Attempts to block aid, loans will not succeed
President tells Lankan expats in Los Angeles
Attempts by certain elements to stop aid and loans granted to Sri
Lanka by donor countries and international banks will not succeed,
President Mahinda Rajapaksa asserted on Friday.
"They have labelled Sri Lanka as a failed state. They are protesting
opposite international banks asking them not to grant loans to the
country. They try to paint a false picture of the human rights situation
in Sri Lanka to stop the flow of aid. But their attempts have failed as
the international community has placed their confidence in us,"
President Rajapaksa told a large gathering of Sri Lankans in Los
The President was addressing a ceremony organised by the Sri Lankan
community to welcome him, at the Richard and Karen Carpenter Performing
Arts Centre, California State University, Long Beach.
He said the Government was committed to protecting human rights. Many
baseless allegations have been levelled against the Government on human
rights violations. As a proponent of human rights, he would never
abandon his commitment to human rights.
He said the Government was not thriving on the war. A negotiated
political settlement remains the Government's ultimate goal. "We have
never forgotten the concept of One Sri Lanka, whereby all communities
can live together in harmony. "Efforts made by the previous Governments
for a political solution failed because they did not get public support
for their proposals. We have received a mandate to evolve a political
We will devolve power to the people. The All Party Representative
Committee is finalising its proposal, which should be out soon."
He said the APRC would hopefully present a solution that does not
divide the county.
The President commended the Sri Lankan Security Forces for their
"exceptional discipline". Civilian casualties were not reported during
the Eastern humanitarian missions.
He told the expatriate Sri Lankans that the Government has started a
series of development projects amid the war. It is also raising its own
funds for a number of projects. "But we need international help to
rebuild the liberated East."
One of the main planks of Government policy was developing the
villages to match the economic growth rate of the Western province, he
said. "Some want to block development. But it is an irreversible step. I
have taken bold decisions on Norochcholai and Upper Kotmale. These steps
will avert a projected power crisis."
He stressed the importance of moulding good citizens who cherish
moral values. "That is even more important than just gaining knowledge.
This is why the Government has introduced a program called Mathata
Thitha for alcohol, drug abuse eradication."
The President called upon the expatriates to support Lanka in its
Foreign Secretary Dr. Palitha Kohona and Sri Lanka's Ambassador to
the US Bernard Goonetilleke were present.