Sunday, October 2, 2011

Rathika Sitasabaiesan is a rising MP and the standard bearer for young women in Canada’s a male- dominated political culture.!!!

Jaffna-born Canadian Tamil MP in a Photoshop controversy October 1, 2011, 7:25 pm BY S VENKAT NARAYAN Our Special Correspondent NEW DELHI, October 1: A Jaffna-born Tamil woman, Canada’s first Tamil parliamentarian, is at the centre of an embarrassing Photoshop controversy. Conservative Canadian politicos apparently decided that 29-year-old Rathika Sitasabaiesan’s cleavage in a photograph appearing along with her official parliamentary profile too hot to handle. They thought the photograph was inappropriate for a workplace as formal as Parliament, and put out a modified version by retouching it to edit out her feminine curves. According to political blog "Contrarian," a reader performed an image search for the Tamil MP and discovered on the Canadian Parliament’s website a modified version of her headshot, which covers up her cleavage. Sitasabaiesan is a rising MP and the standard bearer for young women in Canada’s a male- dominated political culture. But angry critics argue that the alteration made to her photograph is anti- feminist, and that the cleavage has been removed to make Sitsabaiesan appear less womanly. It is not known if the editing was requested for by her party, her own office or on the parliamentary website’s own authority. Sitsabaiesan is only in her first year on the job, but has already earned praise for her confidence and poise. A first-time candidate, she won the Liberal stronghold of Scarborough with 40.62% of votes, beating Conservative Marlene Gallyot 18,935 votes to 13,935. She was born in Jaffna on 23 December 1981. When she was just five, her family migrated to Canada. She studied at Toronto University, and later transferred to Carleton University, where she completed a Bachelor of Commerce degree. She then did her Master’s in industrial relations at Queen’s University. Sitasaiesan is the first person of Tamil origin and also the youngest to be elected to the Canadian Parliament, and the first woman to be elected an MP in Scarborough. She has been heavily involved in community and advocacy work as a parliamentarian and as a student. She was subsequently appointed critic for post-secondary education (human resources and skills development) in the official opposition Shadow Cabinet in the 41st Canadian Parliament. www

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