Across the UK, British ministers and politicians met with their Tamil constituents to celebrate the Tamil harvest festival, Thai Pongal.
In his statement, Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson noted that British Tamils have “long been woven into the very fabric of British life and without [them] our country would be so much diminished”. He further noted that it fell “smack in the middle of Tamil heritage month”.
Thai Pongal Valthukkal! On behalf of @UKLabour I wish Tamils in the UK and across the world a happy and bountiful Pongal.
Labour will always stand by the Tamil people in their pursuit of true peace and justice.
— Keir Starmer (@Keir_Starmer) January 14, 2022
He was joined by the Leader of the Opposition, Keir Starmer, who stressed Labour’s commitment to “stand by the Tamil people in their pursuit of true peace and justice”.
Leader of the Liberal Democrats, Ed Davey, marked the occasion by tweeting:
Sending my best wishes for a joy filled Pongal to Tamil families across my constituency of Kingston and Surbiton, and all over the world. Happy Pongal! pic.twitter.com/Wkr0p5XpMQ
— Ed Davey MP (@EdwardJDavey) January 14, 2022
London’s Mayor also marked the occasion by posting on Twitter:
Wishing a very happy Thai Pongal to Tamils in London and those celebrating across the world. May this harvest festival bring you and your loved ones prosperity, health and happiness. Pongal Vazhthukkal! pic.twitter.com/lNOehjcgmP
— Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan (@MayorofLondon) January 14, 2022
Elliot Colburn, MP for Carshalton and Wallington and Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Tamils (APPGT), also wished the Tamil community in a video message.
“January has been declared by the London Assembly as the Tamil Heritage Month; marking the contributions that Tamils make all across our capital," Colburn said.
“I’d also like to place on record out thanks for everything the tamil community does to make our country a better place to live, work and raise a family," he added.
Minister for small business and MP for Sutton & Cheam, Paul Scully celebrated Thai Pongal in Ealing Amman temple with British Tamils.
— Paul Scully MP (@scullyp) January 14, 2022
He further released a message on Twitter highlighting the positive contribution of British Tamils and the “vital role” they play in Britain.
MP for Ealing, Southall, Virendra Sharma, marked Pongal pledging his support to continue to fight for human rights and demanding pressure on Sri Lankan officials to ensure accountability.