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DateLine Tuesday, 26 August 2008

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Masses have approved humanitarian mission to liberate North - Basil Rajapaksa

Basil Rajapaksa, MP and Senior Advisor to President Mahinda Rajapaksa, speaking to Asian Tribune said: “This Provincial Councils victory is the verdict given by the people.

By this election, President has sought a mandate from the people for the 32 months administration of the UPFA Government and they have overwhelmingly endorsed it.

The Senior Advisor to Sri Lanka’s President said: “Our President has asked for their verdict and requested whether they approve the humanitarian war, what he is doing in the North and how its works for liberating the people of the Northern Province and about the activities we are undertaking to develop the local economy, giving priority to make the country self sufficient in food and to produce everything in Sri Lanka where we can produce.

Also to develop the villages, through the ‘Villages Awakening Program’ and also on our harden resolve of not to sell any of the government’s assets to foreigners by privatisation.”

We have asked for the mandate of the people, for what we have done in the last 32 months and also to get the approval of our people, Rajapaksa said.

He said: “So we are very thankful to the people who voted for us and also I take this opportunity to thank the Elections Commissioner, his staff, all the GAs and Government officials, who have worked tirelessly to have a free and fair election and also to the police and Army who kept the peace during the two provincial council elections.

Rajapaksa said: “Also we thank specially the workers, farmers, and all other voters, who approved this. I think the results have encouraged all of us right from the President in the Government and the Government as well as the Ministers will work harder in the future to achieve a peaceful and prosperous nation.

He said that Provincial Councils’ election results have brought encouragement for us, as well as to our brave soldiers for their dedicated service they have done, as well as for their immense sacrifices.

“This was the only way left for the people to express their appreciation and thanks to our great soldiers and the people have done that. I hope all the ethnic groups in the country will jointly work together as Sri Lankans to bring peace and development to our motherland.

When asked about the Northern Province where thousands of Internally Displaced People in the Vanni areas are in a desperate position, he said “we are doing our best to alleviate their sufferings and we are holding several discussions regarding these humanitarian issues with the UN and UN organisations, including the UNHCR and the World Food Organisations.

I think we have done everything humanly possible and the only problem is shelter, because providing shelter is a difficult thing when the people keep on moving from place to place. Our position is there are enough stocks of food and medicine in the Vanni areas and it has been well taken care of.

When Asian Tribune asked why the Government cant set up a safe corridor for the IDPs trapped in the war zone in the Vanni region to enter the government areas, Basil Rajapaksa said: “We are at present taking this issue into serious consideration.

We are seriously discussing this with some UN organisations and with the military to see whether it is possible to set up a safe corridor for our people trapped in the Vanni to be safely moved out into the government areas.

When asked whether the LTTE who is holding the IDPs as human shield is prepared to allow the people to safety he said “you must address this question to Prabhakaran and the LTTE.

When asked whether there was any indication or anything that has been indicated by the UN humanitarian organisations whether the LTTE would not oppose the safe corridor passage for IDPs to enter safer areas under the government, he said “no we have not discussed anything to that effect with anyone.”



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