MR included SL in Geneva agenda - PM | Daily News

MR included SL in Geneva agenda - PM

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said yesterday it was former President Mahinda Rajapaksa who included Sri Lanka in the Geneva agenda.

"The present leadership was able to rescue the country by removing Sri Lanka from the agenda. It was the former President who promised UN General Secretary Ban Ki-moon and USA to allow an international probe into alleged war crimes," he said.

"He even promised to conduct a domestic inquiry but nothing happened and as a result, the international community, especially the UN and the US, became disappointed with the conduct of the Sri Lankan government," the Prime Minister said.

"I saved Mahinda Rajapaksa from the electric chair as well as avoiding an international inquiry," he said.

Addressing the gathering at a seminar organised by the National Movement for Peace in Colombo yesterday, the Prime Minister said the Geneva resolution has stressed the need of restoring democracy, bringing national reconciliation, national unity and the establishment of the right to know the truth.

"We are anyway committed to do so as they are among the promises we pledged during the presidential and general elections," he said. "But when we try to do so, several forces are trying to obstruct us. We would like to know why some people are against the steps taken for the betterment of the people and the country."

Prime Minister Wickremesinghe said the previous government was engaged in political revenge.

"We are not so," he said.

The Prime Minister said the Truth Commission will serve as a mechanism to find details about missing persons.

"The findings will finally be investigated by the Compassionate Council comprising religious leaders. After that process, we can understand whether there is any violation of human rights. Thereafter, we can decide whether we could take legal action or not. Lots of problems would be sorted out once the Truth Commission and the Compassionate Council are implemented," he said.

Speaking on the accountability issue during the previous government, he said it was the security forces who had been accused.

"We have changed this and have been able to tell that the LTTE was responsible for human rights violation. We did not betray our Armed Forces. But we must find the truth and I am sure we can sort out all these problems," he added.

"It was the previous regime which maintained a good friendship with the LTTE. We have not given or taken money from the LTTE. The entire country knows who gave money to the LTTE through RADA. The whole world accepted our commitment to restore peace, democracy and national unity. That is why Sri Lanka was saved from being placed on the agenda of Geneva. Certain people are jealous of our progress. They think that this government is in a unique position and will have a biggest mandate from the people to go on for the next five years," he added.