Mahinda Rajapaksa was scheduled to address the event at the Mansion House tomorrow morning while in London for the Diamond Jubilee celebrations of the Queen.
However the Srilankan President’s speech has been reportedly cancelled owing to security concerns following protests by the Tamil Diaspora.
Meanwhile the official website of the Commonwealth Business Council which is hosting the Forum said that the morning session has been cancelled but the afternoon session will go on as scheduled.
“After careful consideration the morning sessions of the Forum on Wednesday 6th of June have been cancelled and will not take place. The event will therefore commence with lunch at 1300hrs followed by the originally planned afternoon sessions beginning at 1400hrs,” the Commonwealth Business Council said.
In December 2010, during the Srilankan president’s last visit to the United Kingdom, his planned address to the Oxford Union debating society was cancelled because of similar security concerns.
In a statement at the time, Srilankan President Rajapakse 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.” Tomorrow’s speech was to have been his first such address in the UK since the Oxford event was cancelled.