Cllr Marikar visited high ranking officers of the Sri Lankan Army during her trip last year and posted photos of her meeting in which she is wearing the mayoral chain.
“She conducted herself in a manner which could reasonably be regarded as bringing the Council and her office as Councillor into disrepute by uploading photographs of herself and a member of the Sri Lankan military onto Facebook causing distress to the local community” the Standards found.
Members of Harrow’s Tamil community got upset by the mayor posting pictures of her meetings with the army officers on social media alongside messages praising the soldiers for their service, given the army officials’ involvement in the Sri Lankan civil war which killed many of their kith and kin in their former home country.
Tamils handed in a petition calling for her to resign and complained to the Harrow Council’s Standards.
In the known history of Harrow mayor’s office, this was the second protest against a serving mayor – previous was in 1989-90 by the Asian Parents Group during the mayor’s controversial visit to a primary school.
Standards recommended and the Monitoring Officer concurred that Cllr Kareema Marikar should be censured and that a notice should be placed on the Council’s website and in a local newspaper. Not sure whether a Harrow Mayor has been formally condemned before.
As an ambassador of the borough, mayor’s position is graceful but for last few years, Harrow mayors seem to be associating more with their background and acting accordingly – this is most unhelpful.