By S. L. Gunasekara
The Head of State of Sri Lanka, Mahinda Rajapaksa, went to London to address the Oxford Union upon their invitation. While the address was scheduled for December 2, 2010 the President was informed the previous day by the Oxford Union that the address had to be called off because of alleged ‘security concerns’ of which they had just come to know.
If the excuse given by the Oxford Union for canceling the scheduled address is true (it has not been contradicted by the Oxford Union or the British Government to date), it must follow that this episode proves beyond doubt, firstly, that the law enforcement authorities of the allegedly ‘Great’ Britain were intimidated by and/or confessed to being unable to control a gang of Tamil hooligans/rowdies/rabble and their backers if they chose to misbehave on the streets of Oxford and inconvenience bona fide travelers thereon; and secondly, that the law enforcement authorities of the allegedly ‘Great’ Britain and the members of the Oxford Union are a bunch of imbeciles.
The Tamil hooligans/rowdies/rabble who, by their threats of misconduct on the streets of Oxford are alleged to have so over-awed the law enforcement authorities of the allegedly `Great’ Britain and the Oxford Union into canceling at the 11th hour, an address by the Head of State of Sri Lanka who came to London specifically for the purpose of delivering that address on the invitation of the Oxford Union caused indescribable jubilation among those hooligans/rowdies/rabble and their supporters. That episode of British imbecility and cowardice was trumpeted unceasingly in various newspapers and websites as being a tremendous humiliation for our Head of State and a victory for those hooligans/rowdies/rabble among the Tamil expatriates and their backers.
Was this claim really tenable?
While many, like some of our ‘old colonials’ labour under an incurable inferiority complex vis-à-vis our former ‘colonial masters’ and regard the University at Oxford and anything that is British to be the best, and an invitation by a students’ association of that University to our Head of State as being an honour bestowed upon our Head of State, the facts are manifestly otherwise. Mahinda Rajapaksa, our Head of State though possessed of faults and weaknesses which are legion, is no ordinary Head of State/Government such as those colossal failures like George W Bush, Barak Obama, Tony Blair and Gordon Brown.
He is the only contemporary Head of State/Government who was able to give leadership to his country to defeat a gang of implacable terrorists, namely, the LTTE. He, therefore, was not one who could have been ‘honoured’ by an invitation to address a mere association of students at a British University- be it Oxford, Cambridge or any other. It was rather he who bestowed an honour on the University of Oxford by deigning to waste his precious time by addressing them. Thus, the Tamil hooligans/rowdies/rabble and their supporters who overawed the British law enforcement authorities and the Oxford Union into canceling that address only caused a loss to the Oxford University but not to our Head of State. Let us always keep that in mind.
The next question is: What are the inferences that arise from the alleged reasons given by British sources including the Oxford Union for canceling the scheduled address assuming they are true (that being a big assumption)?
It is undeniable that LTTE, apart from being mass murderers etc, were in the habit of kidnapping little Tamil children in the Northern and Eastern Provinces. extorting money from the Tamil civilians both indigent and well-to-do, living in those areas, and otherwise harassing and repressing them as no one has harassed or repressed anybody in Sri Lanka before.
Can we ever forget that when that gang of degenerates were on the verge of being conclusively defeated by our armed forces, these selfsame loathsome hooligans/rowdies/rabble and their backers misbehaved on the streets of London, and other foreign capitals, beheaded a statue of Jawaharlal Nehru, and caused indescribable inconvenience and colossal expenditure to the citizens and other residents of those capitals in order to prevent those unrepentant criminals from being defeated; and to give them a new lease of life so that they may be able to continue with their mass murders, to continue kidnapping Tamil children, to continue extorting money from Tamil civilians and to continue otherwise oppressing them as no one had oppressed anybody before. What, one wonders do these Tamil hooligans/rowdies/rabble who call themselves the ‘Tamil Diaspora’ and actually want to be taken seriously, have against the Tamil People of Sri Lanka?
Of course, those hooligans/rowdies/rabble and their backers who, I believe, include the likes of David Milliband, Hillary Clinton, Ban Ki Moon and Bernard Kouchner failed miserably in their endeavours due to the undoubted courage and fortitude of our Head of State. That these hooligans were, thereafter, nursing a self inflicted grievance and waiting for a day when they could get what in their perception was ‘revenge’ is something that even the biggest of morons could not have failed to realize.
Thus, unless the government of the allegedly ‘Great’ Britain, its law enforcement officers and the members of the Oxford Union were entirely without any kind of intelligence, they could not have failed to anticipate the type of rowdyism that was threatened by these unspeakable vagabonds and their backers. If the British law enforcement authorities were such arrant cowards and incompetents as to be unable to control even a mob of such hooligans etc. how did the Oxford Union come to invite our Head of State to waste his precious time so as to honour that Union by deigning to address it? Would that Union have done so if it possessed a fraction of a morsel of decency? They could not have become aware of the existence of a so-called ‘security threat’ from these hooligans etc. which infused mortal fear into the hearts of the British law enforcement authorities [which they cited to cancel the address] only on or about the 1st December. If what they say is true it is surely a confession of ‘national imbecility’.
In any event, by giving in to those hooligans/rowdies/rabble, the government of the allegedly ‘Great’ Britain, its law enforcement officers and the Oxford Union were necessarily confessing that they were so overawed and/or frightened out of their wits by those hooligans/rowdies/rabble and what they might do that they deprived themselves of the great privilege of being addressed by our Head of State who refused to be overawed not by a mere gang of uncivilized hooligans/rowdies/rabble, but even by allegedly ‘powerful’ political functionaries such as Milliband, Clinton, Kouchner and Ban Ki Moon and was ready, willing and able to face and destroy once and for all the most virulent gang of terrorist that ever polluted this earth despite the stringent opposition of those hooligans etc and those wholly hypocritical political functionaries.
The matter does not end there. There are lessons in this episode for Mahinda Rajapaksa too. Mahinda Rajapaksa should realize his worth and his standing among the leaders and purported leaders of the Comity of Nations. He should not degrade himself by accepting invitations to travel thousands of miles to address mere associations of students such as those of Oxford University. In short, he should not demean himself by going ‘slumming’. Secondly, Mahinda Rajapaksa should realize that by accepting that invitation and going to London with a vast entourage, he was committing an unforgivable waste of the scarce resources of this country while the people were suffering.
He should realize that our country would gain nothing from his addressing the Oxford Union, though the Oxford Union would have gained much had the British not permitted rowdyism to prevail over decency, and that there would be no return whatever for this country or its people from the expenditure of public funds incumbent upon his traveling thousands of miles to make such an address together with a vast entourage of sycophants who were incapable of making any contribution whatsoever for this country by going on such trip at State expense.
If Mahinda Rajapaksa learns even these lessons, the London Fiasco would have been of some benefit to our country.