All MPs have a responsibility to work unitedly - Ranil
KOTTE: Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday told
Parliament that as peoples' representatives all MPs have a joint
responsibility to work unitedly to protect the public from the present
Making a special statement in Parliament on the Katunayake Air Force
base attack, Wickremesinghe said: "We all agreed to a political solution
to country's ethnic problem. The SLFP-UNP MoU was a significant landmark
that was meant to reach a consensus among the main political parties.
If this programme was carried out the Katunayake Air Force camp
attack and the resultant major blows to tourism, foreign investment and
the Share Market would have been prevented. What the Government did was
to shirk this golden opportunity for the sake of its short term dream of
a Parliamentary majority."
Wickremesinghe said the air attack came at a time the Government was
claiming military victories. At the time of this attack, the Defence
Secretary had said that the LTTE has been driven away from the Eastern
Province by neutralising their war machine.
The Government had stated that they are well aware about the LTTE's
Air Force and their runaways. If that is so, how did the LTTE launch
this kind of air attack, he asked.
It is regrettable fact that no authority from the Defence Minister to
the Air Force Commander has taken responsibility for this and shirked
their duty by the people.
"It is a joke to state that the two LTTE aircraft were able to safely
return to the Wanni due to the failure of the radar system. It is very
clear that the main camp which sends aircraft to attack the enemy is in
a very vulnerable position."
The Opposition leader said the present Radar system is a donation by
India. It is questionable why the Government did not repair the radar
system using the funds allocated from the previous budget. What the
Government did was to invest money on an international airline service
without spending money to upgrade the radar system. The entire nation
has to pay for the lapse of the Government.
As the Opposition Leader, I requested for Parliament to be summoned
to inform the public as to who was responsible for this tragic
We have lot of questions to ask and matters to be clarified on this
incident. At least the Government would have summoned Parliament in the
name of good governance and transparency.
He said the Government says in public that it is for a political
solution, but has selected war as an alternative to completely eradicate
the LTTE. This alternative has now been challenged following the
Wickremesinghe said after this air attack, the international
community has not extended its support to the Government to continue the
war alternative. The Government has lost the support of the
international community. It has failed to safeguard the human rights of
its people, the Opposition Leader said.