Diaspora Diaries: Paul Sathianesan

From war refugee to deputy mayor

Paul Sathianesan arrived in the UK as a refugee in 1985. In the 1980s, he was appointed to a national role to support Tamil refugees in adapting to life in the UK. Paul now serves as a Councillor in the London Borough of Newham, an area with a large population of Sri Lankan origin.

Paul says that he feels a responsibility towards the youth in Sri Lanka to ensure that the next generation have opportunities in life and a peaceful future. He says that reconciliation processes can ensure that people are able to come together constructively, and work together for the benefit of communities in Sri Lanka. However, he recognises that many do not agree with his focus on reconciliation.

This is the third video of International Alert's 'Diaspora Diaries' film series, produced by film-maker Kannan Arunasalam.