Tamils in Kingston are set to vote in a referendum on January 30 and 31, to test their will on creating an independent homeland in Sri Lanka.

Tamil National Council (TNC) announced that the polling stations for Kingston’s 8,000 Tamils will be set up in Tolworth Girls’ School, Stoneleigh Amman Temple and New Malden’s Shiraz Mirza Hall and North Cheam Community Association, asked Tamils to vote between 9am and 5pm.

The secretary of TNC, Sri Ranjan, said: “The aim of this referendum is to unite the Tamil speaking people and with their support have a referendum for the future of the Tamils in Sri Lanka based on a resolution in 1976, called Vaddukoddai Resolution, the last democratic resolution.

“This was submitted to the government of Sri Lanka by the Tamil politicians once they were elected in 1977. It was completely rejected by the government and the arms struggle was intensified.”

Former mayor of Kingston Councillor Yogan Yoganathan said: “Yes, I will be voting for the Tamil referendum and it will certainly bring all the diaspora Tamils together and united, firstly to raise awareness of the Tamils’ plight for the past 60 years.

“Unfortunately, our Tamils back home can not express their views freely and have been like this for the past 60 years. If we want a change the above situation, then I will urge all Tamils to take their time to support fully and vote.”

A Tamil restaurant keeper in Tolworth said: “As you know, we were screaming in Westminster for months to stop the bloodiest war, waged by Sri Lankan government on Tamils, which claimed thousands of innocent Tamil people last year alone. But we could not save our kith and kin. I think that it’s a good opportunity to expose my political will.”

Are you a Tamil in Kingston? Share your thoughts at kingstonguardian.co.uk/news