Former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga said today she did not want to comment on the foreign policy of the present government and insisted that there were no allegations of human rights abuses “when my government was in office”.
“There was never an allegation of human rights violations against my government. I don’t want to comment on how this government must react because it would attack me and castigate me because they are not willing to listen to anybody,” she told Daily Mirror.
The former president, who ruled the country for two successive terms and had fallen out of favour with the ruling regime, said the only allegation at the time she headed the government was the rape of Krishanthi Kumaraswamy.
“We immediately took action against the perpetrators, we ordered a trial by jury and 10 or 12 soldiers were jailed after being convicted,” she said.
Ms. Kumaratunge highlighted the fact that this government had only 25% of the war to complete.
“When I came into power 90% of the North was under the clutches of the LTTE, but by the time I ceded power, 75 % had been taken back. This government had only 25% of the war to complete,” she said.
When asked about her thoughts on the concerns raised during the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) held in Colombo by certain heads of state and the foreign media, she declined to comment.
“I’m not an advisor to the current government so I don’t want to comment. But as the leader who was at the helm of this country for more than a decade I can tell you that we firmly believed in protecting fundamental rights and media freedom while at the same time protecting the country’s good name and territorial integrity,” she said. (Hafeel Farisz)