, September 25th, 2014 | Posted by admin

Vancouver’s Fast Eroding Punjabi Market An Election Issue In Vancouver?

Non-Partisan Association mayoral candidate Kirk LaPointe said if elected his NPA Vancouver government would help revitalize shuttered stretch of Main Street that has declined under mayor Gregor Robertson.

VANCOUVER  - Although there aren’t many Indo-Canadians left in Vancouver and thus the decline of the once thriving Punjabi market in Vancouver but the upstart NPA mayoral candidate Kirk LaPointe is making the South Vancouver market which has become a ghost town of shuttered businesses, a key election issue, hoping to win whatever Indo-Canadian-South Asian votes left in Vancouver.

“The Vision Vancouver machine has failed this area,” LaPointe said last week while touring the area.

Jay Jagpal, NPA Park Board Commissioner candidate, lives in the Punjabi Market area. His family’s South Vancouver roots extend to 1971.

Speaking in Punjabi in a video release, Jagpal said: “this neighbourhood needs a government that is directly connected to it and cares about it, and that’s the change the NPA is offering.”

The stretch of Main Street between 48th and 51st Avenue once boasted a variety of retail outlets, restaurants and other South Asian cultural offerings. It is now a strip of empty stores, their windows papered over and displaying “Closed” signs.

An example of the City’s neglect of the struggling community is the India Gate that was to be finished for the 2010 Olympics. The City supported the construction of the project. It was never built.

Mayor Robertson has done nothing to develop plans that would market the area and help restore it to its former vibrancy, says LaPointe.

“When neighbourhoods face tough times, their civic government must step in, build a new plan to support them and help resolve the issue,” says LaPointe. “Mayor Robertson has not done this. But I will.”

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TORONTO: Refugee from Burma ends up working for the Karen community

From there to here: Burmese refugee loves Canada’s respect for human rights
For Mie Tha Lah, part of the persecuted Karen minority in Burma, Canada’s respect for human rights is one of his adopted home’s best features.

Mie Tha Lah, a 37-year-old refugee from Burma, now known as Myanmar, is a youth worker for the Jane/ Finch Community and Family Centre. When he arrived in Canada and saw the CN Tower he knew his dream for freedom was complete.

DEBRA BLACK / TORONTO STAR Order this photo

By: Debra Black Immigration Reporter, Published on Thu Jan 30 2014

More than 240,000 immigrants are expected to arrive in Canada this year. Many will settle in the GTA. For some, their dreams may take years to build. For others, those dreams may never materialize.
To explore that experience, the Star is publishing an occasional series in the words of newcomers, both recent and more established. If you would like to tell your story, email dzblack@thestar.ca
Mie Tha Lah, a 37-year-old Burmese refugee, came to Canada in 2007 after the country’s doors were opened to members of the minority Karen community, who had been targeted by the government. Lah now works as a settlement worker with the Jane/Finch Community and Family Centre and is an accredited court interpreter.
Before coming to Canada with his wife, originally from the Philippines, his parents and siblings, he spent about 13 years in a refugee camp on the border between Thailand and Burma. While there, Lah received a scholarship to attend a Catholic university in the Philippines, where he studied education. Continue reading

SURREY: 5th Annual DARPAN Extraordinary Achievement Awards honoured ten members of the South Asian community

DARPAN GALA HONOURS EXTRAORDINARY PEOPLE

published by asingh on Tue, 09/23/2014 – 16:32

The 5th Annual DARPAN Extraordinary Achievement Awards were held at the Aria Banquet & Convention Centre in Surrey on Friday, September 19. The event honoured ten remarkable South Asian individuals who embody the spirit of community and believe in giving back through their own avenues in an effort to build society. The evening featured a keynote speech by Anuradha Koirala, a social activist from Nepal who has rescued and rehabilitated thousands of females from sex trafficking.

These award recipients were:

• Young Wonder – Anoop Virk
• Artistic Visionary – Sirish Rao
• Industry Marvel – Anita Huberman
• Advancing Philanthropy – Gunwant Bains
• Community Crusader – Dr. Raghbir Singh Bains
• Corporate Engagement – Peter Dhillon
• Breaking Barriers – Dr. Gurdev Singh Gill
• Heritage Defender – Naad Foundation, Amarjeet Singh
• Spirit of Sport – Arjun Gill
• International Sensation – Anuradha Koirala

Also spotted at the event were Honourable BC Premier Christy Clark; Dianne Watts, Surrey Mayor; Jinny Sims, Member of Parliament; Peter Fassbender, Minister of Education; Amrik Virk, Minister of Advanced Education; and Members of Legislative Assembly Harry Bains and Raj Chouhan.

Millions of dollars sent by Filipinos from Canada back home

MILLIONS OF DOLLARS REMITTED FROM CANADA

published by asingh on Tue, 09/16/2014 – 16:43

Filipinos abroad sent back home cash worth $2.063 billion in July—the biggest amount on a monthly basis so far in 2014.
Almost four-fifths of July’s cash remittances were from Canada, Hong Kong, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, United Arab Emirates (UAE), United Kingdom and United States.
Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) data released this week showed that cash remittances coursed through banks last July exceeded by 6.0 percent the $1.946 billion sent home by Filipinos overseas during the same month in 2013. It was the second straight month that cash remittances exceeded the $2-billion mark.
From January to July, cash remittances totaled $13.485 billion, up 5.8 percent from $12.746 billion in the same seven-month period in 2013.
The BSP noted that cash remittances from land-based workers grew 5 percent to $10.3 billion, while those from sea-based employees rose 8.5 percent to $3.2 billion.
The robust cash remittance flows came “on the back of stable demand for skilled Filipinos abroad,” the BSP said, citing Philippine Overseas Employment Administration data showing that job orders during the January to July period hit 540,037. Over two-fifths of the overseas jobs bagged by Filipinos were in the production, professional, service and technical sectors in the countries of Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan and UAE.
The BSP added that the continuous expansion of bank as well as non-bank remittance service providers both internationally and domestically sustained cash remittance flows.
Personal remittances from Filipinos abroad, meanwhile, went up 7.1 percent to $2.284 billion in July from $2.132 billion in the same month in 2013.
According to the BSP, personal remittances “measure the total amount of remittance flows into the country, including cash and non-cash items that flow through both formal (via electronic wire) and informal channels (such as money or goods carried across borders).”
As of the end of July, personal remittances reached $14.958 billion, 6.4-percent higher than the $14.063-billion haul during the first seven months of last year.
“The continued expansion in personal remittances during the first seven months of 2014 was mainly due to the steady increase in remittance flows from both land-based workers with long-term contracts (by 5 percent) and sea-based and land-based workers with short-term contracts (by 8.4 percent),” the BSP said.