Lord Sheikh hosted a meeting in the House of Lords titled: ‘Sri Lanka: 2020 and Beyond’.
Lord Sheikh had the pleasure of welcoming Mr Ajith Nivard Cabraal as keynote speaker at the meeting. Mr Cabraal is the Economic Adviser to Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister, the Honourable Mahinda Rajapaksa MP. He was also previously the Governor of Sri Lanka’s Central Bank for over nine years and was indeed well-placed to discuss the opportunities for trade and investment in Sri Lanka for 2020 and beyond. He gave an overview of the current economic and social climate in Sri Lanka and spoke of positive developments in Sri Lanka which have, and will improve the lives of Sri Lankans and will encourage investment in the country.
Lord Sheikh spoke of his friendship with Sri Lanka and the many opportunities Sri Lanka has in terms of: trade, investment, tourism and education. He spoke from personal knowledge he gained from his visits to Sri Lanka and illustrated the good work Sri Lanka has undertaken in efforts to reconcile and rebuild. He also noted that communities within Sri Lanka as well as the diaspora should all get together, unite and be peaceful.
The meeting was also addressed by Her Excellency Manisha Manisha Gunasekera the High Commissioner of Sri Lanka and Mr John Rajan Yorke who is the Chairman of the Conservative Friends of Sri Lanka.
The meeting was well attended by Members of Parliament, Peers, and leaders of industry and the diaspora who all engaged in a Q&A discussion after the speeches were made.
Lord and Lady Sheikh hosted a dinner in the Peers Dning Room in the House of Lords for Mr Ajith Nivard Cabraal. Mr Cabraal was in attendance alongside his wife Mrs Roshini Cabraal. Also in attendance were Her Excellency Manisha Manisha Gunasekera the High Commissioner of Sri Lanka, Mr Samantha Pathirana the Deputy High Commissioner, Mr John Rajan Yorke the Chairman of the Conservative Friends of Sri Lanka and Mr Amal Abeyawardene Director of the Conservative Friends of Sri Lanka.
The dinner preluded the meeting held the following morning in the House of Lords titled: ‘Sri Lanka: 2020 and Beyond’ where Lord Sheikh had the pleasure of welcoming Mr Ajith Nivard Cabraal as keynote speaker.
Lord Sheikh hosted the Third China UK International Music Festival press conference for the Chinese Information and Advice Centre in the House of Lords.
The China UK International Music Festival involves music competitions, concerts and music workshops to encourage cultural cooperation and communication between the United Kingdom and China. The festival aims to share Chinese culture as well as encourage the musicians to improve their skills and be recognised.
The juries and guests are all of high international reputations and the festival will be one of the highlights of the Sino-British international cultural exchange in 2020.
Lord Sheikh thoroughly enjoys listening to Chinese music and said he was sure that the festival will be a great success and produce some excellent winners.
On behalf of the Chinese Information and Advice Centre, Lord Sheikh hosted the Women Volunteer of the Year Awards in the House of Lords.
Their work benefits disadvantaged Chinese people in the United Kingdom. Since its formation 37 years ago, the Centre has indeed supported and led on local social, legal and welfare issues.The Centre has also provided invaluable help to people who deserve to be helped and guided.
The Chinese Information and Advice Centre does excellent work in the community and provides a vital service to people. The Centre was the recipient of the 2018 Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service. This is the highest award given to local volunteer groups across the UK to recognise outstanding work done in their own communities.
Lord Sheikh paid tribute to all the outstanding women who have relentlessly dedicated their valuable time to help the Chinese community.
Lord Sheikh, alongside Baroness Uddin, arranged a remembrance meeting to celebrate the life, achievements and legacy of the late Lord Adam Patel of Blackburn.
The meeting was held on Wednesday 30th October 2019 in the River Room in the House of Lords.
Lord Sheikh and Baroness Uddin were joined by members of Lord Adam Patel’s family, fellow Parliamentarians and others who knew him.
There were a number of heartfelt speeches given by the following:
Baroness Smith of Basildon, Shadow Leader of the House of Lords
Kate Hollern MP for Blackburn
Dr Al-Dubayan, Director General of the Islamic Cultural Centre and London Central Mosque
Dr Syed Mohiud-din MBE, British Hajj Delegation
Dr Muhammad Abdul Bari MBE DL, Muslim Council of Britain
Members of the Late Lord Adam Patel’s family also participated in the proceedings: his grandsons, Mr Faris Seth and Mr Umar Patel recited from the Holy Qu’ran and his son, Hon Ilyas Patel spoke. The Master of Ceremony was Mr Ahmed Azam.
During his speech, Lord Sheikh spoke of how he would remember the Late Lord Adam Patel. He included anecdotes and reflected on the Late Lord Adam Patel’s achievements and his dedication to Islam and social cohesion in British society. Lord Sheikh stressed that Late Lord Adam Patel was indeed a pioneer and a true role model.
Lord Sheikh hosted the British Community Honours Awards 2019 on Friday 18th October 2019 in the House of Lords. He was also the Guest of Honour.
The British Community Honours Awards are presented to individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the welfare and integration of the British minority communities within the wider British society and those who have been honoured by Her Majesty the Queen.
The British Community Honours Awards is an organisation founded by Yasmin Sheikh CBE in 2001 as a means to highlight the success of the British Muslims who had received awards from Her Majesty the Queen. Lord Sheikh himself was a recipient of the award when he was appointed a member of the House of Lords by the Conservative Party.
2010, Yasmin Sheikh renamed the organisation as the British Community Honours Award to reflect the importance of community in the wider British society. The community awards therefore recognise individuals who have worked to improve the welfare and inclusion of all minority groups within British society.
Lord Sheikh congratulated the recipients of the Queen’s Honours and the winners of the British Community Honours Awards for their marvellous undertakings in the community.
Lord Sheikh then spoke of the importance of integration and social cohesion and the need for there to be better understanding between all the communities in the United Kingdom and in fact everywhere in the world. He stressed that there are more similarities than differences between people and the spirit of togetherness must be cherished and protected. Lord Sheikh is a Vice-Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Race and Community and a patron of several charities that promote interfaith dialogue. He spoke of his work in interfaith dialogue and promote peace and harmony amongst various racial and religious groups and that more needs to be done to tackle discrimination and improve dialogue between all communities.
Lord Sheikh hosted the launch of Gatehouse Bank’s Islamic Finance Consumer Report 2019 in the House of Lords’ Archbishop’s Room. The report looks at Muslim awareness, usage and perceptions in Islamic Finance in the UK.
The event was very well attended with a number of All-Party Parliamentary Group members and stakeholders, as well as Islamic finance industry representatives and members of the Muslim community.
On behalf of the Conservative Muslim Forum, Lord Sheikh hosted an event in the House of Lords on the subject of cousin marriages. The various speakers talked about the issues relating to these marriages and it was made clear that it was not the Conservative Muslim Forum’s intention to discourage people entering into these marriages but to educate.
Lord Sheikh hosted a meeting on behalf of the Conservative Foreign and Commonwealth Council to talk on the Pearl of Africa (Uganda).
The meeting was very well attended. Parliamentarians including Pauline Latham MP, Lord Popat and various members of the community attended. His Excellency Mr Julius Peter Moto, High Commissioner of the Republic of Uganda, was Chief Guest at the meeting and spoke at the event.
The meeting sought to talk about and promote the good stories of Uganda.
Lord Sheikh spoke on his own personal relationship with Uganda, the present environment in Uganda, the UK’s historical and current relationship with Uganda as well as trade between the UK and Uganda.
The below pictures show Lord Sheikh presenting His Excellency Mr Julius Peter Moto, High Commissioner of the Republic of Uganda, on behalf of the Council.