The priorities of the present
A statement was issued suddenly by the
Secretary of State of the United States, Hillary Clinton against Sri
Lanka. In short it stated that the United States will support if a
resolution against Sri Lanka was presented at the forthcoming United
Nations Human Rights Council Sessions.
The United States Assistant Secretary of State for Asia Robert O
Blake and a high ranking United States official Maria Ottero came to Sri
Lanka, that means they came to our doorstep. After discussions with high
ranking officials they once again told the same thing what Hillary
Clinton had said.
In line with this, the Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe also
got activated. He immediately announced the United National Party’s
stand on the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission Report
recommendations. In that announcement it was said that the United
National Party accepts the recommendations of the Lessons Learnt and
He wanted those recommendations to be implemented. On the face of it
there is no mistake in this. Nevertheless, the United National Party has
made several serious allegations against the government through this
announcement. There is no fault in that even. It can be cited as a
responsibility of the Opposition. While mentioning about “loss of life
of a large number of civilians, destruction of public properties,
national shock created by large scale disappearance of villagers, the
United National Party also finds fault on the shortcomings of the
Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission.
The government did not pay much attention to this statement of the
United National Party. In short it completely ignored it. It was
arrogant behaviour of the government underestimating the Opposition. But
the statement of the United National Party was also released to the
international community along with the arrival of Robert O Blake. What
the United National Party says is the same thing being said by the
United States. What is that? That is requesting to implement the
recommendations of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission. The
government has accepted that. It has not first accepted it but it has
also given a time framework to the United Nations Human Rights Council
about implementing it. Then why is America bringing a special resolution
on that? Earlier what America said was that they would support a
resolution that will be brought in. Now they themselves have brought the
resolution. It is here that the question arises.
America now attempts to push us to the wall speaking about the
proposals we have made. The fault lies here. That is bringing a
resolution targeting a particular country. The United National Party
does not say a word about this. This stance of the United National Party
in this regard is just like an attained girl who stays inside the house
until she is bathed.
If the former Deputy Leader Karu Jayasuriya became victorious in the
elections the other day and the Deputy Leader Sajith Premadasa was
appointed with sufficient powers, in a problem like this that affects
the country the United National Party will not confine itself to the
house in this manner. Karu Jayasuriya who hails from the patriotic
Gamini Jayasuriya’s family is a leader who loves the country in
political matters. Now it is clear that his joining the government to
support the war and after fulfilling that task returning to the United
National Party were right decisions taken by him.
Deputy Leader Sajith Premadasa is attempting to show that he is also
a person of that kind. In this crisis it was only Sajith Premadasa who
made the right statement as a leader of the Opposition. He questioned
the government if the crisis is so critical why attempts were not made
to send an all party delegation to Geneva.
Today the leader of the United National Party has taken up arms
against Sajith Premadasa. Attempts are being made to take him to the
Disciplinary Committee. The reason for this is making a statement on
behalf of the country while remaining in the Opposition. It was leaders
like J. R. Jayewardene, Ranasinghe Premadasa and Gamini Dissanayake who
made the United National Party to stand on their bipeds when the party
had been confirmed in the country as the Uncle, Nephews Party and was
Also President Ranasinghe Premadasa succeeded in taking out
imperialist slavish laceration from the wound of the United National
Party and to make it a party of village folk. Minister Gamini
Dissanayake strengthened the cordial relationship with India. It seems
that those who are holding power in the United National Party currently
are attempting to reverse it to the old position. We do not no whether
to say that it is the Kollupitiya Chintanaya.
If persons like Karu Jayasuriya, Sajith Premadasa and Imtiaz Bakeer
Marker were in the leadership positions of the United National Party
with capabilities of making some influence despite whatever their
difference and disagreement with the government they would have made a
statement on behalf of the country.
The General Secretary Tissa Attanayake cannot do such a thing alone
by himself. At present the United National Party has become so backward
that it is not caring about Sri Lanka even at least to the extent of the
Congress Party of India. There is no one in this country who does not
know that this situation is not because of the general membership of the
United National Party.
At present some are building on unprincipled antipathy against the
United Nations Organization and the United States of America. It seems
that we do not even have an understanding of where the country will end
in the future through building this kind of anti-UN, anti-American and
anti-Western protests. It is hilarious to find their instigating the
people towards a boycott of American goods. America will lose nothing by
such action. Even today 65 percent of our export income comes from
America and other Western countries.
This political extremism should also be condemned similar to
condemning the politics of the United National Party. Even today Sri
Lanka has got an international reputation because of the clear Non
aligned policies adopted by SWRD Bandaranaike and Madam Sirimavo
Bandaranaike. The Dudley Senanayake eras of the UNP also contributed to
it. Although the Sri Lanka Freedom Party founded by Bandaranaikes is the
nucleus of this government some of the contemporary leaders of it seem
to be very much ineffective.
A minister of this government Anura Priyadarshana Yapa during a visit
he made to Vietnam recently has asked an important question from the
Prime Minister of Vietnam. The question was "In the past America bombed
and destroyed your country, it triggered aggression in your country.
Despite that why is your country is now having a very close relationship
with America?" Minister Anura asked this question from the Prime
Minister of Communist Vietnam. The response of the Vietnamese Prime
Minister was, "Those are now only things of the past. What we want now
is to raise our country from those very ashes as a powerful state.
Therefore, we need the assistance from America and other Western
countries". That year the Foreign Investment obtained by Vietnam from
America and other Western countries amounted to 8 Billion US Dollars
(8,000 million). The highest foreign investment we have obtained so far
is investment amounting to 750 million US Dollars. That was also what we
received last year.
A government has to think about all these things. There is a popular
saying in Ruhuna that "even curd should be eaten as per the practice".
We cannot say that President Mahinda Rajapaksa does not know about this.
The position we are in today is to get the support of both the left and
the right and to get the country developed. We are not in a position to
condemn the imperialists for all things, curse them and credit them for
all mishaps and to become globally isolated.
But it is a victory achieved by President Mahinda Rajapaksa and this
country to make the Western world which accepted the Darusman report to
accept the report of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission.
If we succeed in honestly implementing the recommendations of the
Lessons Learnt and the Reconciliation Commission report President
Mahinda Rajapaksa will enter the international arena not only as the
leader who conquered the terrorists but also as an illustrious leader
who also won peace.
If it happens so, we are not bothered about what happens on the 23rd.
It is not necessary to show President Mahinda Rajapaksa the difficult
path trekked then by Nelson Mandela in implementing the "Truth and
Reconciliation Commission" after the end of the South African civil war.