Later on Saturday morning I joined my colleagues Councillor Paul Fisher (Lead Member for Communities - Engagement & Safety), Councillor Shirley Fisher (Chair of IBAC) and Councillor Andrew Dakers (Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group) as guests at the Inaugural Ceremony of the Sri Lankan Community Centre. Paul had been instrumental in working with organisers prior to the event on behalf of the local authority to ensure that it all ran smoothly.
The event, addressed by the Mayor of Hounslow Councillor Paul Lynch, heralded the opening of the first registered centre of its kind for the Sri Lankan community, in Hanworth, following the cessation of hostilities in the mother country. Sinhalese, Tamils and Muslims participated in this enjoyable, entertaining and well-attended celebration of unity and peace. Speeches by the Mayor and the Sri Lankan High Commissioner were followed by dancing and an impromptu chat session hosted by a local Sri Lankan resident who entertained those present whilst the finishing touches were applied to the sumptuous feast.
For a useful pictoral record of the event please see below. Most of the photos are supplied courtesy of Sesatha.co.uk:
Councillor Shirley Fisher is greeted with leaves by a young host...
...and lights a candle to mark the launching of the event.
The Assistant High Commissioner does likewise.
Andrew Dakers and Yours Truly listen attentively to the Mayor's speech. The High Commissioner is far right of the photo.
Paul and Shirley show their appreciation for the local impromptu entertainer.
A colourful display of dancing...
...from the youngsters too.
Together after the event.