Agamahapandita Most Ven. Galayaye Piyadassi Sangha Nayaka Thero organised a ceremony to felicitate the newly elected The Worshipful Mayor of the London Borough of Harrow, Councillor Kairul Kareema Marikar on Sunday 10 June 2018. A large gathering of devotees and well wishers attended the event to appreciate the Borough’s First Citizen’s immense contribution to the work of the Temple.
Ven. Galaye Piyadassi,MBE, Nayaka Thero welcomed the guests. Ven.Prof. Deegalle Mahinda Thero, Professor of Religious Studies at the Bath Spa University spoke of the dedicated services rendered by the New Mayor to the Sri Saddatissa International Buddhist Centre as well as in Sri Lanka. Mr Chandra Monerawela spoke in detail about the Mayor’s partnership in the activities of the SSIBC and the Sri Lanka Educational, Cultural and Welfare Foundation since she visited the Sangha Nayaka Thero decades ago when she was working for Hon. Gareth Thomas, Member of Parliament for Harrow West.
Since then she has kept regular contact with the Temple and the resident Maha Sangha , inquiring about their welfare and offering assistance in implementing the programme of work. She has been particularly helpful in obtaining the Harrow Council’s co-operation to stage the annual Sinhala and Tamil New Year Celebrations at the Harrow Leisure Centre.
The Worshipful Mayor Kairul Kareema Marikar studied Science at the Girls High School in Kandy, Sri Lanka. At present she is working full time in the Health Sector and despite her career, she has always been available to help when ever the Temple contacts her. She is a fluent, forceful speaker in Sinhala, Tamil and English and its a pleasure to listen to what she says with passion. She always voices her patriotism to the country of her birth and where she was educated. Her uncle was the famous ‘ Sinhala Marikar ” post independence Member of Parliament for Kadugannawa who held the post of Minister for Post, Broadcasting and Communication from 1956 until 1960 in the cabinets of S. W. R. D. Bandaranaike and Wijeyananda Dahanayake.
During last year’s floods in Sri Lanka she initiated a fund raising campaign in conjunction with the SSIBC and also hosted an event in the Council Chamber of Harrow Council to raise funds, with the full support of the Council. She personally went to Sri Lanka to disburse the funds in association with the local councils. Then she invited a delegation from the Local Government Service Commission for a study tour in this country and she personally coordinated their programme. Her tireless work, mostly without publicity, is commendable. The worshipful the Mayor stated that although she was a Muslim ,she was ready to participate in activities of all religions. A special PUJAVA was conducted by Venerable Uduwe Dhammaloka Thero and Blessings were extended for the Worshipful Mayor to achieve greater successes in her political career. A cake specially backed for the occasion by Indika and Rohan Jayasena of Prestige Creations was cut by the Worshipful Mayor to celebrate the visit.
Photographs by Tissa Madawela