SL to deliver UN commitments on pragmatic footing - W.J.M. Lokubandara | Daily News


 

SL to deliver UN commitments on pragmatic footing - W.J.M. Lokubandara

Former Speaker W.J.M. Lokubandara told the Daily News yesterday that Sri Lanka’s withdrawal from its UNHRC resolution co-sponsorship has paved the way for it to deliver its commitments to the August UN Assembly on a pragmatic footing, as a responsible UN member and a sovereign nation.

Lokubandara said that the withdrawal from these resolutions has established the confidence and the sense of responsibility on the part of the Sri Lanka as a founding member of the UN; and with a sense of honour, as well as a country that has defeated terrorism.

“For the people of Sri Lanka, it has always been important to be regarded as a country whose armed forces have defeated terrorism by sacrificing their lives. It deserves the UN’s respect. The people of this country, who have suffered decades of abuse, pain and devastation from terrorism, deserve nothing short of appreciation for their war heroes from other countries,” he added.

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa received a vast mandate from the people of Sri Lanka, at the last Presidential Election, to represent them. He should not, and cannot, override or compromise the Constitution of the country before every forum for the sake of gaining a slim political milestone, as the previous government did in its administration.

Lokubandara said, “The current government, and the governments to follow, shall do well to learn a lesson from the specimen of former Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera co-sponsoring this UNHRC resolution, that is never again to appoint persons who are devoid of love and honour for their country, culture and people, as ministers of Foreign Affairs.”

“Who else but a fool would co-sponsor a resolution of the nature that alienates the sovereignty of his country? Not to mention how pleased the leadership of his party, the UNP, was—and how they ignored the opposition of the vast population of Sri Lanka to it,” he said.

Moreover, this resolution was in violation of the Constitution, and therefore, the government was in no position to carry out its obligations, he added.

“The former UNP Foreign Minister, famous for his lack of love for this country and infamous for his voracity to target Buddhist culture, co-sponsored this resolution apparently to appease a few like-minded people in his personal circle, foreign persons included, and some members of the Tamil Diaspora, and for the survival of the power of the United National Party,” he added.

“The resolution signed by him had subjected personnel who had served in Sri Lanka ’s armed forces to jurisdictions outside the country, which infringes the country’s Constitution,” he explained.

He said, “The present government has done the right thing by telling the truth about it to the UN Human Rights Council, and that it cannot carry it out within the country’s constitutional framework because it infringes the sovereignty of the people of Sri Lanka.”

It must be mentioned here that the President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa were the Secretary of Defense and the President of the country who had seen the end of terrorism.

“The people of Sri Lanka have brought them back to power to ensure the dignified position of the country that had been lost under the previous UNP government, whose obstinacy and lack of care have brought a new challenge of terrorism to the country in the form of ISIS, and diluted the country’s national pride before other nations,” he said.

“With the withdrawal of the government from the co-sponsorship of the resolutions, a way forward has been established with the UN Human Rights Agency to affirm its commitment to reconciliation, the rule of justice, and human rights, as a country that promotes the objectives of the UN with a sense of honour,” he said.


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