The Sunday Leader

Protest Against Oxford Union Cancellation

By Dinouk Colombage – Photo by Thusitha Kumara

The Oxford Union’s cancellation of President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s address  resulted in protests from members of the Sri Lankan Government and public alike. On Friday, Housing, Construction and Engineering Services Minister, Wimal Weerawansa organised a protest rally outside the British High Commission in Colombo.
Outside the British High Commission a notice had been put up stating that the ‘Consular Section of the British High Commission will be closed to the public on Friday. When The Sunday Leader contacted the British High Commission for further comment, Dominic Williams, spokesperson for the High Commission, explained that ‘the British High Commission was not closed’. He however added that ‘all non-essential staff had been advised to stay home’ and this was due to any traffic congestion or road closure as a result of the protest.
The protest caused the closure of Baudhaloka Mawatha from Wijerama Junction to the Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation Junction.

47 Comments for “Protest Against Oxford Union Cancellation”

  1. Neon

    what goes around comes around. Rajapaksa cann’t safely go around in London. Only 8 Sinhala Students’ pocket Oxford Union have to cancel his speech because small Oxfordshire police can’t afford to withstand 50K Tamil protest. It was not the real white students Oxford Union invited MR. It was toal waste of SriLankan tax payers money.

    • Sanjay (oz)

      I’ll bet UNP’ers like you would have preferred to have Prabakaran as your President than Mahinda.. Shame on you UNP.

  2. NeutralTamil

    wat has british government to do with oxford union cancel the president speech?
    our politicians r so foolish

  3. raj

    british never approves killing journalists or violating human rights or committing war crimes

    • UKH

      Do they? then they must be thinking that people living in Afganizthan and Iraq are not humans. Any way do they approve LTTE supporters in Britain? Please explain.

    • san

      Raj,

      What about the british involvement and killing of many weman and children before, during and after WW2 in countries like india and Sri Lanka. What about the british killing of innocent weman and children in Iraq and Afganistan. What about the USA killing of Journalist in Iraq, do UK oppose USA on this matter?

  4. raj

    you do protest, but it is done deal. why do you get so upset about cancellation? Addressing to Oxford is it a big deal:?

  5. P.L.J.B.Palipana

    Who cares this Wimal Wihiluwanse( a joker). This kind of demonstrations only destroy the public properties of the people ( the man hours ete). This man is making a very bad reputation and image all over the world.

    • muzammil

      Do you know about this story of sleeping with dogs and waking up with fleas
      all over you? Sadly MR happily chose to sleep with creatures, knowing very well that he will have to wake up with fleas.Shall we call it ” patriotic ” ?

  6. Boru Booruwansa

    What is there to protest.
    The fact is MR should not and did not have to even try tp address the Oxford union..For what?? to paint the wrong picture, talk matters and promises with no substance and travelled at our expense..What a joke and embarassment this has caused, when we would like to think that the president has some self esteem and standing in interantional circles..He has left himself down once again and more so the country and the people of Sri Lanka..

  7. kumar

    The best way to lodge a protest is to stop sending our students to these countries that make themselves rich from the fees that we pay. Also, avoid visits to the UK, purchase less UK goods. It can be done. Between 1986 and 2008 it was said that the LTTE can never be defeated. But they were. Likewise, we can stand on our own two feet, if we have to.

    • ron

      hey brother most of the ministers chlderns study in uk include nimal

    • NeutralTamil

      kumar, u have lost the plot, wat people r trying to tell u is, the government of UK has nothing to do with oxford union speech. oxford university is not like the colombo university where JVP political thugs rule the university. Oxford university has a brain on its own n doesnt bother about politicians wishes. they canceled the speech coz they didnt want any unfortunate event happen coz of MR’s speech. its their wish. all we asking is, wats the point in protecting against british embassy?

      and if u dont send ur kids to UK universities, fine, dont send. but the fact is, no one gonna stop sending their kids to world class uni’s in UK coz this uneducated wimal werawansa protest coz infact wimal werewansa’s kids must be studying in the UK,US,or AUS.

    • Kalag

      And ban the use of English language in Sri Lanka. That will hurt the British more (?!) They will come down on these knees to all Sri Lankan politicians.
      Ban the use of Tamil will also help.

      • NeutralTamil

        dude, u think the british will bring them to knees? u nuts u racist?
        english in an international language. if u dont study english, u cant step out of ur sinhala country. UK dont bother whether u speak english or not?
        u think their GDP gonna reduce if some extremist sinhala guys dont speak english?lol
        i think u just listen to mervin n werewansa speeches n believe its all true..lol
        typical gama Sinhalese..with no basic knowledge of wats going in the country.

        ya, try banning tamil n u’d see eelam war no 2.
        racist junks like u r responsible for the war in lanka

  8. raymond

    These fools do not know how to spell. What exactly is the meaning of “condem”. Is this an advertisement to stop using condoms??????

  9. Saradiel

    Weerawansa does not know even the spelling of “condemn”. He is only trying to hoodwink the “Sinhala speaking only” people of this country by this action while uplifting his profile as a patriot of the nation. The bluff and blunder which took place with MR’s visit to the UK will remain forever unknown to the public with an opposition tearing apart on a power struggle, lead by another megalomaniac in the making. Budunge Saranai, God/s Bless Sri Lanka, May Allah protect the poor peoples of the land.

  10. asoka Senanayake

    Where is lemon puff weerawansa’s kids studying ? England or USA?
    And more importantly where does he get money to fund their education.

    By sucking up to MR like this?

  11. Peter

    We should condemn the poor treatment given to Sri Lankan head of state in London. Having said that, not many people are happy how his government treats anybody question or criticize all their undemocratic way of governance by the family, corruptions, thuggery, immorality, intimidations and unresolved killings of their opponents. It’s their idiocy to try to portray there is nothing wrong with the government and politicos and everything is wrong with the western governments, opposition and media that wants to tell the truth to the people. People are obviously unhappy the way they polarize rural folks against the west to get votes while these government goons are sending their kids to go study and live in the west. West is where most of our exports are sent and anybody prefer to go for postgraduate studies or find jobs. Our neighbors like India and China simply selling their stuff on loans to us and do not buy much to balance the trade deficit with them. Educated people of the country who want a better future for all Sri Lankans will not accept the way this governments tactics and hypocrisy.

  12. vintage voter

    IT IS THE PREROGATIVE OF ANY UNION TO INVITE SOMEONE AND LATER CANCEL. WHY MAKE A BIG ISSUE ABOUT IT. PERHAPS IT WAS IN THE
    INTERESTS OF SECURITY.
    FOR A CHANGE WHY DOES NOT MAHINDA ADDRESS OUR LOCAL
    UNIVERSITY UNIONS ?
    IN ANY CASE THE PRESIDENT’S VISIT WAS ILL TIMED SINCE THERE WERE STUDENT PROTESTS FOR SOME TIME ABOUT INCREASE OF TUITION FEES.IN THE HEART OF LONDON;SOME TURNED VIOLENT.
    AGAIN A BLUNDER BY OUR OWN “G.L.P. +++

  13. KABAB

    WW should have commenced a Fast unto death like he did in front of UN Colombo office. Foolish

    • Nikang Pakse

      Yes..and this time we sincerely hope that Wimal Weerawansa will be successful in his fast unto death and nothing/ no one should stop.
      We all support Wimal in this case and encourage him to be patriotic and loyal and ask that he commences hois fast immediately fopr a ‘worthy’cause..Good riddance/

  14. This oxford incident created lot of discrimination to country at end. President should act as a leader of country. Its shows there are lot of Mervin in & around the president. Sri lanka ambassador Mr. Jayasighe very professional man & long experience in legal sector. Without his knowledge the tour is organized. Felicitating in the Oxford union is very proud to nation, but it must done tactfully & professionally. Now damage is occur. Another Harved graduate acted very shamefully in parliament & passes the ball to opposition. If Mr. Jayalath organized the campaign, then he should be lead the opposition. He is the good organizer & this is need to present UNP. Presently unsavoury soup of cabinet in Srilanka. But people must understand Late Mr. SWRD Mr. Kadirgarmer & Mr. Lalith represented to the Oxford student union not like Srilanka sangam.

  15. dickhead

    Having read the grammatical error in the slogan displayed, nothing surprising though, as we all know the levels of education within our parlimentarian system. A kindergaten kid can spell better than Most of them including the President and …his sons.(who fixed their exam paper’s). When these uneducated morons display their arrogrance and ignorance in public it only leads to more conflicts within the European communities, No wonder Britian takes a negative stance and is not very welcoming to any of the Presidents visitations into England. These people are so “Anti British, Anti American, Anti Everything, they are even Anti themselves” too, But is also very surprising to see that these very people & ther families are the ones that frequently fly into England and America on holiday’s, and most of them have their children studying in the very same countries they protest against. So why this Hypocrisy?

    They should really be a tad more careful one would nevery know what the outcome would be As “every action has re-action”

    Assume our people like being the “laughing stock” of the
    world!. (those very ones that condemn the Europeans, are the very people given an opportunity to go live in Europe will fall on their bended knees in front of the so called “Suddha” and so to speak currently we have many that already live in the suddha’s backyards). So why the Hypocrissy?.

    It is time these uneducated people at least try to get some advice from those that are. At least such campaigns although a shame could be handled professionally. The Britons and all other Europeans who see this must be laughing at this joker.

  16. I Hussein

    This ‘Andhare’ Boruwanse is making SL a laughing stock.
    I have no idea how MR tolarates these type of jokers around him. If MR continue to entertain them, for sure they will bring his down fall in no time. Even Dilan Dallas Dinesh have become foolish.

  17. punchinilame

    The master of deception could still do his act – publish what he wanted to say
    in that cancelled “debate” or else was this a “stunt” for local consumption – to
    outdo the Budget let-down?

    The right to free speech is the same as the right to protest – in UK at least. So
    why make a fuss – In Sri Lanka only Weerawansa has Licence to Protest.

    Had the master of deception at least made one good move towards the ethnic
    problem, in the 18 months, he would have been anxiously listened to by the Tamil World, through the activities of 8 sinhala students?

    • muzammil

      Tamil issue is a very delicate issue.It should be handled in a very delicate
      manner.It took the form of violence by both sides because of matching
      characters met at moratuwa.A govt is a responsible macinery while an armed group is not bound by the same values.At the moment state machinery is playing to the rural folks.Nothing lasts for long.

  18. Britain is a democratic country. Wimal Weerawansa thinks Britain is like Sri L anka. In Britain, government will not authoriseto kill journalists or beat journalists in the event they write against the government. Srilanka is not anywhere near to Britain when you talk about democracy. Our President may be a hero in Srilanka, but he will be treated as a ordinary person in West. If our President respect law and order, respect human rights then he will be treated well. One think I don’t understand why in earth he took 40 of his men to London for a private visit and who pay for those. Our citizens are mad. Nobody can raise question about our president expenses. What a country………

  19. Patric

    afetr all ut was NOT the Main Oxford Union but a Sangamaya consisting of 16 persons and of that 16 8 were Sinhala and the rest Tamil. Why in the first place did MR go despite our High Commission informing not to come – to show bravery , my foot !!!

  20. Shiva

    Shame on mahinda Rajapakse in the UK.

    How can an alleged war criminal be allowed to speak at the Oxford union?

  21. Lankanlion

    Oxford owes an apology to the civilised world for inviting an alleged war criminal to deliver speach. Once Oxford realised their fault they took a coorective move by depriving such alleged criminal from using their podium. In fact every civilised human should express their dissatisfaction for England to allow war criminals to touch their soil and leave without any legal consequences. It is very unfortunate that most of the Sri Lankans are short sighted and failed understand the mean “humanity and civilisation”. So jokers and criminals are thriving in this soil including R family WW

  22. srimal

    You are right.One day the killers who are in the war crime list would be punished by god. There are only small number of Sri lankans are true Buddiist.
    Facts and History is parmount.Lord Buddha is a hindu…He would not have approved all these crimes.

  23. ranjan

    Once again UK showed the double standard over terrorists.Mahintha rajapaksha did not listen to uk order to stop the assault on LTTE.
    Briton main export is arms,militory weopons.Any fool will know who supports terrorists all over the world as long as it suits them.
    MY MAIN POINT IS HEATHROW AIR PORT IS A HIGH SECURITY ZONE. NORMALY ORDINARY PEOPLE NOT ALLOWED TO STAND IN GROUPS.
    Due to terror threat even mothers cant take liquid milk with them in to heathrow air port .How come they allowed nearly500 members to pack the airport.IF IT IS A AMERICAN PRESIDENT OBAMA VISITS BRITON WILL THERE ANY ORDINARY ASIAN LOOKING PEOPLE ALLOW NEAR AIR PORT?
    BRITON WANTS TO DISRESPECT SRILANKAN PRESIDENT for eliminating terrorisam from srilanka.briton did that by our so called own traitor srilankans.Still in srilankan blood if a white person say some thing we will bend our knees and say YES SIR,NO SIR,TREE BAGS FULL SIR but our president did not listen to these selfish rich countries.

    But my point is mahintha is apower full man in srilanka ,all former LTTE supporters and advisers are sorrounded MAHINTHA.they are feeding him with wrong information about world politics like they did to piraba.there with him for a quick buck.LIke SRI RANGA who did accompany MAHINTHA in this uk visit.allthese people were once LTTE supporters now sorrounded MAHINTHA.

  24. Sembakuttiarachchi

    OMG I am so amused at the English spelling and grammar on this page. Please folks if you do not like the British why are you using their language and dressing like them. Please get back to wearing the umudai and reading the Sinhala newspaper. Stop scheming to get a visa to go to the United Kingdom, stay put in your village and ask Mahinda to help you. Mr Rajapaksa you are not wanted there stop spending money that you do not have. If you were a brave, honorable man you would not be torturing and locking up innocent people only cowards do such things. He is a bitter sicko who needs help or is he beyond help?

    • Banuka

      semba,
      wearing amude or typing in english is not the fact,ealier brits steal our natural resources and wealth. now talk about war crimes..why don’t they talk about their own crimes in first place. then crimes in iraq and afganstan.

    • jeen

      if we do not learn english does ur grand paa come and teach us what these white rascals do? at least we know little english to understand what they say and do. language is not the problem.

    • I Hussein

      Bravo – Mrs Sembakuttiarachchi. Well said!

  25. sunila

    . If Mr uses anti West stance he should not have sent his sons to British Universities. He grabbed a slot given to the Navy by the world famous Dartmouth Naval Academy in England to send his son just three months in the Navy All these psuedo patriots send their children to the Western Universities. Please make the Sinhala speaking people aware of these.

  26. Sangeev

    what is the big deal?
    Did we not stop louis Arbour & Bob Rae at the airport itself very recently and kick them out.

    M R will have many more chances to play tit for tat.

    Sri Lanka will grow when all our politicians grow up.

  27. jeen

    all unp guys r jealous with wimal as he always slap on unp’s face. hahahahah. unp only has that mega star Dayasiri to answer behaif them. dont be jealous guys wimal is protesting may b for his own gains but it exhibit that srilankans r not sleeping while white rats dancing.

  28. EMMANUEL PHILIP

    We spend way too much time studying and commemorating the deeds of politicians and other parasites, and far too little remembering the real benefactors of mankind.

    Give thanks for all God’s blessings.

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