Oxford Union cancels President Rajapaksa’s address due to security reasons
Due to security concerns surrounding President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s visit which have recently been brought to our attention by the police, the Union has regretfully found that the talk is no longer practicable and has had to cancel his address, states a media release from the Oxford Union.
The statement in full:
Statement from The Oxford Union on the visit of President Rajapaksa, December 2nd 2010
Earlier this year, The Oxford Union invited the current President of Sri Lanka, Mahinda Rajapaksa, to address our members at a date convenient to him. The Union has a policy of inviting a broad range of prominent politicians and heads of state from around the world and the invitation to Mr. Rajapaksa was made within the context of this policy.
Since the invitation was first accepted by Mr. Rajapaksa, the Union has consulted extensively with Thames Valley Police as well as the Sri Lankan High Commission in London on security arrangements for the President’s visit. Due to security concerns surrounding Mr. Rajapaksa’s visit which have recently been brought to our attention by the police, the Union has regretfully found that the talk is no longer practicable and has had to cancel his address.
This decision was not taken lightly and the Union deeply regrets the cancellation. The Union has a long tradition of hosting prominent speakers and upholding the principles of free speech. However, due to the sheer scale of the expected protests, we do not feel that the talk can reasonably and safely go ahead as planned.
The Union holds a politically neutral stance with regards to speakers and the decision was not made in relation to any aspect of Mr. Rajapaksa’s political position, the policies of his administration or any allegations against his government. As the President of Sri Lanka for the last five years, the Union felt that Mr. Rajapaksa would provide a unique insight into the political climate of the region in his speech. The Union wishes to apologise to our members for this unfortunate cancellation.
Oxford Union Society
Alistair Walker, Press Officer
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This is a typical imperialist reaction to a nation that is rising from the clutches of terrorism.
The British have never realised that the sun set on the British Empire many decades ago.
However, we a rising nation, should not ignore them and set them aside; we should strive to incorporate the British into the new social and economic world order where there are no minorities and “majorities”; a new order where there are no divisions in society; where there is one large unified and unitary community of persons. All these concepts are based on Lord Buddha’s teachings and are included in Mahinda Chinthanaya; as the new Mihindu Era begins in our land, we seek purity.
The Tamil Tigers are of course, an exception to this new world order that we strive for; they do not belong to us and if by preference, they are left behind, we will march ahead sans their company.
The s*** has hit the fan.
I am intrigued by the silenec of Sri Lanka’s Master of International Affairs, Mr Wickremasighe on this development?
Is he busy with kavun and kiribath at the Grama Charika wooing the common sinhala masses who have disowned him many many years ago?
Ranjan, Mr. Wicramasinghe is a master of International Slavery to the west, not a master of internattional affairs.
I was expecting this statement from the Oxford Union. They got him down and embarrassed him by cancelling the trip. It was pre-planned action of Oxford Union, with British government and LTTE diaspora conspiracy.
MR should never have made this trip. What a huge cost to the nation financially for MR and his ontourage to make this trip! MR and his advisers made a huge mistake in this matter. They should have rejected the invitation right from the beginning due to security reasons. Britain is not our friend. They will not provide the security. Who will therefore fund the security? If MR was invited as an honourable guest of Britain on a state visit the security would have been provided by Britain at huge costs, as in the case of other leaders on state visits, including the Pope recently. I had my serious misgivings about MR accepting this trip to address Oxford Union. It is step-down for him, below his status. He slould not have accepted the invitation. Would the Chinese or Russian leader have accepted an invitation by the Oxford Union? This Union is nothing. Our heroic leader should have declined the invitation. It is below his status to accept the invitation. The LTTE diaspora is working at fever-pitch to get MR arrested and charged with war crimes at the Hague. I wonder what underhand exchanges of messages had taken place by British, US and Norwegian governments. Wikkileaks may not be able to provide this info now as the loop-hole has been covered. I fear for the safety of our heroic leader. I deplore the stupidity of this trip at huge costs to the taxpayer, with no political and economic advantage except to satisfy his ego. I blame the President’s advisers for organising the trip. What an embarrassment!
Can someone responsible from the so-called Oxford Union explain their “politically neutral stance” to the rest of the world????
Does surrendering to British-nurtured terrorists, and turning down a noble gesture of a statesman who had courage and will, and kept to his word, mean political neutralism?
We, Sri Lankans are indeed very proud of our President, as this act clearly reveals and proves how the underlying movements including so-called academic unions would have nurtured the terrorists to continue the war in our land.
In this context, we should be really proud of our leaders leaving our political differences aside; as we are the only country that defeated terrorism, despite all these dirty games at the background.
This issue did let politically disinterested people like me realize that,we should not look at petty issues and criticize our leaders, but think as one nation who should stand strong and be vigilant of these biases and act to shed those even in our own small way.
The act of Oxford Union is of course no surprise to many of us, as British have always been the slimy, back-boneless sneakers and we learn it from the history of British regime in Sri Lanka.
The sensible, impartial Tamils would agree with me to say that day-by-day they experience less security issues and move about freely than before. The opportunistic, headless terrorists who lived out of war and had materially cushy lives in that part of the world, would fabricate pathetic pictures to the Western World in fear of having got to return as the country becomes normal!
So, the so-called renowned unions can continue to take the stand they like and identify themselves either as stupids or slimy sneakers who make their living by creating issues to others!