Mayor Rokhsana Fiaz OBE pays tribute to former Newham councillor Paul Sathianesan – Newham Council
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Mayor Rokhsana Fiaz OBE pays tribute to former Newham councillor Paul Sathianesan – Newham Council

Mayor Rokhsana Fiaz OBE pays tribute to former Newham councillor Paul Sathianesan – Newham Council

Following the sad news of his death, the Mayor of Newham has extended her deepest condolences to the family of former Newham Councillor Paul Sathianesan, who gave twenty years of dedicated public service to the people of the former East Ham North borough between 1998 and 2018.

Paying tribute to his commitment to social justice and achievements as a local councillor Rokhsan Fiaz OBE, Mayor of Newham, said:

“Paul will forever be fondly remembered for his boundless energy, love and dedication to the local people of East Ham and his commitment to equality and social justice. He was one of the most talented and passionate advocates of the community, driven by a passion to do good and right all injustices. His achievements as a Newham councillor, one of the first in Sri Lankan heritage, were numerous and he made such a huge difference to the lives of those he served as well as the East Ham North borough he represented. He was a dedicated campaigner and a truth-to-power speaker and will forever be remembered for his warmth and kindness; and for his honesty and ethics.”

“Even after his term as a councillor ended, he continued to serve the people of East Ham and Newham’s Tamil communities. Over the years he was a welcoming face of Newham to many residents at citizenship ceremonies and organised the vibrant annual Pongol celebrations. I know he will be missed by many and on behalf of everyone at Newham Council I offer my sincerest condolences to Paul’s family at this time of loss and sadness.”

Paul Sathianesan served as a councillor for East Ham North (now known as Plashet ward) for five terms from May 1998 to May 2018. He was highly regarded for his leadership and commitment to public service and held several positions as a councillor, including Deputy Leader of Newham Council in 2008 and from 2014 to 2018.

Paul’s extraordinary journey began as a refugee from Sri Lanka, forced to flee his homeland due to political persecution. He arrived in East Ham with nothing more than hope and determination but overcame considerable challenges to secure a position on the Refugee Board. In recognition of his courage and dedication, Paul was awarded the Home Office’s Taking A Stand Award for his efforts in addressing community issues. His legacy in East Ham is marked by his tireless advocacy for refugees and his work to promote unity and investment in the area. Paul was also a prominent figure in celebrating cultural events, as the founder and event organiser for Newham’s Pongal Lights, which celebrates the Tamil New Year. He worked tirelessly to promote peace and community spirit and his efforts brought Newham’s diverse communities together.