I reported widely about the Oxford address the President should never have agreed to give before it was so unceremoniously cancelled with a bunch of nebulous reasons. As if that lesson was not enough the President’s advisers did it again conning him into agreeing to give a keynote address at the Commonwealth Business Council at the Diamond Jubilee Commonwealth Economic Forum at the opening sessions today, 6th June 2012.
After an emergency meeting of the Organizing Committee, in order not to embarrass Mahinda Rajapkse, the whole of the morning session of the first day of the two day conference was cancelled, for which the participation fee was 1000 pounds (inclusive of VAT) per head.
I do not know the exact reasons, but it was to be held at Mansion House close to where I worked for 11 years in the City of London. I can only guess at the reasons and they go as follows. There were threats of disruption from the pro LTTE Diaspora, who were intent on making a statement. The organizers together with the Police were again scared that this will lead to a traffic snarl up as the 4 day Queens’s Diamond Jubilee Celebrations come to an end. She was by the way the main honoree at the Marlborough House luncheon hosted by the Commonwealth Secretary General today, to which President and Mrs. Rajapakse were invited.
Now why didn’t the organizers think this would happen earlier taking the Oxford Union address as an example? Why didn’t the local advisors along with the High Commissioner Chris Nonis also think about this possibility? Are they so deaf to the reality which is the Diaspora, or were they just willing the problem away? Nonis who was probably still puffed up by the award of Diplomat of the year for Asia given by the diplomatic community in the UK, that he thought he could do no wrong by this advice to accept this prestigious request, should hold some of the blame for this disaster unless we find out otherwise.
I wonder how the fallout of this will play out in the ensuing days, with no doubt pundits putting their two cents into it. It will be interesting to see how the administration will play explain away yet another embarrassment for the country. Why does the President go to the UK if he is so averse to their treatment meted out to him? He never learns!
It is called pomposity and arrogance of despotic rule. It only works within these shores, never forget that.