Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe said in Parliament today that the present situation is perhaps the most difficult position the country has ever faced since the airdrops in 1987, and therefore his UNP, as a responsible party in the opposition , was committed to putting the country first.
Mr. Wickremesinghe told the House in a statement that he did not intend to make political debating points on a partisan basis at this hour.
“We need to be unified and dignified in our response to what is a major challenge to our nation. That is why I appointed a study group of balanced and competent professionals to evaluate the findings of the Panel and give me their considered views on the Advisory Report,” he said.
He said that, on April 20, 2011, even before the report was published, the UNP made a statement making it clear that the party would wholeheartedly co-operate with the government in respect of all genuine efforts to uphold the country’s sovereignty and democracy.
Mr. Wickremesinghe noted that Sri Lanka should maintain a dialogue with the UN, and international relations were no longer confined to discussions between foreign ministries.
“Many governments are influenced by public opinion in respect of human rights and humanitarian issues. Public opinion in turn is shaped by the global electronic and print media. The social media driven by web and mobile technologies is equally important,” he said.
He stressed that it is also necessary for Sri Lanka to respond, where appropriate with strong rebuttal to the Panel Report.
“Remaining silent is no longer an option. The Secretary General’s statement has left no room for that. The government of Sri Lanka and the UN Secretary General have divergent views on the report. Therefore, the Secretary General must ensure that the appropriate weightage is given to Sri Lanka’s response during the dialogue,” he said.
The Opposition Leader hailed the statements made by China and India in this regards, and said that the country should maintain good relations with its neighbors.
Also, he highlighted that Sri Lanka is a signatory to the Rome Convention of the International Criminal Court, and therefore citizens of this country cannot be prosecuted for war crimes.
“During my tenure as the Prime Minister, I declined to sign this Convention,” he said.
Besides, he said that the people of Wanni and the victims in other parts of the country should receive appropriate relief and their rights and dignity ensured.
“We must ensure that the death certificates to the families of those civilians who lost their lives in the war are issued. The government must bring to a close the suffering of a large number of people,” he said.
He said, “National reconciliation is the key to regain our prestige in the international community. All parties and all people must come together, understand the tragic and traumatic period we have gone through and commit ourselves to peace and reconciliation. (Kelum Bandara and Yohan Perera)
Comments - 17
local boy Tuesday, 03 May 2011 10:54 AM
excellent speech by RW after sometime !!
Ind Tuesday, 03 May 2011 11:13 AM
Will see where he ends !
Rao Tuesday, 03 May 2011 05:10 PM
Many years srilankan leaders cheated world body now is the time to awake up and respect human wrights and respect to others
Handipora Tuesday, 03 May 2011 12:27 PM
Grand show, Ranil. You are a statesman.
Darwin Tuesday, 03 May 2011 12:12 PM
When will you rush off for a cup of coffee!!!
sam Tuesday, 03 May 2011 12:36 PM
at least accept his speach..he is not an idiot.
Louisa Tuesday, 03 May 2011 12:37 PM
A bit too late after all the damage you have inflicted on the country.
Above the Crowd Tuesday, 03 May 2011 12:40 PM
No guts, Not too smart, too simple.
priyantha Tuesday, 03 May 2011 12:41 PM
Positive response from the opposition leader after a long spell.
nanabst Tuesday, 03 May 2011 12:43 PM
here he go again,... lets see how long it will take him to bite his own tail again.
Saman Tuesday, 03 May 2011 01:00 PM
Our next wish is you Ranil. Show your value to the unknown people abt u.
David Tuesday, 03 May 2011 01:22 PM
He still don't say what's his stand on the investigation or the report. If you check his words carefully you will see that he say government forces killed civilians.
Wimal Herbert Tuesday, 03 May 2011 01:35 PM
There is a possibility of his changing his view after meeting Robert O Blake who is a higher power than the three-man committee he appointed.
CS Tuesday, 03 May 2011 01:40 PM
Otherwise you will not put the country first?
ROSHAIA Tuesday, 03 May 2011 01:46 PM
I really recommend Mr.Ranil statement,we are sri lanka like a family,no family memeber like neighbour involve in our family matters,Mr.Ranil that is main intention he try to make peaceful country ,who knows very well anything going wrong neighbour will benefit from our mistake that will too harm for fututre generation and country as whole,hence power country try to get political advantage over us, not like our present leadership wise statementship important than thuggerism and agressiveness. S
Nuwanda Tuesday, 03 May 2011 02:12 PM
At last, something sensible from the opposition. This is the way to go forward on critical national issues.
Yehiya-Doha Tuesday, 03 May 2011 03:20 PM
Speech is good, Never act.
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