Sirisena defends foreign policy

Sirisena_2873823fSri Lanka President Maithripala Sirisena.

Sri Lanka President Maithripala Sirisena has dismissed the criticism that his government’s foreign policy amounts to betrayal of interests of the country.

Sri Lanka President Maithripala Sirisena has dismissed the criticism that his government’s foreign policy amounts to betrayal of interests of the country.

Addressing a seminar here on Monday evening, Mr. Sirisena, who was present throughout the event that lasted around two and a half hours, explained how his government had been able to re-establish very good ties with major countries and this had come in for criticism that he (Mr. Sirisena) was selling out the country’s interests to foreign powers. “World leaders, in their interactions with me in the last one and a half years, have pressured me or my government to do this or that. All what they request us is to strengthen democracy; ensure freedom and safeguard fundamental rights of people.” No country could now live in isolation and the development of any country was linked to how strongly the country was able to leverage its equations with others.

Reiterating his commitment to pursue his agenda on reconciliation, he said reconciliation was essential and he would strive to accomplish it, unmindful of any amount of ridicule he might be subjected to.

Dayan Jayatilleka, who was Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to the UN in Geneva (2007-2009), said the resolution of the United Nations Human Rights Council in May 2009 (adopted after the end of the civil war) was in support of Sri Lanka. “Unfortunately, the previous administration did not fully implement that resolution. If we did, in all probability, we would not have faced the situation we faced in the subsequent years,” said Dr. Jayatilleka, expressing his disapproval over the move to set up a special court to go into allegations of human rights violations.

Later, answering a question by  whether the October 2015 resolution on the proposed judicial mechanism was not a reflection of the middle path, as there were demands for a purely domestic mechanism on the one hand and also for an independent international inquiry on the other, the former diplomat replied in the negative. He referred to the conflict situations in Asian countries such as Vietnam and Philippines and said that “in none of these countries, shas there been any kind of special mechanism to bring accountability [on] legitimate armed forces.”

Jayadeva Uyangoda, academician, said the present government’s “exemplary record” of restoring and maintaining “open, democratic” political ambience was more a product of preventing the state agencies doing certain things than doing positive things such as abrogation of the Prevention of Terrorism Act and taking concrete steps towards demilitarisation.

Austin Fernando, Governor of the Eastern Province, acknowledged that the present draft bill on the Office on Missing Persons might be suffering from certain deficiencies but this could be rectified while it was made into law.

Pin It

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>