Lankan community backs Harrow Mayor following calls for her resignation

19 March 2019 - 229   - 0

Members of the Sri Lankan community in Harrow have backed the borough’s mayor, following calls for her resignation over controversial photos.

According to the Local London website, campaigner April De Alwiss handed in a counter-petition to Harrow Council last week which gave “full support” to Cllr Kareema Marikar.

It comes after Harrow’s Tamil community urged her to step down as mayor after she was pictured alongside Sri Lankan military leaders during a visit to the country.

Before handing over the petition – which was signed by 434 people – Ms De Alwiss argued that the situation had been jumped on for political purposes.

“Cllr Marikar has been moving towards bringing the Sri Lankan community together,” she added.

“We want to support her in her position as Mayor of Harrow until the time she is due to vacate the full term of her role.”

The initial petition, which was handed in on February 21, took issue with the mayor visiting the Commander of the Sri Lankan Army, Mahesh Senanayake, and Brigadier Priyanka Fernando during a trip last year.

She posted pictures of her meetings – in which she is wearing the mayoral chain – on social media alongside messages praising the soldiers for their service.

Cllr Marikar, who is the first Muslim woman to hold the position of Mayor of Harrow, hails from Sri Lanka herself.

She has lived in the borough for 28 years, has served as a councillor since 2010 and is due to hand over her mayoral responsibilities at the end of the council year in May.

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