A Tamil leader close to the family of stabbed schoolboy Nilanthan Murddi has called for calm among the Tamil community.

Patrick Ratnaraja, a systems analyst and former Conservative candidate for Broad Green said: “The Tamil community stands shocked that such deaths are also occurring here with hundreds of young people falling victims to the unfortunate civil war in Sri Lanka.

“Our people have come to the UK in recent years escaping the perpetual carnage in Sri Lanka.

“Yet the violence has unfolded here in a different way. As a community in a host country it is essential that we keep our calm.”

He urged the Tamil community to back the police investigation.

“While my heart goes to Moordi and Kala, I earnestly request everyone in the community to help the police with their inquiries,” Mr Ratnaraja said.

“As far as I am concerned Nilanthan was a non-violent, peaceful young man. I was absolutely shocked to hear that he had been killed and at first I didn't believe it. It just didn't click when I heard about the stabbing.”

Mr Ratnarajah has known the family for more than 20 years: "I have been in contact with the London mayor’s office and Richard Barnes, statutory deputy mayor for communities and cohesion, has asked me to pass on his condolences to the family.

“I am deeply grieved and terribly shocked at the wanton killing of a young man of great potential whom I have known from his childhood.”

Mr Ratnaraja has been a close friend of the family for more than 20 years and was shocked to hear of the stabbing.

As a respected member of the Tamil community he has seen the violence unfolding in Sri Lanka.

He added: “It is even more tragic that the Tamil community escaped violence in their native country and settled in what one would have thought a safe sanctuary where Nilanthan lost his precious life in such a stabbing incident.”