Visit of President Rajapaksa makes relationship between Sri Lanka and Britain warmer and warmer and closer and closer - Nirj Deva, Deputy Lord Lieutenant
President Mahinda Rajapakse was received warmly by the British establishment. He was treated as the head of a sovereign state of Sri Lanka, one of the important member state of the Commonwealth Union. Also the relationship between Sri Lanka and Britain is getting warmer and warmer and closer and closer.
Nirj Deva, Deputy Lord Lieutenant and also the Member of the European Parliament said that he met President Mahinda Rajapaksa on the 5th June and saw him very happy and in a good mood.
He said that the Sri Lankan President enjoyed himself. He was received warmly by the establishment. He was in the box seat and watched the concert. He had lunch with the Queen yesterday. He was also there at the church service at St. Pauls. He was treated warmly as a head of a sovereign state.
Nirj Deva of Sri Lankan origin, was first elected to the European Parliament in 1999 and was re-elected in 2004 and 2009. Prior to this, he was as a Member of the British Parliament and served as Parliamentary Private Secretary in the Scottish Office, as a member of the Select Committees on the Parliamentary Ombudsman (1993-1997) and Education (1994-1996).
“It was a happiest visit of Sri Lanka President on the occasion of Queens Diamond Jubilee celebrations. I say this in my capacity as the Deputy Lord Lieutenant.”
Also the relationship between Sri Lanka and Britain is getting warmer and warmer and closer and closer, said Nirj Deva.
In the meantime, President Mahinda Rajapaksa when he met a large gathering of Sri Lankans who staged a peaceful demonstration in support of the President in front of Hotel Hilton in Park Lane, London said “We will not allow any force to snatch away the hard won peace and freedom.”
President Rajapaksa went up to the pro-Sri Lankan protestors ignoring the large number of shouting pro-LTTE demonstrators, also near the hotel.
Despite cautioning by the UK’s Scotland Yard of the very violent nature of the pro-LTTE protest, President Rajapaksa met Sri Lankan expatriates and assured that he is ready to do anything to safeguard sovereignty of Motherland.
President Rajapaksa is currently in London to attend the Diamond Jubilee Celebrations of Queen Elizabeth II.
Pro-LTTE supporters carrying flags with the emblem of LTTE gathered in the vicinity of the Hilton Hotel where President Rajapaksa is staying and demonstrated against him shouting slogans.
Sri Lankans living in London also mounted a counter demonstration in support of President Rajapaksa near the Hilton Hotel opposite the Tamil demonstration.
This morning session of the Commonwealth Economic Forum the event in which President Mahinda Rajapaksa was scheduled to deliver the keynote address was called off by the organizers due to pressure of pro-LTTE elements in London.
In December 2010, Oxford Union cancelled an address by President Mahinda Rajapaksa reportedly as a result of pressure applied by pro-LTTE activists.
Meanwhile, the Commonwealth Secretary-General, Kamalesh Sharma called on President Mahinda Rajapaksa, in London yesterday (5).
During the meeting President Rajapaksa apprised the Commonwealth Secretary-General of the current situation in Sri Lanka and the progress made in the development of the country.
The Commonwealth Secretary-General assured his fullest support on behalf of the all Commonwealth nations for the President’s endeavor to rebuild the country.
- Asian Tribune –