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Sri Lankan prime minister set to address Oxford Union during UK visit

Sri Lanka’s prime minister Ranil Wickeremsinghe is set to address the Oxford Union next week, as part of a visit to the United Kingdom.

Wickremesinghe will reportedly be “discussing the geopolitics of the Indian Ocean region”.

In 2010, then Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa was set to address the Oxford Union, before mass protests and pressure from the Tamil diaspora led to the speech being cancelled. Tamil societies from sixteen British universities wrote to the Oxford Union protesting the invitation and hundreds of people demonstrated at Heathrow airport as Rajapakse’s plane landed.

The Oxford Union eventually announced that it was cancelling his address due to the “sheer scale” of protests expected.