Ambalavaner Sivanandan left Ceylon in 1958, then aged 35, shocked by the violence of the ’58 riots in Colombo. Months later, he arrived in London and ‘walked straight into the Notting Hill Gate riots.’


Raghavan is the alias of Rajeshkumar. Born in Punnalaikkadduvan in the North of Sri Lanka, Raghavan spent most of his youth in the charge of the LTTE before leaving in protest over authoritarianism and internecine killings in 1984.


Sinthujan Varatharajah was born in a refugee camp in Coburg, Germany in 1985. His parents fled Sri Lanka in the early 1980s, and, through a chance meeting with a German couple in the Jaffna hotel where his father worked, chose Germany as their destination.


Lavanya Loganathan was born in Ealing Hospital in 1996. She is one of three generations living under the same roof in Greenford, a large suburb in the west London borough of Ealing.


Ambica Selvaraj was born in a multicultural neighbourhood in Colombo in April 1951. Though she spoke Tamil at home and in school, she spent most of her childhood in
the company of Sinhalese and
English-speaking children,
unaware of the issues that would become so salient later on.