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UNP opposes move to create Eelam through referendum; committed to devolution within a unitary state

Eelam map
The UNP yesterday rejected Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalaitha Jayaram’s call for a referendum among Tamils in Sri Lanka including those currently living abroad to decide on the establishment of a separate state (Eelam). National List UNP MP Eran Wickremeratne told a news conference in Colombo that the UNP was committed to preserving the unitary status and territorial integrity of the country and there could be no compromise on that score.

“We totally reject Jayalalitha’s call for the formation of a separate state in Sri Lanka. But, we are for devolving power within a united Sri Lanka”, he said, adding that there was so much of external interference in Sri Lanka’s affairs, because the current regime had violated all norms of democracy with impunity, failed to enforce the rule of law and protect the human rights of its very own citizens.

The MP pointed out that for the rule of law to prevail, the independence of the judiciary had to be preserved, but President Mahinda Rajapaksa had by abusing the powers vested in his office prevented the judiciary from independently performing its duties. “It was this tragic state of affairs that has led to foreign countries and international organisations telling us to put our house in order. It has reached a stage where the United Nations Human Rights Commission is about to commence a war crimes probe into the conduct of the Rajapaksa government and the LTTE.”

It was still not too late to stall the UNHRC war crimes probe, but to achieve that the government would have to speedily implement at least the key recommendations of its very own Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission Report, Wickremeratne pointed out.
by Zacki Jabbar


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