Posted on April 26th, 2012

Cathy & Tissa. Colombo Sri Lanka

As you are aware Londoners go to the polls next Thursday to elect a new mayor and all candidates have been busy campaigning and explaining their promises. But some campaign promises are more interesting than other s ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬…”in particular Ken LivingstoneƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s little publicised promise, made on the 7 April 2012 at a Tamils for Labour meeting in East Ham, now appearing on Youtube. The video is just over 5 minutes long and is well worth viewing ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬…” although you will have to watch it more than once to make sure that you can believe what you are hearing.

The Vice Chair of Tamils for Labour makes the introductions and opening comments urging votes for Ken and explaining the cost of those votes by saying ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…- We do expect to have his continued support for our cause ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…- and that, as he has said, he ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-will endeavour to erect a memorial to remember lives lostƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ One must wonder at the purpose of such a memorial. If aimed at the Tamil Diaspora, will it include lives lost due to LTTE operations for example lives of child soldiers, prominent moderate Tamil politicians and Tamil civilians indiscriminately killed in Sri Lanka ?

In response Ken Livingstone pledges the following :-

1. That on 18th May ( or maybe 19th ) he will make either Trafalgar Square, or some other prestigious London venue available for Tamil Day. By this attempt to garner votes, Ken Livingstone fails to recognise the significance of these dates to Sri Lankans merely highlights his ignorance of Sri Lankan affairs.

2. Thereafter Trafalgar Square will be made available annually for Tamil Day.

He makes other comments with regard to Sri Lanka, but this article focuses on issues relative to London and the peace loving Sri Lankan community there. He is seeking election as the London Mayor, with its multi culturally diverse electorate of 5 million ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬…” not the Jaffna mayoralty.

His comments are plainly partisan and divisive and do nothing to encourage reconciliation amongst the communities here and is likely to incite racial hatred.

In November 2010, as part of his address to the Tamil National Remembrance Day gathering, Ken Livingstone declared ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-I am with you in all you seek to do. I will be with you forever,ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ At that meeting he was critical of what he believed to be the Sri Lankan High CommissionƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s role in the 2008 London Mayoral election saying it ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…- would have been more embarrassing if you had called for people to vote for meƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚

ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-You can condemn me in eighteen months time when I am running for election in this city again, and I will wear it as a badge of pride.ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚

Lets hope right thinking Londoners will do just that.


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