Won’t allow anyone to touch Jagath Jayasuriya: President

3 September 2017 06:19 pm - 36     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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President Maithripala Sirisena said today he would never allow former Army Commander (Rtd) General Jagath Jayasuriya or any other war hero to be hauled before an international criminal court or war tribunal as long as he remained the President of Sri Lanka.

He said the threat of war crimes charges, economic sanctions and the hostile attitude of the global community against Sri Lanka was the direct result of the Mahinda Rajapaksa regime’s failure to create an atmosphere of reconciliation, reconstruction and rehabilitation in a country and a nation which was in tatters after the war.

Addressing a massive gathering of party supporters and well wishers who had converged from all parts of the country to celebrate the SLFP's 66th anniversary celebrations held at Campbell Park, Borella last afternoon, the President recalled ex-president Rajapaksa’s unilateral decision to declare presidential election two years ahead of time said he wrote to him highlighting six points as to why he should not hold an early election.

“I told him in writing in April 2014 not to hold an early presidential poll for six reasons when such an idea was mooted. The then government had miserably failed to introduce reforms and a proper reconciliation process to build the shattered lives of the people in the North and East. We also had so much of work to complete which the government had failed to do. All constituent party leaders of the UPFA also were of the view that the government must complete its full term before declaring the poll. But he did not listen and went ahead and perished. Mr. Rajapaksa felt he could not face the impending economic melt down, the crisis brewing in the domestic front, the extremely hostile attitude of the global community and UN agencies. The SLFP Central Committee, the Cabinet and the leaders of other political parties of the UPFA were dumb and blind to these developments,”the President said. "Under this highly inhospitable global and domestic environment, what would have been the situation had there been no regime change and I was not elected as the President."

As the newly elected President, he said he explained how he met world leaders and requested them to give him some space to rebuild the nation, save the country from disaster, introduce reform programmes, restore democracy, the rule of law, media and judicial freedom and put in place a result oriented reconciliation process to which all leaders agreed and promised full support.

“Consequent to the positive and cooperative atmosphere the unity government was able to build up about Sri Lanka among the international community after the January 2015 victory, Sri Lanka was able to regain the GSP+ facility and the EU withdrew the export ban on fish exports. The UNHRC gave Sri Lanka a grace period of two years until September 2019 to address the human rights issues highlighted in the Geneva resolution co-sponsored by Sri Lanka,” he said.

He said the Unity Government had done a lot for the country during the past two years and asked what would have been the position of the SLFP if the UNP went for an election after the 2015 presidential election victory.

“I admit that we have made some lapses and mistakes. But I don’t condone the unfair criticism of the ‘Yahapalana Government’ because we have been able to do much for the country having saved it from a disaster,” the President said.

He said the manner in which some people were using the new and unrestricted freedom was somewhat unusual and the insults, mudslinging, canards and misinformation posted on Facebook, media websites and other electronic and print media against me and against the ‘Yahapalana Government’ was unprecedented.

"The SLFP was formed by the founding father S.W.R.D.Bandaranaike to take the country on a new path. The concept of patriotism, our country, our culture and our nation mindset was first mooted with the establishment of the new party departing from the west-aligned culture that existed since independence," the President said. "In the short period of three and half years that the SLFP ruled the country from 1956, Mr. Bandaranaike was able to introduce a series of people-friendly programmes amid heavy opposition from rival political parties. He had a new vision and new ideology for the country. There is no leader like Mr. Bandaranaike who was insulted, ridiculed and harassed. He was branded ‘Sevala Banda' and a spineless leader by his political opponents. Sir John Kotalawela, the Prime Minister before Mr. Bandaranaike said Mr. Bandaranaike let loose the dogs he had caged indicating the socialist and progressive policies he adopted for the nationalization programme and other people friendly projects."

The President said Mr. Bandaranaike mortgaged his Rosemead Place residence to fund the SLFP and after his assassination in September 1959, Ms. Bandaranaike had to leave the place with her three children as she was not in a position to pay the debt, but Sir John intervened and saved the day for her.

“But this is how out past leaders did politics. They did not come to politics, to get commissions and bribes and embezzle billions like certain other politicians who took to politics as a business. Nepotism was never an issue in the SLFP in the past," he said.

The President appealed to SLFPers to assist him to rescue their beloved party that had been infected with corruption, nepotism, crimes and waste in the recent past and take the party to victory in 2020 through a clean and robust political campaign.

"Our vision and mission is to create a Sri Lanka free of corruption, waste and nepotism. The SLFP is capable of doing that and our aim is to form a SLFP government in 2020 with those values. I am ready to achieve that target with your support, blessings and cooperation,” he said.

Ministers Nimal Siripala De Silva, S.B. Dissanayaka, Sarath Amunugama, Susil Premajayantha, W.D.J. Seneviratne, Jaffna District UPFA member Angajan Ramanathan and former SLFP MP and SLFP youth organization General Secretary Shantha Bandara presented the various resolutions.(Sandun A Jayasekera)

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  Comments - 36

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  • vithura Sunday, 03 September 2017 06:35 PM

    The president should have maintained silence on this matter, as this could turn out to be a hot potato.

    Mr.Talk Sunday, 03 September 2017 06:39 PM

    Talks only.

    Hautaum Sunday, 03 September 2017 06:42 PM

    then, how can you investigate or conduct the judicial process on war crimes allegations

    Citizen Perera Sunday, 03 September 2017 07:02 PM

    Does that means you will allow anyone to touch Sarath Fonseka?

    Hari M Sunday, 03 September 2017 07:26 PM

    Shame on you; not doing anything to fight corruption though you came under the banner of cleansing it. Now saying you will product individuals who are accused crime against humanity for cheap popularity. No wonder minorities don't trust Srilankan politicians who will do anything to stay in power.

    dev Monday, 04 September 2017 04:48 AM

    "No wonder minorities don't trust Sri Lankan politicians, do you think majority trust them.

    Liberal One Monday, 04 September 2017 08:35 AM

    Victory against terrorism wasnt only for Sinhalese. Travel north and see how north had progressed after the end of LTTE.

    Channa Sunday, 03 September 2017 07:54 PM

    Of course we know our brave President won't dance to tunes of others. Cant imagine the tough spine he got

    Krish Monday, 04 September 2017 05:07 AM

    No one has asked the President to dance and no need for tough talk.If Jegath has nothing to do with the war crime then go through the legal channel and prove his innocence.

    Question Monday, 04 September 2017 06:15 AM

    Is this a tongue-in-cheek comment? if so -why so many thumbs down !

    nimna Sunday, 03 September 2017 09:23 PM

    Talk the walk sissy.

    John Viagra Monday, 04 September 2017 12:42 PM

    " Walk the talk "

    Maya Sunday, 03 September 2017 09:54 PM

    He came running all the way from Brazil and you are comforting him it seems. But then what about the promises you gave out to UN about local investigation. Contradictory statements as usual.

    ceylon Sunday, 03 September 2017 10:18 PM

    are you president of the world .srilanka un democratic leader protect criminals.but democratic world is taking action against such civilian killers. via DM Android App

    Hubert Sunday, 03 September 2017 10:32 PM

    You should learn about former commander Jagath j do not shoe nativity in public for international law all are equal and there is nobody called ranaviruwa

    Pramod Fernando Sunday, 03 September 2017 11:13 PM

    You are the President of this country. Then tell the same to Sarath Fonseka.

    ceylon Sunday, 03 September 2017 11:38 PM

    when you became dictator of the world . via DM Android App

    Gayan Sunday, 03 September 2017 11:42 PM

    Looks like an election is around the corner.

    ceylon Sunday, 03 September 2017 11:47 PM

    nothing to protect war heros.war heros follow war rules.war criminals violated war rules.accusations are against these criminals.protecting criminals are national crimes. via DM Android App

    Chethiyasena Monday, 04 September 2017 01:01 AM

    "Our vision and mission is to create a Sri Lanka free of corruption, waste and nepotism"Ha ha ha!

    DJ Monday, 04 September 2017 05:10 AM

    Leave the international pressure aside. We owe it to our own citizens if innocents were massacred then justice must prevail. So you protect 1 person means you are protecting all and that includes MR and his bunch if thieves too

    suren Monday, 04 September 2017 05:53 AM

    When will the President stop acting? He should be clear in stating whether he is for or against probe on Military excesses during the ethnic war.

    Derrick Monday, 04 September 2017 07:10 AM

    Only topic they have is rajapaksas not talking about how to maintain law and order and devoloping sri lanka .what a shame

    Dhammika Monday, 04 September 2017 08:36 AM

    Excellent Hon . President , all who contributed to eradicate terrorism from Sri Lanka must be protected and NOT prosecuted or jailed like the previous regime . That is leadership.

    Lara Monday, 04 September 2017 08:36 AM

    Not even Field marshal ?

    BuffaloaCitizen Monday, 04 September 2017 08:44 AM

    This statement clarifies very well the Presidents Competency (singing to the gallery), responsibilities (trying to say it is right when it could be wrong), Statesmanship (promises on good governance), discipline (practice of true Buddhism) and last not least ethics (work for the country instead of working to win the next election).

    cheers Monday, 04 September 2017 08:55 AM

    Thank you Mr President you need to give respect to a soldier who fought for the motherland to evict the terrorists from our country. National security is a utmost priority no matter who is the leased and hats off to Rajapakse for giving leadership which you were a minister under his leadership

    Rasheed Monday, 04 September 2017 10:50 AM

    That means War heroes have licence to kill innocent public r while fighting against terrorist.

    suresh Monday, 04 September 2017 09:14 AM

    so no difference between MS and MR. For waste the Tamils voted for MS

    Lord Wolfstein Monday, 04 September 2017 09:15 AM

    A war criminal can not be a war hero. In order to continue the reconciliation, this person must at least be placed before a court in Sri Lanka.

    Haramanis Monday, 04 September 2017 12:14 PM

    All those who helped or in any way supported the LTTE are also war criminals and must be hunted down and prosecuted

    Samitha Monday, 04 September 2017 10:03 AM

    Senseless Speeches.

    LionKing Monday, 04 September 2017 10:49 AM

    Ahhh another TALK

    Chong Quing Chang Monday, 04 September 2017 12:44 PM

    ...and now you are pledging to protect war criminals??Not enough voters for the next round eh..??

    abay Monday, 04 September 2017 02:40 PM

    Go to UNO or Human Rights Commission and tell them you are going to protect the war hero.Do not cheat the people by addressing public,

    Sambo Monday, 04 September 2017 08:28 PM

    Dear Mr. President, I just can't understand how you put up with these types of morons who speak from their butts and put you in a difficult position.


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