Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, reigning monarch of the United Kingdom and the 16 current Commonwealth Realms, has honoured three Tamils at the New Year’s Awards in both New Zealand and the UK.
Mr. Arumugam Thevarajan, a 77-year-old Eezham Tamil, received the Queen’s Service Medal in recognition of his services to the Tamil community in New Zealand/ He is a member of the Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam, and has worked with and for the Tamil community for over 5 decades.
An ex-student of Jaffna Hindu College, Mr. Chelliah Yogamoorthy, had the honour of the Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) bestowed upon him in honour of his valuable contributions to the Department of Transport in the UK. Mr. Yogamoorthy is also a trustee at Birmingham Tamil School, where he joined as a Tamil teacher in the late 80s.
Lakshmi Holmstrom hails from Tamil Nadu, South India, and received an MBE for services to literature. After reading English Literature at the University of Madras, she went on to do her postgradute research at the University of Oxford, where she studied the works of R. K. Narayan. She then worked on translating several prominent Tamil literary works – including Silappadikaram, Manimekalai and contemporary stories – into English. She is also the founder of SALIDAA (South Asian Diaspora Literature and Arts Archive), which works to archive the works of British artists/writers of South Asian descent.