British Tamils from across the country have paid tribute to Sir David Amess, MP for Southend West and member of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Tamils, who was stabbed to death whilst meeting with his constituents at a church in Leigh-on-Sea.
In response to his tragic death, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson expressed the country's sorrowing stating "our hearts are full of shock and sadness" at the loss of "one of the kindest" people in politics. He further added that Amess had an "outstanding record of passing laws to help the most vulnerable".
Amess would frequently attend events held by the British Tamil community, including sporting and cultural events, and would also use his platform to speak out against the atrocities in Sri Lanka.
In 2018 for example, he met with members of the Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) to mark International Enforced Disappearance Day.
During the meeting, he expressed his support for Tamils in their pursuit for justice and the truth behind the enforced disappearances during the armed conflict. Sir Amess's website also states the parliamentarian supported the human rights initiative put forwards by TGTE and called on the Sri Lankan government to account for the thousands of forcibly disappeared.
Tamil TGTE activist, Sockalingam Yogalingam responded to Amess's death telling Tamil Guardian;
"We are in deep shock and dismay to learn that Rt. Hon. Sir David Amess MP has left us. It is an irreplaceable loss for the Tamil diaspora as he was a champion in raising his voice for the voiceless".
"He truly supported the inalienable right of Tamils to self-determination and the TGTE's campaign to secure justice, peace, and a permanent solution for Tamils", he added.
Tributes have flooded in for the lawmaker from other British Tamils across the country.
British Tamils Conservatives similarly express their sadness tweeting:
Distraught to hear Sir David Amess has died. Lovable, funny, amember of the APPG for #Tamils and a great friend of the Tamil community in Southend. Less than a fortnight ago we enjoyed watching him sit on panels at conference. https://t.co/ZaJNfdDSR3
— British Tamil Conservatives (@BTConservatives) October 15, 2021
Elliot Colburn, MP for Carshalton & Wallington Chair of the APPG for Tamils, commemorated Amess's passing stating:
Rest in Peace Sir David. He was an incredibly kind man, I’ll never forget just how friendly he was to me. I’m utterly heartbroken and shocked that this has happened. My thoughts are with his family, his friends and his staff. https://t.co/dRO4fAzgxl
— Elliot Colburn MP (@ElliotColburn) October 15, 2021
Robert Halfon,MP for Harlow and member of the APPGT, stated:
So so sad about Sir David Amess. He embodied Essex man. Kind, thoughtful funny, compassionate and generous spirited. May he rest in peace.
— Robert Halfon MP -Working Hard for Harlow- (@halfon4harlowMP) October 15, 2021
Sam Tarry, MP for Ilford South and member of the APPGT, stated:
Terrible news about @amessd_southend.
My prayers are with David, his family and his team.
He was once a councillor in Mayfield ward, part of Ilford South, and was thoroughly welcoming when I became an MP.
— Sam Tarry MP (@SamTarry) October 15, 2021