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Uma Kumaran of Sri Lankan origin elected to British Parliament in historic milestone

July 06, London, UK (LNW): A historic moment unfolded on Friday (05) as Uma Kumaran, the daughter of Sri Lankan refugees, was elected as the first Tamil woman to the British Parliament, Deccan Herald reported.

Raised in London, Kumaran becomes the inaugural member of parliament for Stratford and Bow.

Her parents, originating from Jaffna in northern Sri Lanka, relocated to London during the 1980s amidst civil unrest.

Their family has long-standing ties to trade unionism.

Representing the Labour Party, Kumaran secured over 19,000 votes, surpassing her closest competitor by a significant margin of 12,000 votes.

Kumaran’s professional journey includes a 14-month tenure with NHS Professionals, alongside her roles as a parliamentary researcher and caseworker for Labour MP Dawn Butler.

She has collaborated with various party lawmakers and, despite an unsuccessful local body election bid in 2010, served as the deputy director of Parliamentary Affairs under Labour leader Keir Starmer for more than 18 months.

In her victory speech, Kumaran expressed gratitude, stating, “It is the honour of my life to be elected as the first ever member of parliament for Stratford and Bow.

Thank you to all who placed your trust in me and in the Labour Party. I will always be your voice and your representative.”

London boasts a substantial Tamil community, many of whom are Sri Lankan Tamils who sought refuge in the UK during the civil war.

In a recent interview, Kumaran highlighted her family’s deep Labour values, sharing anecdotes about her grandfather, a pioneering trade unionist in Jaffna.

Despite familial challenges, her family’s commitment to public service has been a constant.

Tamil Nadu’s Chief Minister, M K Stalin, was among the first to extend congratulations, praising Kumaran’s achievement as a source of immense pride for the Tamil community.

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