ஒக்ஸ்போர்ட் மாணவர் ஒன்றியத்தில் ஜனாதிபதி மகிந்த ராஜபக்ச கலந்துகொண்டு உரையாற்ற இருந்த நிகழ்வு பாதுகாப்பு காரணங்களுக்காக இடைநிறுத்தப்பட்டதாக ஒக்ஸ்போர்ட் யூனியன் சொசைட்டி வெளியிட்டுள்ள செய்திக் குறிப்பில் தெரிவிக்கப்பட்டு உள்ளது. தமிழீழ விடுதலைப் புலிகளின் ஆதரவு அமைப்புகளால் ஏற்பாடு செய்யப்பட்டு ஆர்ப்பாட்டங்கள் ஜனாதிபதி மகிந்த ராஜபக்சவின் பாதுகாப்பை பாதித்துள்ள காரணத்தினால் இந்த நிகழ்வு இடைநிறுத்தப்பட்டு உள்ளதாக அறிவிக்கப்பட்டு உள்ளது.
முழுமையான அறிக்கையும் ஜனாதிபதியின் செயலாளரின் அறிக்கையும் கீழே:
Statement from The Oxford Union on the visit of President Rajapaksa:
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
Statement issued by Mr Lalith Weeratunga, Secretary to the President of Sri Lanka:
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.”
His Excellency went on to say:
“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.”