The main opposition United National Party (UNP) said today it was prepared to support the government to overcome any pressure from the international community in the future. But the government should establish an independent Attorney General’s Department, an independent Judiciary and an independent Police Commission as soon as possible.
UNP Senior Vice President and parliamentarian Lakshman Kiriella told a news conference that the United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) government which assured the international community of implementing the recommendations of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) had conveniently forgotten about it today.
Mr. Kiriella said this in response to a statement by External Affairs Minister G. L. Peiris that the LLRC report would not be presented to United Nations Human Rights Council sessions later this month.
He said the stand taken by the government was unbelievable because it was the very same government which called for the rejection of the Darusaman report on the assurance that the LLRC was a better option and its recommendations would be implemented.
He asked how the LLRC report, which had confirmed some 90 per cent of what was stated in the Darusman report, could be rejected.
“On what grounds can the government reject the report submitted by a commission appointed by it,” Mr. Kiriella asked.
He said the Human Rights Action Plan to be presented by Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe at the UNHRC sessions would not bring any positive results. He said this was a diluted version of the report prepared by civil society groups and NGOs at the request of the government.
Mr. Kiriella said the government should set up independent commissions as proposed in the 17th Amendment to the Constitution and enact witness protection laws so as to put the country in an advantageous position when it comes to facing the UNHRC.
To a question posed by journalists on the UNP’s stand on the All Party Conference proposed by President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Mr. Kireella said asking for help from opposition parties when the government was facing difficulties was not the best way to resolve these matters.
He said UNP would support the government for the sake of the country if positive action was taken without resorting to delaying tactics. (Yohan Perera)