By S. Ratnajeevan H. Hoole, Michigan State University
Sumangala Kailasapathy, reports Ann Arbor News, will be one of three new faces soon on the Ann Arbor City Council.
A Certified Public Accountant, Kailasapathy ran for the Democratic Party’s nomination against the Democratic Mayor’s big projects (like a proposed railway station and a countywide expansion of public transit services), in favor of services and citizens’ priorities. She received an astounding 57.7% of the vote.
Ann Arbor is home to University of Michigan, a sound example of how state universities can be as good as the private Ivy League universities. It has a Democratic voter-base and winning the nomination is as good as winning a seat in November. Tuesday night saw all her well-wishers including Sri Lankans at a victory party.
Sumi (as she is known) was a student at University of Jaffna representing the best liberal traditions among Tamils and fled terror to transfer to Wellesley College where she earned a degree in economics & political science and to earn a master’s degree thereafter from The New School for Social Research.
pictures via Sumi for Ann Arbor City Council
Kailasapathy has her roots in Sri Lanka’s academe, as the daughter of the late Prof. K. Kailasapathy (Tamil scholar and first President, University of Jaffna) and Sarvam Kailasapathy (formerly Development and Gender Advisor, Canadian International Development Agency). Sumi is also the daughter-in-law of Prof. T. Jogaratnam (Peradeniya Agriculture) and the wife of Giri Jogaratnam, Professor of Hotel and Restaurant Management at Eastern Michigan University. Sumi’s sister Dr. Pavithra Kailasapathy is Head, Department of Human Resources Management of the University of Colombo.