In Parliament on Wednesday:
Sri Lanka condemns Israel attack on Gaza relief convoy
Sri Lanka strongly condemns the Israeli attack on a ship carrying
humanitarian (food) aid to the Gaza region in Palestine and wished to
express its deep shock over this incident, External Affairs Deputy
Minister Geethanjana Gunawardena said speaking on an adjournment motion
tabled in Parliament Wednesday.
National List MP A. H. M. Azwer who tabled the motion said on May 31
morning Israeli Commandos attacked a flotilla of ships carrying 10,000
tons of medicine, food, pre-fabricated houses and other essential goods
to the 1.5 million Palestinians suffering in the Gaza strip as it
approached the Eastern Mediterranean sea earning the strong condemnation
of the whole world.
This humanitarian mission was organised by Turkish Humanitarian
groups and other friends of Palestine. Israeli forces which blockaded
this humanitarian flotilla, boarded the leading ship and attacked the
581 people in it killing at least 19 and injuring many others.
The whole world has condemned this atrocity. The countries which
condemned this were not only Israel’s Arab enemies but also Turkey which
was among the handful of its friends. Relations between Israel and
Turkey too had been deteriorating in recent times. The Prime Minister of
Turkey described this as ‘state terrorism’.
Sri Lanka as a member of the UN and a non-aligned country always
condemned such attacks. Countries should join hands to punish those who
have committed this crime. “I propose that the Resolution No. 242 and
other resolutions for world peace should be activated forthwith and the
Jewish state asked to strictly abide by them.”
Ratnapura District (UPFA) MP Vasudeva Nanayakkara said Israel is
following an arbitrary and stubborn course of action tarnishing the
They have denied freedom to the Palestinians as the world watched
“Time has come for all to join forces to rise up against
Imperialists. Palestinians had been our friends from ancient times.”
Kandy District (UNP) MP Rauf Hakeem said they were strongly opposed
to this Israeli action. “This is not the first time Israel had acted in
this manner. What would have been the position today if a country like
Iran acted in this manner.
If so the US would have at once invaded Iran. We should not only
condemn the Israeli action but also the US stance on it.”
External Affairs Deputy Minister Geethanjana Gunawardene said Israel
had launched this attack in international waters.
Sri Lanka condemned this attack with abhorrence. Sri Lanka expressed
its opposition to this attack at the United Nations in Geneva. Sri Lanka
has maintained close relations with Middle East countries including
Palestine for a very long period.
Palestine has special close links with the Mahinda Rajapaksa
Government. We will never condone this attack. International boundaries
should be correctly decided.
Palestinians should be enabled to enjoy peace. We express our deepest
sympathies to the families of those who died in this attack and wish
quick recovery to those injured. Among the dead are two Australian
citizens of Sri Lankan descent.
National List MP J. R. P. Suriyapperuma said Turkey played a vital
role in Middle East affairs.