02 May 2011
By Sandun A. Jayaekera
President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday charged that external forces were trying to destabilize Sri Lanka by throwing allegations of Human Rights violations and war crimes.
“They are playing with the lives of the people of this country. If they are successful in their attempt, not only the people in the North but the entire nation and the country would plunge into an abyss of no return. Therefore these elements must realize that they were harming the hard fought democracy,peace and harmony of this country” he said. “This government is determined to put an end to the blood-letting that was experienced in 1971, 1989-90 and during the 30 year conflict. Therefore, the government would not let any power, any individual, organization or even a country to destabilize Sri Lanka. The people of this country would not let it happen, he said.
The Sri Lankan government carried out its rescue mission on nearly 300,000 IDPs at the last stage of the ethnic conflict more humanely and carefully than the expectations of the UN agencies like World Food Programme (WFP) President Mahinda Rajapaksa said.
Addressing the UPFA main May Day rally at the Town Hall Grounds last afternoon, President Rajapaksa added that Sri Lanka remains the only country that saved such a large number of people from the clutches of terrorism at such a short time, fed, treated, rehabilitated and ultimately integrated into the society.
“No country in the recent history has carried out a humanitarian operation of this magnitude. No armed forces can claim to have rescued such a large number of militants who had fought against the legitimate armed forces of the country, rehabilitated them, given education up to the university level and skill development training and even arranged their marriage and sent them to the society as law abiding citizens. This was a unique record to Sri Lanka and this is what certain groups and organizations call as war crimes and a violation of human rights,” President Rajapaksa charged.
The WFP advised the government to send food sufficient for 300,000 IDPs that the LTTE kept as a human shield before Sri Lankan armed forces liberated them. But Sri Lankan government sent food stocks enough for 350,000. The government had to bring back the excessive food after all IDPs were put at temporary camps safely.
The entire world watched in awe as how Sri Lankan soldiers carried weak and old to the safety and even fed them with their own meal. They have seen how innocent Tamils as well as LTTE cadres were treated by our medical teams during and after the war. This is the crime they have committed against humanity. Sri Lankan armed forces have protected the human rights even of those who have attempted to kill them. This is the war crimes they have committed according to those who attempt to destabilize Sri Lanka for their ulterior motives.
President Rajapaksa appealed to NGOs, certain other organizations and individuals not to betray the country for a few thousands of dollars.
“The school students were dragged by force into war by the LTTE and sacrificed their lives even before they reach their adulthood for a losing course. Today, the young people in the North enjoy their leisure time playing cricket. The young girls who used to carry a suicide capsule round their neck work at factories or water their vegetable plots at free time.
This is transformation the North –East has gone through after the return of peace and stability any one can witness. These youth have a new life, new expectations and new hopes. They have realized that their future is not darker like the previous generation. But unfortunately for some western powers and organization’s this is war crime and violations of human rights,” President Rajapajsa said.
President Rajapaksa pledged that he was ready to sacrifice his life to protect the country and nation from the detractors of Sri Lanka as he enjoyed the support and blessings of the entire country.
Commenting on the proposed pension scheme for formal and non-formal sector, President Rajapaksa pointed out that the government was firm on the establishment of the pension scheme without touching the EPF or ETF.
The employees who are not entitled for pensions after retirement right now needs this. Therefore, the proposed pension scheme would be set up as early as possible after consulting all stake holders such as trade unions and employers.
He recalled that there was a huge protest when late minister T. B. Illangaratna introduced the EPF under the Bandaranaike regime but today it has become a blessing to millions of employees in the private and semi government sector today.
Ministers Prof. Tissa Vitharana, Patali Champika Ranawaka, D.E.W.G unasekara, Rishard Badurdeen, Wimal Werrawansa, Douglas Devananda, Dinesh Gunawardana, Vasudeva Nanayakkara and Parliamentarians Manusha Nanayakkara and T.H.Piyasena and trade union leaders W.H.Piyadasa and Lesley Devendra also spoke.