Kingston Tamil School cancelled its 23rd anniversary cultural event planned for Saturday, in support of family members caught up in conflict-stricken Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka’s government is fighting a civil war against Tamil Tiger rebels and as many as 3,000 civilians have been killed and 7,000 more injured in the past two months, according to the UN.

Committee member K Ilankovan said: “We didn’t think it was appropriate in the current climate. We contacted the parents and they all agreed.”

The anniversary programme is usually a colourful annual showcase with music, dance and drama performed by the children of the school.

It coincides with the Tamil New Year celebration and is normally attended by about 300 people.

It is regularly attended by the mayor of Kingston, councillors, officers of Kingston Council, MPs, MEPs, the director of Kingston Racial Equality Council John Azah and other dignitaries from Kingston’s voluntary sector.

Kingston Tamil School was formed in 1986 to teach Tamil language and culture. It runs classes in Tamil language, music and dance on Saturdays from 8.45am to 1.45pm at Tolworth Girls’ School, Fullers Way North, where the school is based.

The cancellation is a second setback for the Tamil School.

It is currently facing an independent investigation into its finances by auditors, after claims it misled Kingston Council when making a grant application.

The school said it had done nothing wrong and is co-operating, but the council is withholding a £12,989 grant while it investigates.