Thousands of British Tamils carrying red roses, gloriosa lilies (Karthikaipoo: Tamil Eelam national flower) and lamps, are filing into the main venue, at the Excel Centre in East London, where large cut-outs of Tamil Eelam were displayed on either side of the stage.
The annual commemoration began with a moment of silence in memory of those who gave their lives in the Tamil national struggle.
The lamp was then lit by Mr K Varnakulasingham, the father of Murugadas, who self-immolated in front of the United Nations in Geneva earlier this year to draw attention to the slaughter of Tamil civilians in the Vanni.
A pre-recorded speech by renowned poet Kasianandhan was broadcast.
Kasianandhan spoke of the losses of the past year, but stressed that this should not be understood just as a year of loss, but also as a year of opportunity.
The flame of sacrifice was being lit by Mrs R Sathananthan, the mother of a fighter who died in the Tamil national struggle.