by Zacki Jabbar
A united stand was required if the UN report, on the conduct of Sri Lanka’s security forces during the war against the LTTE, affected the country’s sovereignty, the UNP said yesterday.
Harin Fernando MP, addressing a news conference in Colombo said that the UNP was yet to make a detailed study of the UN statement, but if it infringed on the country’s sovereignty all Sri Lankans should speak in one voice.
However he cautioned against a repeat of staging violent protests outside the UN office in Colombo, because such action would be counter productive.
Sri Lanka was still a developing country and it could not afford to lock horns with the super powers, Fernando said. “The current situation requires smart moves and not a bull-in-a-china-shop approach that was witnessed recently. We have to accept reality and without being swayed by emotions, which can only complicate matters further.”
He said that it was futile speaking about Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan etc, because the Mahinda Rajapaksa government did not have the power to change the situation in those countries.
Sri Lanka was facing unprecedented pressures because the Rajapaksa regime had failed to conduct proper investigations into a series of human rights violations including the killing of opposition parliamentarians, journalists and foreign aid workers, Fernando said.
Refuting State media allegations that the General Secretary of the UNP, Tissa Attanayake was refused permission to participate in the 124th Assembly of the Inter Parliamentary Union held in Panama, Fernando said that it was an attempt by the government to divert local and international pressures against it.
Fernando said that Attanayake, along with Jayalath Jayawardena and Chandrani Bandara, not only participated in the IPU sessions, but also made representations on behalf of three Sri Lankan MPs who had been killed and ten others whose rights and privileges had been violated.