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Downham Tamil Cultural Event

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10 October 2010
Downham Tamil Cultural Event I had a great evening yesterday at the Downham Tamil Association’s Navarathiri and Black History Month Celebration. With over 80 families bringing their children to the Association’s supplementary school, there was a plentiful supply of excited children to perform on the stage – and they were all fab!

It was good to cacth up with Cllr Helen Klier (Lewisham’s new Cabinet Member for Children and Young People) and to see Bala and his family who run the Association.

The Tamil community in Lewisham is strong and since I’ve been elected I’ve been really lucky to be invited down to the Sivan Kovil Temple on Clarendon Rise as well as to celebrations such as the one at the Goldsmiths Community Centre yesterday. With the new temple being built, it’s a busy time for the community in Lewisham but for many Tamils, their thoughts are still with their friends and family who are still stuggling in the aftermath of the conflict in their homeland.

I’m asking a question of the International Development Secretary on Wednesday about the work that the UK government is doing to ensure that people who have had to flee their homes in Sri Lanka (as a result of the fighting) are being treated fairly. I meet a number of Tamils in my advice surgeries who are still struggling to locate their loved ones and many more who are waiting for visas to be issued so that their dependents can join them in the UK.

I’m keen to put whatever pressure I can on our government to make sure we are living up to the expectations of the Tamil communuity in the UK – here’s hoping I get a decent reply from the Secretary of State on Wednesday!


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