2018 Jul 11
In another great leap for Sri Lankan women around the world, England’s first female Muslim mayor, Kareema Marikar boasts proud Kandyan roots and took her oaths on her first day at the Harrow council chamber with true Lankan flair, accompanied by traditional Sri Lankan dancers, conch shell blowers, and drummers.
Marikar was elected on the Labour Party ticket in north London’s Harrow city in the month of May and is closely related to C.A.S. Marikar who served in the government during Sirimavo Bandaranaike’s rule, the first woman prime minister in the world. Receiving her education at Girl’s High School in Kandy, a culturally diverse city, Mayor Marikar is a huge advocate of ethnic harmony and bringing people from different races closer together. In a town such as Harrow that boasts 20,000 Gujaratis, 8,000 Tamils, a large number of Sinhalese and many other nationalities, Marikar is definitely playing to her strengths in her newly appointed position.
A former hockey player for Girls High School Kandy and the Sri Lankan national team, a student of Hotel Management, and a trained mental health nurse in Oxfordshire Alsbury, Marikar is often described by her colleagues as “a ray of sunshine through the dark nights”, “the beauty of West Harrow” and “the star of Sri Lanka”.
Marikar who has been a resident in the town of Harrow for 28 years now sees the election as a great opportunity, stating “I take my new role with pride and pledge to serve the community to the best of my ability. Harrow is a great place to live, with a strong history. It is also the most diverse borough in the country.”
Here’s wishing Mayor Marikar a fruitful term in office and looking forward to the days where more and more Sri Lankans make our mark on the world.