US sponsored resolution:
Govt reiterates its stance
The Government which reiterated its stance in Parliament at the
adjournment debate on the US sponsored resolution against Sri Lanka at
the recent UNHRC sessions outlined its sincere commitment to resolve the
problem and stressed the need to establish a Parliamentary Select
Committee as the key mechanism to address the issue. However, the
Government pointed out that it would not permit any external mediation
to interfere in the country's internal matters.
During the two day debate on the adjournment motion moved by DNA MP
Anura Kumara Dissanayake on the Geneva resolution, the Opposition
members queried about the Government's stand on the Geneva resolution,
implementation of the LLRC recommendations, the country's human rights
situation and the India's decision to vote in favour of the resolution.
Some Government members who joined the debate accused that the
Opposition members were attempting to gain political mileage from this
issue. However, External Affairs Minister Prof. G. L. Peiris in his
detailed reply refuted most of the 'speculations' by the Opposition
members. The Minister was of the view that the Opposition members had
distorted the facts in their speeches.
MP Anura Kuamara Dissanayake moving the adjournment motion tried to
highlight that the UNHRC resolution has laid the ground for
international forces to interfere in the country's sovereignty and
internal affairs. The MP said the country has reached a decisive
movement and the focus should be on how to act. Dissanayake said that
the situation has become complicated due to contradictory statements by
some Government members on the outcome of the Geneva resolution.
This has east doubt on the Government's stand on the issue. The
Government which didn't realize that the war against terrorism was a
political landmark waited until the US pressurized to implement the LLRC
recommendations, he said. Dissanayake described the LLRC report as
incomplete and said that it should not be accepted by the Parliament.
Prof. Peiris in his reply assured the House that except for few
significant occasions, no outside country can interfere in the
sovereignty of an independent country, based on the norms of the
international law. The Minister in his speech explained the Government's
genuine desire to solve this problem in collaboration with all political
parties representing the Parliament.
He said that a Parliamentary Select Committee is the key mechanism to
facilitate this process. Reiterating the Government's stance, the
Minister said that the Government would not leave room for any external
interference in the internal affairs of the country. Referring to the
queries by the Opposition members on the Government's stand on the LLRC
report, Prof. Peiris told the House that the Government accepts the LLRC
report as a whole. But it does not mean that all its recommendations
will be implemented at once. He told the House that there is no instance
where all recommendations of any Commission have been implemented.
Certain recommendations in the LLRC have to be implemented only step by
step, he said.
The Minister referring to a query by UNP MP Ravi Karunanayake as to
whether India has become an enemy of Sri Lanka, told the House that no
country becomes an enemy of another country. The Indian Government took
this decision for its survival he opined. He said that India's decision
at the UNHRC sessions had a negative impact on Sri Lanka.
The Minister also told the House that India's falling in line with
the US resolution has tarnished its image as the Leader of the SAARC
region. Referring to a comment by TNA MP Sumanthiran to a newspaper that
the TNA redefined had the American attitude towards Sri Lanka, Prof.
Peiris questioned if the TNA tells the country that it was they who
instigate this, how can they reach consensus with the Government? If the
TNA resorts to such behaviour, how can the negotiations be continued
with them? This clearly indicates that the TNA is not interested in
Traditional Industries and Small Enterprise Development Minister
Douglas Devananda who joined the debate said that the TNA says one thing
to the Government and something totally different to the Tamil
community. The Minister remarked on TNA's double standards. It is
ridiculous that the TNA which rejected the LLRC report now urges the
government to implement it . Minister Devananda said there was a hidden
agenda behind the resolution against Sri Lanka. UPFA Parliamentarian
Sajin Vas Gunawardene said if the TNA wants a solution to the problem it
should discuss it with the Government without seeking international
intervention. The TNA would never be able to frighten the Government by
Construction and Engineering Services Minister Wimal Weerawansa in
his speech referred to some Opposition members who attempted to
highlight that the resolution was moved against Sri Lanka due to the
wrongdoings of the Government. He explained how some Opposition
politicians attempted to force the Government to give into the
international pressure and obstruct the military operations launched to
The Minister pointed out how the UNP Deputy Leader MP Sajith
Premadasa stressed the importance of uniting as one country when the
resolution was moved against Sri Lanka. However, the UNP did not
allocate time to MP Premadasa to speak during the debate. Citing an
example, the Minister pointed out how the US voted in favour of Israel
when all other countries voted against it.
He queried as to whether the US moved any resolution against the then
UNP Government which was responsible for the loss of 66,000 lives during
the 1988-1989 terror period? He said that the West attempted to take
revenge since President Mahinda Rajapaksa did not succumb to their
agenda and end the war against their mercenaries.
Referring to the internal crisis of the UNP and the JVP, Minister
Weerawansa said the UNP should not remain a defeated party forever by
hampering the leadership under Sajith. The Minister told in a lighter
vein the JVP's symbol, Sickle and Hammer was taken away by its break
away group Leader Kumar Gunarathnam while the anti-imperialism flag was
captured by President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Therefore, the JVP is looking
for a new flag today.
The Minister however stressed the need to create a new political
culture to face the external pressure against the country successfully.
UNP MP Mangala Samaraweera in his speech attempted to highlight the
US resolution against Sri Lanka as a great defeat for the country. For
the first time a Presidential Commission appointed by the government has
been endorsed by the international community.