By Faraz Shauketaly
President Mahinda Rajapaksa issued a statement responding to the news that the Oxford Union Society had cancelled his speech for Thursday 2nd December.
The President called the Oxford Union the home of Free Speech and said:
“for security reasons the speech by His Excellency President Rajapaksa of Sri Lanka at the Oxford Union, the home of free speech, has been cancelled. This is a decision that has been made unilaterally by the Oxford Union, reportedly as a result of pressure applied by pro-LTTE activists.
His Excellency said:
“I am very sorry this has had to be cancelled but I will continue to seek venues in the UK and elsewhere where I can talk about my future vision for Sri Lanka.
I will also continue in my efforts to unite all the people of our country whether they live in Sri Lanka or overseas.
As a united country we have a great future.
If we allow divisions to dominate we will not realise our true potential.
We have had thirty years of division and conflict. We must now secure peace and harmony for all Sri Lankans.”
The Oxford Union Society has cancelled the addresss that President Mahinda Rajapaksa of Sri Lanka was due to make on the 2nd of December. The Union has cited security concerns from the expected large protests being made by the LTTE-leaning Diaspora in the UK. A spokesman for British Tamil Forum said that they were expecting a mammoth show of hands to protest against President Rajapaksa.