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A Tribute to a Man of our time

He hails from a well-known family of Tamils living and working in government service, his father, the Late Vairamuttu being a confidante of Late Sir Oliver Goonetileke, a Governor General of Ceylon.
by Victor Cherubim

Late V. Varadakumar, Executive Director, Tamil Information Centre, London passed away peacefully at his home on 13 March 2019 after years of voluntary community service.

He was a legend in his time, spending most of his adult life after arriving in UK in the 1980's from Sri Lanka, fighting for for the cause of the dispossessed, the refugee Tamils who sought asylum in UK and in Europe.

At first, he took over the coordination of the work that was left undone by the Late K.Kandasamy and Fr.Pathinather, at the decrepit offices of Tamil Information at Clapham Junction,with little or no funding and scarce personnel.

He later worked as Coordinator, Tamil Refugee Action Group, a charity working with hundreds of refugees, setting up a Resource Centre researching documentation, fighting lost causes in UK High Court and lobbying Parliament not only for refugees but for Human Rights and Women's Rights among many.

He was adept in bringing together all the various Tamil diaspora groups in UK, volunteers, as well as militant and non militant service workers, in search of an equitable resolution of the Tamil struggle.

He remained for nearly 40 years the "Voice of all Tamils" in UK,particularly in advocacy.

He was particular in fostering the training and development of Tamil youth in many fields, taking over the role of coordinating the work of Tamil Information and Research.

Today, Tamil Information Centre maintains a documentation unit thanks to his initiative and perseverance which aims to provide a comprehensive archive of information resource for both researchers and the public devoted entirely to issues relating to Tamil speaking peoples of Sri Lanka.

TIC collects and receives information from its own sources, well authenticated.

The unique collection of nearly 25,000 artifacts,journals,microfilm documents provides the support for research and resource for students,researchers, campaigners, legal practitioners and the media.

Mr.Varadakumar's vision was so wide that he later set up a Community Development and Training programme near Kingston, Surrey involving women, elders, social workers and other volunteers to raise awareness.

He was responsible in bringing together a group of Sri Lankan Tamil and Muslim MP's, political activists and like minded to a Conference which he organised in Geneva to frankly and freely discuss and bring about a settlement of the Tamil issue during the Civil War.

He founded the Tamil Refugee Action Group,London in 1982 and was its first Coordinator of this organisation for over a decade.

His demise leaves a vacuum in community service for Tamils in London, as he had planned a "Conference of Eminent Tamil Speaking Peoples of Sri Lanka" in London in May 2019.Among them,many who have devoted their entire lives in various fields of human endeavour for the betterment of the lives of the people of Sri Lanka, whether as distinguished Writers,literary personalities,or mathematicians and scientists, were to be honoured by publication of a Compendium.

He hails from a well-known family of Tamils living and working in government service, his father, the Late Vairamuttu being a confidante of Late Sir Oliver Goonetileke, a Governor General of Ceylon.

Mr. Varadakumar will be sadly missed for his erudition and his selfless service.

He leaves a son in UK and a brother in Europe.

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