New South Asian advocacy organisation ‘Australia South Asia Society Inc.’ (ASAS) aims to raise relevant issues with state & federal governments
By SAT News Desk
MELBOURNE, 2 May 2021: The Australia South Asia Society Inc. (ASAS) was launched today at a largely attended and glittering function at the Waverley RSL, Glen Waverley. The ASAS Patron Dr. Bandu Dissanavake launched the organisation formally with a speech with details about its aims and objectives. He was passionate about its success to serve the South Asian communities in Victoria and Australia.
To symbolise knowledge, purity, and dispel darkness Sri Lanka’s Consul to Victoria, South Australia, and Tasmania, , Mr. Kapila Fonseka, Mr, Vasan Srinivasan, Member Australian Multicultural Council and the Chairperson of the Mental Health Foundation Australia, Patron AIBC-Victoria & Liberal leader, Mr Murugapoopathy , writer, editor, and social activist, Bandu Dissanayake Ex Consul Sri Lanka in Melbourne and Owner of Pahana media group and Mr Neeraj Nanda lighted the traditional lamp.
Mr. Neeraj Nanda, Editor of South Asia Times (SAT) and the President of the ASAS addressing the august gathering detailed the main objective of the new organisation as to unite the South Asian communities in Victoria and Australia from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Maldives, Bhutan and Afghanistan.
Mr. Nanda described the advocacy of social, economic, cultural and political issues of the South Asian communities with the state governments and the Federal Government as being the new organisation’s primary objective.
“I call upon the South Asian people in Victoria and Australia to join the ASAS and make it a strong platform for community enhancement and raising issues of support and concern before the government,” he said.
The gathering was addressed by Mr. Vasan Srinivasan, Mr Kapila Fonseka and a video message from La Trobe Federal Member and Assistant Minister for Community Safety and Multicultural Affairs Jason Wood.
In his speech, Mr. Vasan said how the recently established Indian Community Centre and the Dr. Parekh Indian Museum have opened many opportunities for Indian and South Asian communities. He praised the aims behind the ASAS establishment.
Mr. Mr Kapila Fonseka said he was rather surprised and delighted at the presence of so many people assembled for a serious effort and literary persutes.
The gathering at the ASAS launch consisted of people from Sri Lanka, India, Pakistan, Fiji Indians, Mr. Tonee Sethi, Editor G’Day India, Preeti Jabbal, journalist and many community social activists among others.
The ASAS launch was followed by the ‘Noel Nadesan Books Launch’, presided by Prof Kaushal Srivastava and conducted by Nithi Nithiayanathan. Four books were released. This event was sponsored by the ASAS.
The formation of the ASAS has been widely welcomed as evidenced by the wide media coverage it is receiving in different news portals. An offer to start the organisation in Sydney is also being considered by the ASAS leadership.