Census 2011: A chance for Britain’s Eelam Tamils to show ourselves.

09 March 2011

The 2011 census in Britain is a unique opportunity for Tamils to be recognised as one of this country‟s distinct and vibrant communities. This survey gives vital statistical information to the world on the ethnic make up of the population in Britain.

The Census form is a compulsory document which must be completed by every household and submitted by the 27th March 2011. Completing the form is simple; the questions are direct, and answers are usually indicated by ticking a box or writing a few words.

In particular, the survey allows you to choose more than one answer to question 15: �How would you describe your national identity?‟ and provides an �other‟ box for this purpose.

Please note this is not asking about citizenship. As the guidance notes say, ?It is for you to choose your national identity or identities. For example this could be about the country or countries where you feel you belong, or think of as home. National identity is not dependent on your ethnic group or legal nationality (citizenship). This question is not asking about your legal nationality.?

The UK, especially, recognises there are many more nations than states globally ? which is why the people of Scotland, Wales and England are recognised as distinct nations, as well as being British citizens.

In a 2007 survey, two thirds of white British described their national identity as English, Scottish or Welsh. (See results on p4 of the report: http://www.statistics.gov.uk/downloads/theme_social/Social_Trends39/Social_Trends_39.pdf)

TYO (Tamil Youth Organisation) is committed to preserving and promoting the identity of the Eelam Tamils, one of the world‟s nations. We are a body of young people, mainly second generation Tamil students, proud of our ethnic origin and of being British.

Which is why we are calling on everyone of Eelam Tamil origin to identify their nationality as ‘Eelam Tamil’, as well as British – if appropriate (in response to Q15); and to identify their ethnicity as �Eelam Tamil’ (in response to Q16).

This is a small way in which all Tamils can make an important contribution to highlighting and preserving our people‟s distinctive identity. As the National Statistician puts it, the 2011 Census is ?all about helping tomorrow take shape.?

We look forward to your support and pledge to continue our efforts to promote Eelam Tamils‟ interests.

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