Two pro-LTTE Conservative MPs defeated in British poll - Only one candidate of Lankan origin romps home
Pro-LTTE Conservative MPs, Lee Scott and Nick De Bois, were routed in Thursday’s British election.
Their failure to win their constituencies is considered a big blow to LTTE propaganda in the United Kingdom, political observers said.
Amal Abeyawardene of the Conservative Friends of Sri Lanka (CFSL) said the outcome of the British election is good news for Sri Lanka.
He said the CFSL has mustered an able group of Conservative MPs supportive of Sri Lanka.
"We are happy to see the re-election of friends of Sri Lanka such as James Wharton, Andrew Rosindell, Matthew Offord and Bob Blackman", he told Sri Express."Liam Fox is also a strong ally of Sri Lanka and we have also now got our own MP in Ranil Jayawardane", he said.
Although opinion polls suggested that no party would be able to win an outright majority, everybody was taken by a surprise that ruling Conservatives led by David Cameron secured the required majority.
Of 650 seats, the Conservatives clinched 330 seats, Labour 232, Scottish National Party (SNP) 56, Liberal Democrats 8, United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) 1 and others 23 seats.
Immediately after the results were declared Labour Leader, Ed Miliband, Liberal Democratic leader, Nick Clegg and UKIP leader, Nigel Farage announced their resignations accepting the responsibility for the poor show.
Of four contestants of Sri Lankan origin who contested the election, only Ranil Jayawardena was able to romp home. He contested the North East Hampshire seat from the Conservative Party. He won by a majority of 29,916 votes. He polled a total of 35,573 votes.
Jayawardena’s parents migrated to England in the 1970s. His father, Nalin Jayawardena was a magistrate. Born in the UK, Ranil Jayawardane grew up in Hook and went to school in Odiham in Hampshire province. Later he graduated from the London School of Economics and worked at the Lloyds Bank before he ventured into politics.
He has served as a local Councillor since 2008 and was Deputy Leader of Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council before becoming being elected MP for North East Hampshire last week.
Jayawardena was in for a nasty experience during his election campaign. An undercover Daily Mirror journalist recorded a comment from UKIP candidate for North East Hampshire, Robert Blay, who made racist remarks and threatened to put a bullet between his (Jayawardena’s) eyes, if he were to become the Britain’s first Asian Prime Minister.
Blay was immediately suspended from the party after the news was published. Blay who polled 4,732 votes later tried to shake hands with Jayawardena to congratulate him, but the newly-elected young MP ignored him.
Jayawardena is the second person of Sri Lankan origin elected to British parliament. The first was Niranjan Devadithya in 1992, who won Brentford & Isleworth seat also for the Conservatives.
Chamali Fernando who contested Cambridge from the Conservative Party polled only 8,117 votes. Labour Candidate Daniel Zeichner won the seat by mustering 18,646 votes.
Labour candidate of Sri Lankan origin, Uma Kumaran also lost. She contested for Harrow East Seat and received 19,911 votes. She was defeated by Conservative candidate Bob Blackman who polled 24,668 votes.
The other candidate of Sri Lankan origin, Rathy Alagaratnam of UK Independence Party contested for the Dulwich & West Norwood constituency. She polled only 1,606 votes. Labour candidate Helen Hayes won the seat by securing 27,772 votes.
By Sujeeva Nivunhella in London