Sri Lanka's advance into the
In a most timely move,
Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunga and other officials
have put the record straight on what transpired during President
Rajapaksa's visit to Britain recently in connection with the
Diamond Jubilee celebrations of Queen Elizabeth the Second.
It should be abundantly clear that on the whole it was a most
successful undertaking by the President in the foreign relations
sphere. While Sri Lanka's critics have sought to place a highly
negative construct on the visit, it is only too clear that the
visit was a success- studded one which has brought for this
country a wealth of gains.
Detailed information on how the visit progressed is given in
our front page lead story of today and in other related stories
and it should be all too obvious that rather than being impeded
by what the destructive sections of the Diaspora said and did,
President Rajapaksa kept the honour of Sri Lanka glowing. Rather
than being muted by the LTTE-rump's terror tactics, the
President had a string of very successful meetings and
interactions with a number of leading lights in Britain,
including the Queen, and has helped in underscoring Sri Lanka's
current significance in the international community.
While there has been a qualitative improvement in Sri Lanka's
foreign relations, it is of special importance that the state
has made it amply clear that this country will be advancing into
the future with a forward vision.
Sri Lanka is in no way obliged to spell out to the outside
world the ways in which it would be advancing along the path of
reconciliation but we believe that it would accrue to the good
of this country to establish beyond doubt that it is making
concrete progress in the reconciliation sphere.
Accordingly, the priority attached by the state to the
implementation of the LLRC recommendations must be welcomed.
Although Sri Lanka is beholden to none, it would probably be the
case that international goodwill would increasingly come her way
if a keen effort is made to implement the practicable LLRC
recommendations. Generally speaking, the world would need the
evidence of its eyes that Sri Lanka is making tangible progress
in the direction of reconciliation.
Therefore, besides reconstruction and material development,
more and more ex-LTTE cadres must be rehabilitated and
integrated into mainstream society, for instance, while the
issue of displacement is finally resolved and the totality of
the once uprooted are given a roof over their heads and provided
With Sri Lanka making steady qualitative improvements on the
foreign relations front, one could expect the enemies of this
country to intensify their opposition to it. We have already
seen the lengths to which they could endeavour in these
destructive pursuits, through their opposition to Sri Lanka, in
London. Such efforts are likely to continue and Sri Lanka must
be prepared to take them on.
Through their interactions with the President, Britain's
principal politicians have shown where their country's
priorities lie. They could not be distracted from their course
of keeping UK-Sri Lanka ties on a cordial and constructive
However, out of deference for their democratic traditions
they are compelled to put up with unruly pro-Tiger and anti-Sri
Lanka demonstrations as long as they are carried out within
legal bounds. . Sri Lanka must remain engaged with the West amid
all this to keep the West on its side. Thus, our diplomatic
skills need to be of the best.
It could be seen that many are the issues in the foreign
relations sphere that need clarification by the Lankan state. If
it does not do this, disinformation would be steadily fed to
foreign publics by the opponents of Sri Lanka. This has already
happened and such developments could prove harmful to Sri
However, putting the record straight on the happenings in
London was timely and such exercises need to continue so that
the anti-Sri Lanka camp's disinformation mill could be