By Neville de Silva in London
London-born Ranil Jayawardena whose father is of Sri Lankan origin, was re-elected from the Conservative Party to the British parliament from the North East Hampshire constituency with a healthy majority of almost 28,000 votes. Jayawardena who first won this seat at the 2015 general election got 65.6 per cent of the votes cast garnering 37,754 votes, up from the 35,573 votes he received in 2015.
His majority this time was slightly diminished but way ahead of his closest rival. Jayawardena who was previously a local councillor serving as deputy leader of the Borough of Basingstoke and Deane before he took to national politics served on the Commons’ Home Affairs Committee after he entered parliament in 2015.
The Labour Party’s Thangam Debbonaire whose father is a Sri Lankan Tamil retained the Bristol West constituency winning almost 2/3rd of the vote in a constituency that saw a huge turn out of 77 per cent. She gained 47,213 votes over her Conservative Party rival who obtained 9,877 votes.
Rathy Alagaratnam said to have Sri Lankan connections contested as a candidate of the United Kingdom Independence Party (Ukip) but fared badly ( 470 votes only) in a night that proved disastrous for Ukip which did not win a single seat.
Meanwhile Conservative candidate James Berry, chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Tamils lost the Kingston and Surbiton seat to veteran Lib Dem Sir Ed Davy who returned to parliament after having lost the 2015 election to the Conservatives. During his days in the Commons he has been highly critical of the Sri Lanka government and especially its human rights record and treatment of the Tamil population.
Though Theresa May has returned to No 10 as the prime minister of a minority government, her hold on power is extremely tenuous and she may not last one year given the tough Brexit negotiations that lie ahead with the talks due to begin in a few days.
If the highly shaky May government falls long before its five-year period a Jeremy Corbyn-led Labour Government ruling the country seems fairly certain given the present public mood delineation of political power.