UK election brings sweet music to Lankan ears

Monday, 11 May 2015 11:47 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}



By Neville de Silva in London

A fallout of last week’s unexpected Conservative election victory is there was good news for Sri Lanka. Several of its critics in the last Parliament from all three major parties were defeated while others who stood by Sri Lanka in troubled times retained their seats.

The defeat of Conservative Lee Scott, the chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Tamils, the only member of David Cameron’s party to have held this position which had always been occupied by those from Labour and Lib-Dems which suffered humiliating defeats, was welcomed by the Sri Lanka community at large.

Even Sri Lankan Conservatives applauded the defeat of another pro-Tamil diaspora supporter Nick de Bois, saying that two voices that stood against Sri Lanka in the last Parliament from among the Conservatives have been silenced by British voters.

At the same time Amal Abeywardene of the Conservative Friends of Sri Lanka (CFoSL) was jubilant over the victory of several Conservative MPS.

CFoSL, led by its president Dr Lionel Samarasinghe, John York and Amal Abeywardene, had during recent years, using their own resources, played a major role in cultivating Conservative MPS and officials and providing them with in-depth knowledge on Sri Lanka while at the same time encouraging those from Sri Lankan and other communities to support and vote for the Tories.

“We are extremely happy with the election result, which not only brought the Conservatives an overall majority but also saw those who have stood by Sri Lanka returning to Parliament,” Amal Abeywardene said.

It also showed that the British voter was not misled by the false and biased propaganda launched against Sri Lanka.

 Among them were James Wharton, Mathew Offord, Andrew Rosindell, Bob Blackman, Liam Fox and Stephen Hammond.

These Conservative MPs were returned by their constituents while the new girl on the block is Dr. Tania Mathias, who defeated veteran Lib-Dem leader Vince Cable. 

Another strong voice that has consistently called for an understanding of the Sri Lanka situation and who had firsthand knowledge of IRA terrorism was Ian Paisley jr. of the Democratic Unionst Party (DUP) who retained his North Antrim seat in Northern Ireland.    

The elections brought more sweet music to the ears of Sri Lankans as Lankan-born Ranil Jayawardena handsomely won the North East Hampshire seat, gaining 66% of the votes for the Conservatives. 

Besides Jayawardena, who is the second Conservative of Sri Lankan origin to enter Westminster after Niranjan Deva Aditya who sat in the Commons from 1992 to 1997, there were at least three others of Sri Lankan ancestry who failed to make it to Westminster.

Uma Kumaran of the Labour Party came second in Harrow East gaining 41% of the vote and Chamali Fernando of the Conservatives came third in the Cambridge constituency with 16%.

Rathy Alagaratnam, contesting the Dulwich and West Norwood constituency on the UKip ticket, ended up with only 3% of the vote, the seat going to Labour as it did in Cambridge.