This was the first party conference event staged by the BTC and took place at the ICC Castle Fine Arts Gallery on 9th October. The event was well attended. Guests included the Party Chairman, the Rt. Hon. Grant Shapps MP, Robert Halfon MP, Lee Scott MP, the President of the Conservative National Convention, Steve Bell, and London MEPs Dr. Charles Tannock and Syed Kamal.
Lee Scott, MP for Ilford North, Hon. Patron of the BTC and Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Tamils also spoke at the event, and acknowledged the fundamental concerns that the BTC have regarding the current situation in Sri Lanka. In her speech, Theresa said: “It’s a pleasure to be able to address the first party conference meeting ever held by the British Tamil Conservatives and I’d like to congratulate them on becoming formally affiliated to the Conservative Party.”
“This is a considerable achievement which was by no means easy to deliver. There are some difficult hurdles to get over and I know the goal of affiliation is something on which Conservative supporters within the Tamil community have been working on for many months. I must pay particular tribute to Thaksha Ravikulan and Dr. Arujunal Sivananthan for their key role in making this happen.”
“I very much welcome the interest of British Tamils in supporting the Conservative Party. I am delighted that my own constituency boasts a successful and growing Tamil community in Cockfosters. The involvement of Tamils in the political process in the UK is good for the Tamil community and good for the democratic process. There is no doubt that the hard work and political activism of British Tamils is successfully pushing issues concerning the situation in Sri Lanka up the political agenda.”
“It’s right that the UK Government and many in the international community continue to press for a credible, thorough and independent investigation into violation of international human rights law during the military conflict in Sri Lanka. And it’s right that all of us here stand ready to support the people of Sri Lanka in pursuit of a just, balanced and lasting political settlement which protects the interests of all citizens.”
“This evening has provided a great opportunity for Tamils to demonstrate their support for the Conservative Party and the Conservative Party to demonstrate their support for Tamils. And I wish the British Tamil Conservatives every success in the years to come.”
The BTC ended the reception by thanking Theresa and her colleagues for their time and support, and looked forward to using their new status to promote the Conservative message in the Tamil Community.