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Slideshow: Sri Lankans find a home in London

The Sri Lankan government's 26-year war with Tamil Tiger rebels, which killed thousands, ended in May 2009.

The bloody strife also forced hundreds of thousands of civilians, specially those from the Tamil community, to seek asylum abroad.

According to Home Office figures 1,893 Sri Lankan Tamils landed in the UK in 1985 seeking asylum. In 1986 another 1,275 came to the UK and over the years more refugees seeking safety have continued to arrive.


Images from the contributors' personal archives and courtesy of AP/PA/AFP/Human Rights Watch & Getty Images.
Slideshow by Debabani Majumdar. Publication date: 19 October 2010.

About the contributors:

Paul Sathianesan, a councillor in Newham, came to London as a refugee in 1985 with one bag. The bag, his immigration papers and a box of earth from his native village in Jaffna, northern Sri Lanka, has been donated to the Museum of London to document Tamil immigration.

Throughout 1985 Geetha Maheshwaran went to airports along with her father, one of the founders of Shree Ghanapathy Temple in Wimbledon, and brought refugees to the temple. The Wimbledon temple and High Gate Hill Murugan Temple in Archway gave shelter to hundreds of refugees for months.

Dr Arumugam Puvinathan also came to London as an asylum seeker in 1992, with his wife and baby son. He currently works as a GP in London and also runs workshops for Sri Lankan Tamils who suffer from the trauma of the war and losing relatives.




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