The British Tamil Conservatives (BTC) have teamed up with the Conservatives to propagate the plight of Sri Lankan Tamils in post-war Sri Lanka. In line with its strategy, the BTC recently obtained affiliation of the Conservative Party, UK based sources told The Island. Sources said that it was the first specific ethnic group to be affiliated to the party.
Addressing a reception on Oct 9 at the ICC Castle Fine Arts Gallery, Birmingham, Dr. Arjuna Sivananthan, the Vice Chairman of BTC and Executive member of Conservative Way Forward (CWF), said "our objectives are twofold: take the Party’s message to the Tamil community ensure we, the Conservatives, have an outright majority in the next parliament, and continue our advocacy work of bringing the plight of Tamils to Party members and the Conservative Members of Parliament. We will not stop until these two objectives are accomplished. He Pointed out that two of the PPC’s, Dr Rachel Frosh and David Gold who we had helped during the 2010 elections were present at the event and that we will work harder next time to ensure that they become MP’s at the next election. Arjuna went on to state how proud the Tamils are to be British and recognised the achievements of the community in the UK. ‘We will continue our work with Global Tamil Forum and other Tamil organisations".
Sivanathan said: "We were delighted when Theresa Villiers, Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, congratulated the BTC on affiliation. She acknowledged the hard work that had been put in by the organisation to get affiliation status. She also spoke on how disturbing the Channel 4 documentary on Killing Fields of Sri Lanka was, and the need for a credible, thorough, independent investigation.
Liam Fox the former defence secretary also attended. He stated ‘that he was very worried about the state of affairs in Sri Lanka, and that if the Government of Sri Lanka was not prepared to at least make the little changes already in the Constitution the situation would worsen.
The BTC would like to thank Lee Scott, MP Ilford North, Hon. Patron of BTC, Robert Halfon, MP, Gavin Barwell, MP, and Andrew Rosindell, MP for all the support to both the Tamil Community and BTC in their role as Vice Presidents of the BTC.
We would also like to thank Charles Tannock, MEP and Syed Kamal, MEP for their support. We are grateful to the members of the Global Tamil Forum, British Tamil Forum and TGTE for joining us in celebrating our affiliation.
With the affiliation, BTC hope to organise more high profile events on both the national and local level using the community media to get the conservative message to the Community and actively partake in conservative activities.
British Tamil Conservatives receive messages of congratulations and support from the party chairman, ministers, MPs and MEPs at their celebratory drinks reception held atparty conference 2012.
The event was attended by the Party Chairman Rt. Hon Grant Shapps, Cabinet Minister, Rt. Hon. Theresa Villiers, MP’s, MEP’s and Steve Bell, the Vice President of the National Conservative Convention. Speaking at the event, Lee Scott, MP for Ilford North, Hon. Patron of the BTC and Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Tamils congratulated BTC in securing the affiliation and said he was fully aware justice for Tamils is the central concern of British Tamils and organisations such as BTC and Global Tamil Forum whose representatives were present amongst other Tamil community leaders who attended.