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UN War Crimes Probe : President should stop making a mockery of Parliament - Kiriella

2014 Jun 17

By Zacki Jabbar
 The UNP yesterday called on President Mahinda Rajapaksa to stop making a mockery of Parliament after having publicly rejected a United Nations Human Rights Council mandated war crimes probe against his government and the LTTE which was scheduled to get underway in Geneva next month.

 ``If the President really cared for the views of the Opposition, he would have called an All Party Conference prior to March this year to work out a strategy to deal with the impending US led resolution calling for accountability in Sri Lanka, Vice Chairman of the UNP Lakshman Kirialle told the "Sunday Island." 

It was only last week that the Foreign Ministry had directed Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative at the UN in Geneva, Ravinatha Ariyasinghe, to reject the war crimes investigation to be conducted

by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, he pointed out.

``The powers that be have already taken a stand. So why waste the time of Parliament and Opposition legislators by conducting irrelevant debates which would only lead to more public resources being wasted ? The government having messed up things in style due to their short sightedness and arrogant attitude was now looking for scape goats such as Parliament to hide behind. Foreign policy is a delicate art which needs to be mastered. The trickery and deceit which the Rajapaksas practiced successfully with a majority of people at home will not work at international forums."

 The President and his leading ministers had time and again not only rejected the sensible advice that the UNP had offered in the long term interest of the country, but also kept unfairly labeling them as traitors, Kiriella observed.

Colombo District UNP Chairman, Ravi Karunanayake MP, said that the government having admitted in writing to the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon that a "seamless connectivity" existed between the Darussman Report and its very own Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission findings was now going around calling its critics who exposed its stupidity various names.

The UNP, he emphasized accepted the UPFA’s position that the security forces did not commit war crimes; but it was not prepared to shield politicians and officials who wielded political power for the wrongs they had committed.

"Our job as a responsible Opposition is to protect the military and sovereignty and integrity of the country and not blindly permit the legislature to be used as a cover for dictators who had abused their authority and trampled on the rights and democratic freedoms of the very people whom they claimed to represent", the MP noted.

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