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Thursday, May 23, 2024

People’s power – the need of the hour – Minister Wimal Weerawansa

Construction, Engineering Services, Housing and Common Amenities Minister, Wimal Weerawansa said the resolution to be moved against Sri Lanka by the US at the UNHRC sessions is the first ‘experiment’ by the US and other human rights fighters to interfere in the internal affairs of Sri Lanka.
The Minister in an interview with the Sunday Observer stressed the need to create a massive people’s power within the country by taking every possible measure to prevent foreign interference.

The Minister said it is obvious that all forthright World Leaders are in the bad books of imperialists. Only those leaders who are stooges of imperialists are in their good books. International pressure mounted as President Mahinda Rajapaksa did not bow down to their pressure.

If the President acted according to the tune of USA and Norway, he would have been in the good books of the Wests and the President would have even won the Nobel Peace Prize.

Opposition Leader, Ranil Wickremesinghe is in the good books of West as he is committed to fulfill their aspirations.

Minister Weerawansa said Sri Lanka defeated a similar resolution moved by another country with the backing of the US. Various resolutions moved against Cuba were successfully defeated at the UNHRC sessions with its strong bilateral ties. If Cuba can defeat such resolutions at the UNHRC, why can’t Sri Lanka?

Q: How do you view the US resolution against Sri Lanka on alleged human rights violations during the humanitarian operation?

A: As the key imperialist country, the US always attempts to consolidate its power. It has already destroyed Africa. The USA is the dominant factor to the present catastrophe faced by Africans.

It is also responsible for destroying Latin America as well. It is only Asia which the US couldn’t destroy. China and India have large populations. However, the US split Indonesia and formed East Timor.

But they couldn’t separate the Banda Aceh Province. After destabilising the Middle East, Africa and Latin America, the USA is now in the process of formulating plans to impose its writ on Asia.

They now face severe economic chaos.

The imperialists are back in the game of pillaging the developing world through neo-colonialism.

That is why the US attempts to impose its writ on Asia. That is what they attempted to create in Sri Lanka through the LTTE. The US used the LTTE to spread terrorism all over the world.

They never believed the Government would defeat the LTTE. However, our war heroes successfully defeated the LTTE due to the bold leadership given by President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Some Western countries such as the US are afraid that this would be a trend sector.

Q: What do you think of the post-conflict malicious campaign by the US and other Western countries using human rights as the stalking horse to punish Sri Lanka on alleged human rights violations?

A: If the USA has a genuine desire about human rights, they should know that 66,000 people were brutally killed in Sri Lanka during the period from 1987 to 1989, but nobody ever raised and objections. Didn’t they see this as a grave human rights violation? The Government in power at that time was a puppet Government which danced to the whims and fancies of the US.

As the present Government does not dance to their tune, any trivial incident in Sri Lanka, is interpreted exposed as a grave human rights violation. This clearly shows the double standard of the US.

What is the moral right the US has to talk about human rights violations? What happened to the human rights of the Iraqi people? Who turned Libya into a killing field? Who is responsible for the creation of the catastrophe in Afghanistan? It is evident the US attempts to interfere in the internal affairs of our country under the guise of human rights. Therefore, they attempt to topple Rajapaksa administration through “Rosa Wasanthaya” (Rose Summer) which they launched in the Middle East. Subsequently they may attempt to exert pressure on Sri Lanka with the intention of issuing warrants against Sri Lanka at the International War Tribunal. This is their plan.

Q: On reflection we see the Ceasefire Agreement had been designed to bifurcate Sri Lanka and allow a terrorist outfit to run the North and the East. Would you agree if one says this spectre is still haunting?

A: Certainly. This is mainly due to the strategic location of our country. As they created Israel in the Middle East, they believed Tamil Eelam is the next state similar to Israel that can be created in South Asia. Had they succeeded in this goal, they would have been able to exploit untapped natural oil and gas resources in the Mannar basin. That is why they attempted to divide the country with the help of Norway and crown LTTE Leader Prabhakaran in the North. If that plan had been successful, then the USA and Western imperialists would have been able to exploit resources in the country and set up a military camp in Trincomalee like how they started the “Voice of America” channel at Iranavila. Their intention was to divide the country and elect their pawns as Leaders. With the signing of the Ceasefire Agreement, they had reached the final stage of their long-term plan to permit an interim administration to the LTTE. It was President Mahinda Rajapaksa who destroyed that plan. Therefore, the USA and some Western countries are unable to tolerate this.

David Miliband and Bernard Kouchner who came to Sri Lanka, exerted maximum pressure to stop the war against terrorists. The UN Secretary General Ban ki-moon also urged the President to stop military operations.

However, the President gave the leadership and won this battle. The USA and some Western forces want to install their henchman as the country’s leader through a regime change. Through this attempt, they would try to realise their strategic goal. However the people who understand the seriousness of this problem will not provide any room to the USA to realise its goal.

Q: What is happening today in Afghanistan, Libya and Iraq is clear proof of human rights violations. Can the civilised world justify the allegation that Sri Lanka which eradicated terrorism has violated human rights?

A: According to the report issued by the Department of Census and Statistics, the lowest number of civilians killed in a world war has been reported from Sri Lanka.

Thousands of civilians were rescued by the Armed Forces. When the USA intervened in Libya, how many civilians were killed by them? The world witnessed the massive destruction in Libya. It is obvious that USA is behind the NATO. This looks like the JVP and the Inter University Students Federation. Our Armed Forces rescued over 300,000 civilians with the least number of casualties.

The USA and some Western countries claim to safeguard human rights in other countries, but what have they done to those countries? Are there any human rights for people in Iraq? Various tribes in Libya are killing each other.

Those who took over the Libyan administration are not in a position to govern the country as the civilians are armed with weapons.

The USA attempts to adopt the same strategy for Iran as well. Actually it is the USA and Western imperialism which destroyed human rights in those countries in those countries. They have sent CIA agents to Sri Lanka as well.

The country has reached a decisive stage. International pressure has mounted because the President did not bow down before them. The people and the intellectuals have the responsibility to defeat this international conspiracy hatched against the President who gave leadership to safeguard the motherland, by defeating terrorism.

Q: Some people believe that certain internal issues have paved the way for foreign interference. Is there any truth in this?

A: If it so, serious allegations should be levelled against then UNP Government which is responsible for the loss of 66,000 people during the 1987 – 1989 period. The then UN Secretary General should have appointed a committee to look into these brutal killings. A Report should have been issued and a resolution moved at the UNHRC sessions. But none of these measure were taken. If human right violations have occurred in the country during the UNP regime, action should have been taken against them.

If the President bowed to foreign dictates, he would have been in their good books and they would have been awarded Nobel Peace Prize to the President. When we are in the good books of the US and some Western countries, then we will go against the aspirations of the people. This is what has happened to Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe. Even today Wickremesinghe is fulfilling the aspirations of these Western countries. Therefore he is always in the good books of the of Western countries and in the bad books of the people. In contrast, President Mahinda Rajapaksa is favoured by the people.

It is obvious that all forthright World Leaders are in the bad books of these western imperialists. World Leaders who have become stooges of imperialists are only in their good books. This is the true story.

Q: Now pressure is for the implementation of the LLRC recommendations. The Government has already appointed a military inquiry committee. Sufficient time is necessary to give effect. In the face of this, what do you mean by American resolution?

A: This Resolution is the first ‘experiment’ by the USA and other human rights fighters to interfere in the internal affairs of Sri Lanka. A resolution was passed against Libya at the UN Security Council to rescue and provide humanitarian assistance to the people who had been trapped in the Benghazi city. After this resolution was passed, NATO carried out air raids in Libya by targeting Libyan Leader Gaddafi.

They didn’t think how many people or children were killed in these air raids. This resolution was passed at the UN but they had not sought permission to carry out air raids in Libya. It only sought permission to make a humanitarian intervention to Libya.

Now they attempt to open an avenue to interfere into our internal affairs through the Resolution. This kind of interference would be a very decisive factor. A massive people’s power should be created by taking every possible measure to prevent such interference.

Q: The masses including the North and the East in there thousands have mobilised their support to the Government in defence of the country. If so, can other countries have their agendas implemented in Sri Lanka?

A: When this resolution is to be moved by the USA, an LTTE Leader Rudrakumaran is in the USA while another is in France, and another is in Norway. If the US is against terrorism, they should immediately arrest Rudrakumaran who claims to be the Leader of the Tamil Eelam state which has no territory.

When the resolution is to be moved against Sri Lanka by the US with the help of these pro- LTTE diaspora, Tamil people who live in foreign countries are brought to Geneva.

They don’t understand the situation in Sri Lanka. They want to show a tussle in Sri Lanka as it is advantageous for them to continue to live in foreign countries.

The prevailing atmosphere in Sri Lanka is not favourable to the Tamil diaspora. But the peace restored is essential to innocent Tamil people in the North and the East.

That is why thousands of Tamil people in the North and the East got to the streets to pledge their support to the massive demonstrations organised countrywide to protest against the Resolution to be moved against Sri Lanka.

This clearly proves the inaccuracy of the picture painted by some pro-LTTE Tamil diaspora about the Tamil community.

The intention of this Tamil diaspora is to recreate a war situation here and ‘live’ on it. They have absolutely no intention to uplift the lives of the Tamil community.

The US also attempts to drag the Tamils into a catastrophe once again to realise their narrow objectives. To successfully face this challenge, we have a huge responsibility to strengthen the determination and solidarity extended by the people at the recent demonstrations.

Q: Some sections argue that mass agitation by the people has no impact on sinister attempts by foreign elements. Would you comment on this?

A: In this, context one operation is conducted in two different forms. One side is on the international front.

Its final goal is to bring our President and top military brass before the International War Tribunal. This operation is going on internationally. But the Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe says any warrant cannot be issued by the International War Tribunal to the President or top military brass as we are not signatory to the Rome Declaration.

The Opposition Leader does not know whether we have not signed this declaration or not, we have no ability to avoid it. Certain provisions in this declaration are adequate to interfere into our country.

Their actual plan is to bring the President before the International War Tribunal. In order to realise their goal, demonstrations, anti Government campaigns and other violent activities should be conducted in Sri Lanka.

They expect to implement “Rosa Wasanthaya”, (Rose Summer) here similar to that of Libya and Syria.

When Rose Summer operates here, its next operation will be conducted in Geneva.

However, if the Rose Summer program is not successful here, the next operation in Geneva will fail. We would be able to face this challenge internationally based on the strength of the people’s power.

At the same time, we have to fulfill some diplomatic requirements as well. Steps should be taken to strengthen bilateral ties with friendly countries as well as with independent nations. But the political front is important.

Q: We are optimistic that the US resolution could be defeated with the support of Third World countries and other independent nations. How do you assess this?

A: Earlier we were able to defeat this same resolution moved by another country.

Our resolution was passed with majority votes. Various resolutions are moved against Cuba at the UNHRC sessions, but Cuba successfully defeated them with strong bilateral ties maintained with other countries.

But we have not laid emphasis to strengthen bilateral ties. If Cuba can defeat resolutions moved against them at the UNHRC sessions, why can’t Sri Lanka defeat such a resolution?

Q: Do you see the Canadian diplomat Louise Frechette’s undiplomatic treatment of Major General Shavendra Silva at the UN peace-keeping advisory council a part of the UN international conspiracy against Sri Lanka?

A: I regret the Opposition’s attitude. They should have expressed opposition regarding this incident. Major General Shavendra Silva is not a member of the UPFA Government. Whatever Government comes to power, as a key military official he will fulfill his duties.

He went to the UN to fulfill a duty on behalf of the country. But the Opposition did not utter a single word about this incident.

If they have an opportunity to attack the Government, they will issue a series of press releases.

Is this Opposition only sensitive to criticise the Government? Can’t they be sensitive about international challenges against the country? The UNP and JVP have come forward to stage some characters in the political script of imperialists, knowingly or unknowingly. Therefore we have to be cautious about the present situation.

Q: The Tamil diaspora, LTTE rump, Dingos, the so-called independent media and “peace merchants” were in the vanguard of the anti-Sri Lanka campaign. Could you explain their present role behind the current UNHRC sessions?

A: The elements which were against the war those days have rallied round once again. If they are dedicated to peace and not favour Tamil Eel am, they should be happy about the present peaceful atmosphere in the country.

They don’t realise that peace has to be safeguarded. Some of our politicians, trade unions and some elements and civil society have been used by so-called peace Dingos to realise their vicious objective for money.

Their intention is to break the rapport between the Government and the people. The incident that took place in Chi law is a classic example. That was the only fisheries organisation in Chi law which refused the fuel subsidy given to fishermen. Because an NGO was behind that demonstration conducted by fishermen in Chi law.

Their intention is not to sort out the fishermen’s problem put to drag the issue to get political mileage.

The same elements who opposed the war against terrorists have rallied round once again. This conspiracy can only be defeated with the unity of patriotic forces.

Q: Why did you not represent Sri Lanka at the UNHRC sessions in Geneva? Had you done so how would you have defended Sri Lanka?

A: Our delegation is fulfilling the responsibility entrusted on them.

It is true there are certain recommendations in the LLRC report which we don’t agree.

But the President has already commenced to implement some of the LLRC recommendations.

The rest of the recommendations will also be implemented in the near future.

A few of these might not be practical. A reconciliation process has commenced. Some elements try their level best to sabotage this process.

The delegation in Geneva has acted positively to face these challenges.


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