13 December, 2019

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GTF-TNA-Norway-South Africa-Swiss-Solheim-GoSL London Talks: Mangala Makes A Statement To Parliament – Full Speech

Mangala Samaraweera, Minister of Foreign Affairs has today made a statement in response to the question by Opposition Leader Nimal Siripala De Silva pertaining to the meeting of GTF and TNA.

We publish below the statement in full;

Honourable Speaker,

Mangala Samaraweera -Minister of External Affairs

Mangala Samaraweera -Minister of External Affairs

I rise to respond to questions raised by the Honourable Leader of Opposition relating to the discussions that took place between the GTF and the TNA in London, and my presence there.

As the House is aware, the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission was appointed by President Mahinda Rajapaksa on the 15th of May 2010.

The Report of the Commission was handed over to President Rajapaksa on the 15th of November 2011 and it was tabled for the attention of all the Members of this House, on the 16thof December 2011.

Honourable Speaker,

The Commission, having held wide ranging consultations with all communities across the country, made a series of recommendations.

They said that,

“Terrorism and violence have ended. Time and space have been created for healing and building sustainable peace and security so that the fruits of democracy and citizenship can be equitably enjoyed by all Sri Lankans. To this end, the success of ending the armed conflict must be invested in an all-inclusive political process of dialogue and accommodation so that the conflict by other means will not continue…”

The Commission went on to say, that,

“Based on what it heard from the people, the Commission is confident that the citizens are ready and willing to support consensual approaches advancing national interest, national reconciliation, justice and equality for all citizens, so long as the political leaders take the lead in a spirit of tolerance, accommodation and compromise.”

Honourable Speaker,

In its recommendations, the Commission emphasized the vital need for the Government to constructively engage with diaspora groups, especially those who may harbour adversarial attitudes, to find space for them to contribute to the local reconciliation and development efforts.

The Commission recommended that “the Government must have more liberal policies and attitudes towards those expatriates who wish to invest and work in Sri Lanka, for instance, by making it easier to obtain dual nationality status, effect remittances and be able to travel throughout the country without undue restrictions.”

They went on to say that the “Government must take initiatives to constructively engage its development partners in Sri Lanka and abroad to develop a self-reliant, future oriented community in the Wanni, with open minds to build on and sustain reconciliatory community relationships. This is an area where the Sri Lankan ‘diaspora’ can support the Government of Sri Lanka, working in cooperation with the development partners in areas such as housing, schooling, healthcare and livelihood activities”.

The Commission further recommended that the Government “constitute a Multi-disciplinary Task Force to propose a programme of action to harness the untapped potential of the expatriate community and to engage them constructively with the Government and other stakeholders involved in the reconciliation process.”

The LLRC warned that if such an approach is not adopted urgently, the momentum towards creating a hostile atmosphere could grow, and those groups that advocate such a process would continue to promote polarization that will significantly impair the genuine efforts of others who espouse reconciliation back home in Sri Lanka.

This, Hon. Speaker, is a summary of the wise advice given by the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission during the previous administration with regard to dealing with the diaspora.

The Government at the time refused to heed that wise advice although this advice evolved through a process of internal consultations with the public of this country, reflecting their views, their needs, their observations and experiences.

Similarly, the Government at the time refused to heed the advice of many friendly nations overseas.

That unfortunate way of dealing with issues led to the polarisation of society within our country. And, Sri Lanka became isolated among the community of nations.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs which was tasked by the previous Government, with implementing the recommendations of the LLRC Report relating to engaging the diaspora, was unable, at that point, to implement those recommendations.

Hon. Speaker,

As this House is aware, the people of this country voiced their opinion loud and clear on the 8th of January and decided to initiate change. Over 81% of the registered voters in Sri Lanka from all parts of the country including the northern and eastern provinces exercised their franchise at the Presidential election held on the 8th of January.

People in the North of this country who previously boycotted Presidential elections, came out in large numbers to participate in this election. They did so, even as a few urged them not to vote. What better manifestation could one seek from the people of the North and the East, of their commitment to the unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity of this nation?

These people, who had suffered conflict for long years spoke very clearly when they walked out into the polling stations on the 8th of January, to stake their claim in choosing the President of this country. Their country as much as everyone else’s. A united country, with one President.

It was the largest ever voter turnout in the country’s history. Out of 66.28% of the total votes cast in the Jaffna District, 74.42% voted for President Maithripala Sirisena. In the Vanni District, out of the 72.57% votes cast, 78.47% voted for him. In the predominantly Muslim Eastern Province, President Sirisena polled 71.84% of votes in the Trincomalee District, 65.22% in the Digamadulla District and 81.62% in the Batticaloa District. 84.26% of the votes cast in his favour were from outside the Northern and Eastern Provinces reflecting that the people living in these areas also gave voice to the change of Government.

It could therefore be said that this is the first time in our country’s history that we have a truly Sri Lankan leader, who has been elected through the votes of all Sri Lankans, irrespective of race, religion and language.

All communities united in electing President Maithripala Sirisena who promised them a united New Sri Lanka in which ethnic, cultural and linguistic diversity is respected, celebrated and valued. They chose a leader who would fulfil their aspirations of strong and independent democratic institutions, freedom of expression, the rule of law, good governance and the promotion and protection of human rights.

This peaceful change of Government that the people of Sri Lanka achieved through the ballot was hailed as a triumph for democracy not only in Sri Lanka but all over the world.

Hon. Speaker,

It is based on this mandate given by the people to President Sirisena, to build a new, united, peaceful and prosperous Sri Lanka, in which ethnic, cultural, linguistic and religious diversity is respected, celebrated and valued, that I function as the Foreign Minister.

It is based on President Sirisena’s policy of giving priority to engagement and dialogue and renewing partnerships that I have been carrying out my work as the Foreign Minister.

Our aim is to ensure that (a) this country and its people do not, once again, become isolated among the world community (b) this blessed nation does not plunge back into conflict and violence once again (c) that the people of this nation regain their lost dignity once again and stand with pride among the democracies of the world and (d) the people of this nation our able to benefit from the best in every field that the world has to offer and achieve sustainable progress and development.

I have been spending all my time since becoming the Minister of Foreign Affairs of President Sirisena’s government, to build bridges that had been burnt during years of confrontation since the end of the conflict in 2009.

I have been working tirelessly with the staff of the Ministry and the Sri Lanka Missions overseas to re-establish ties with countries that had alienated us over the years and with sections of the Sri Lankan diaspora, who have left this country to live overseas. In this task, I am guided by the wisdom of the Recommendations of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission which the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been entrusted to implement as I said before, this task of dealing with the diaspora was assigned to the Ministry during the previous administration.

Hon. Speaker,

At different times in our history, the people of this country left our shores. These people belonged to all ethnic groups and religions. Sinhalese, Tamils, Muslims and Burghers. They form the Sri Lankan diaspora overseas.

The Sri Lankan diaspora consists of over one-and-a-half million. They are hardworking, talented and responsible individuals in their respective countries. There are some, who are extremely skilled and have excelled, in their respective fields – sports, arts, music, literature, drama, academia, medicine, science, and a variety of other fields.

In fact, according to the OECD, in 2006, one in three members of the Sri Lankan diaspora living in OECD countries is an educated professional. They have also estimated that the OECD consists of over 8000 legislators, senior officials and mangers of Sri Lankan origin.

Can we, at a time when this country has undertaken this important journey of “reconciliation and development” to build an inclusive society, as the President stressed on the 19th of May, leave out from this journey, those who want to join us and help us after many years of trauma and conflict?

Should we not make this the moment to shun from our minds, the feelings of hatred, and narrow parochialism which engulfed us in violent conflict for over 30 years? Should we not make this the moment in our history, to show, that we remain true to the words of the Buddha, whose message was brought to us by the children of the great Emperor Ashoka, who, having fought many a battle, and realized through experience that no true victory can be achieved through hatred and violence, chose to embrace non-violence and compassion? Should we not embrace this moment to demonstrate by our actions that “hatred is never appeased by hatred in this world”? Should we let another opportunity at true reconciliation slip through our fingers and deprive generations to come of enjoying true peace, stability, progress and development that they deserve?

Hon. Speaker,

Our aim should be to embrace all diaspora, the Sri Lankan diaspora, irrespective of ethnicity or religion, who are committed to support our reconciliation efforts, capacity-building, development and welfare of the people while pledging to uphold the unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity of our nation.

In order to encourage diaspora members to engage and contribute to efforts in Sri Lanka, my Ministry is keen to organize a diaspora festival later this year. Such an event, depending on how it progresses, could even take the form of a regular annual event, to connect Sri Lanka to its diaspora. This will enable the communities in the country to benefit from the knowledge, capacity, expertise and skills of the Sri Lankan diaspora. Several countries in the world including India and Ireland to name a few, have benefitted from such organized events.

Since we announced this idea, we have already started receiving many expressions of support and interest from several Sri Lankans overseas, across ethnicities.

Hon. Speaker,

This is a unique moment in our nation’s history and we should use this opportunity to reach out to the Sri Lankan communities overseas who have the potential to help us in this journey of peace, reconciliation and development.

In fact, Hon. Speaker, as a result of our discussions and our efforts, it is most likely that the diaspora groups who were previously hostile to Sri Lanka would issue a declaration renouncing violence and committing themselves to work towards a united, undivided Sri Lanka.

Hon. Speaker,

Answers to the specific questions raised by the Hon. Leader of Opposition:

Can the Minister state the objective of the discussions that he held in London with the Global Tamil Forum for which the media gave immense publicity? What was the objective of these discussions. What were the decisions reached? What were the issues discussed?

1. As the Press Statement issued by the Member of Parliament from the TNA (Mr. M.A. Sumanthiran) and the Director of Strategic Initiatives of the GTF (Mr. Suren Surendiran) indicated, very clearly, what was discussed were:

-the needs of the displaced people, providing for their housing, providing basic facilities so that they could resettle in the lands that have been returned to them,

-the release of prisoners held under the PTA and the process that is currently underway,

-the annual review of the persons listed under gazetted regulations 1758/19 dated 15th May 2012 and 1760 of 31st May 2012 (by the previous Government) to give effect to UN Resolutions 1373 and 1267. This annual review is mandatory as per the regulations that have been gazetted by the previous Government.

I table the statement.

The persons and organisations that took part in this discussion

2. The persons who were present at the discussions:

-Member of Parliament from the TNA
-Representative of the GTF Mr. Suren Surendiran
-A representative of the Office for National Unity and Reconciliation – Mr. M.S. Jayasinghe

The following representatives were present on the basis of the large diaspora communities living in those countries and to share the experiences they have of dealing with the different Sri Lankan diaspora communities and members present in those respective countries:

-A representative from the South African Government -who initiated a dialogue with the diaspora & senior members of the Rajapaksa regime in 2013.
-A representative from the Swiss Government
-Former Norwegian Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Mr. Tore Hattrem.
– Mr. Eric    participated briefly on the 1st day to share his experiences in engaging the diaspora.

In order to have such a discussion, did the Minister obtain the approval of the Cabinet of Ministers and the President or the Prime Minister?

3. All details of discussions at all times are reported back to the President and the Prime Minister

During the discussions, was the lifting of the ban on the LTTE or withdrawal of the gazette notification which banned the organisations that aided and assisted the banned LTTE and/or organisations which supported the LTTE, discussed?

4. There was no discussion of lifting the proscription of the LTTE.

-The annual review of the persons listed under gazetted regulations 1758/19 dated 15thMay 2012 and 1760 of 31st May 2012 (by the previous Government) to give effect to UN Resolutions 1373 and 1267 was discussed.
-This annual review is mandatory as per the regulations that have been gazetted by the previous Government.
-When this review is being conducted, the Competent Authority will take into account the distinction between those advocating separatism and those who have been voicing concerns regarding the rights of the Tamil people.

Was the subject of war crimes discussed at the discussions?

5. No.

Were views exchanged with the Global Tamil Forum or with the other local or foreign representatives who participated in the discussions regarding the process of preparing a domestic mechanism to examine war crimes?

6. No.

Will the Minister of Foreign Affairs  regarding this discussion to this House? If not, why?

I have explained to the House the background, reasons and details and will also share a copy of the Press Statement issued by the GTF’s Director of Strategic Initiatives and the Member of Parliament of the TNA.

Finally, I would also like to inform the House that we discussed about a public declaration renouncing violence as a means of achieving political objectives and a public commitment to a united and undivided Sri Lanka. The recent statement by Rev. Fr. S.J. Emmanuel, President of the GTF and Mr. Suren Surendiran reflect this welcome shift in attitude. I now table some of these recent statements.

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Latest comments

  • 4
    14

    MANGALA YOU AND M.A.SUMANTHIRAN IS IN A HURRY.YOU WANT TO HELP MAHINDA AND COMPANY MAKING USE OF THIS MEETING TO MISREPRESENT TO THE SINGALESE AND WIN FEW SEATS.SUMANTHIRAN IS TAKING A RISK ANS GOING TO CRTISIZED FOR ATTENDING THIS MEETING BY PEOPLE LIKE DR.SIVAGILINGAM PROFESSOR SURESH PREMACHANDRN AND JAFFNA KUSBHU ANANTHI PASITHARAN FROM HIS OWEN PARTY.AT THE END SUMANTHIRAN FACING THE POSSILITY OF LOOSING HIS CHANGES IN NXET ELECTION.TAMIL WILL GET NOTHING OUT OF THIS EXERCISE.ALL FART NO SHIT.BE CAREFULL ABOUT NIMAL SARI GALWENNA SILVA.

    • 10
      12

      From what we gather is that this meeting is nothing about reconstruction of war ravaged areas or rehabilitating war affected people, but to get the support of GTF/BTF not to raise objections to the request of Srilanka government to the UN to postpone the releasing of the war crimes investigation report.

      This is why meeting was held in London secretly in the presence of Solheim. The plea of the government to western countries is that if the report is released, Sinhala people will vote for Mahinda and bring him to power. How long will this deception of the government continue to deny Tamils their justice.

      • 6
        1

        RAJA

        “From what we gather is that this meeting is nothing about reconstruction of war ravaged areas or rehabilitating war affected people, but to get the support of GTF/BTF not to raise objections to the request of Srilanka government to the UN to postpone the releasing of the war crimes investigation report.

        Yes, Yes and Yes.

        Forgotten People – The Evicted and Displaced North Muslims of Sri Lanka (English)

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9JV60McNQ9o

        Published on Jun 1, 2013
        The Evicted and Displaced North Muslims of Sri Lanka. The expulsion of the Muslims and other nations from the Northern province was an act of ethnic cleansing carried out by the Tamil militant Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) organization in October 1990. In order to achieve their goal of creating a mono ethnic Tamil state in the North Sri Lanka, the LTTE forcibly expelled the 72,000 strong Muslim population from the Northern Province.

        “This is why meeting was held in London secretly in the presence of Solheim”

        What about all those conspiracies and the crimes committed by Israel, In IRaq, Syria, etc.

        DOUBLE STANDARDS.

    • 8
      6

      The list of participants and sponsors (that Solheim again!) of this woodoo thovil shows that it is an attempt by the “international (ionist) community” to divide Sri Lanka. This will create mayhem and dispute, war, terrorism and murder, helping the Zionists to divert attention from Israel.

      that has been their interest in Sri Lanka including the recent establishment of the Yahapalana joke. They knew Mahinda Rajapakse would not allow that kind of Jilmart.

      They have found their traitor in the form of the Homo ourMangala and they are busy right now!

      But we will see whether they will be able to implement these conspiracies!

      • 2
        0

        What a “Pena Kiimak? Developed West love to get more & more boat & plain refugees from SL, so West created those mass murdering, raping and all sort of problems in SL to get more SL refugees. SL is economically insignificant country in the world, so I can’t think of any other reason why West trying to destroy this lazy nation..

    • 3
      0

      Mr. Mangala Samaraweera, Minister.

      “Mangala Samaraweera, Minister of Foreign Affairs has today made a statement in response to the question by Opposition Leader Nimal Siripala De Silva pertaining to the meeting of GTF and TNA.”

      “Based on what it heard from the people, the Commission is confident that the citizens are ready and willing to support consensual approaches advancing national interest, national reconciliation, justice and equality for all citizens, so long as the political leaders take the lead in a spirit of tolerance, accommodation and compromise.”

      DOUBLE SPEAK, DOUBLE STANDARDS, WHOM ARE YOU GOING TO FOOL

      Forgotten People – The Evicted and Displaced North Muslims of Sri Lanka (English)

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9JV60McNQ9o

      Q1. What is your Goal here? Appease the Terrorists?

      1. Who are the TGF people? They are representatives of the Terrorist Organization LTTE who are now abroad. TNA is the political arm of this organization.

      2. TGF is closely linked with the Norwegians, the Israelis and the Fundamentalist Christians, and they to turn the Sinhala Buddhist, Tamil Hindu and Muslim People of Sri Lanka into a Christian, West following, double standard state, so that they will support all the atrocities of countries like Israel.

      They were able to fool the BBS idiots to attack the Muslims, because, it is hard to get a Muslim to accept that one of Prophets, is God, and accept Trinity, beliefs, that is the root cause of the Inquisitions that killed millions.

      3. A Parade of Traitors, Bought by Christian Fundamentalists to Lanka, the Land of Native Vedda Aethho. Sinhala Buddhists, Tamil Hindus, BBS where are You? Are you not funded by the Norwegians and the Israelis?

      The Various Norwegian Agencies That Supported BBS Personnel https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/the-various-norwegian-agencies-that-supported-bbs-personnel/

      By Rajiva Wijesinha – Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha MP

      When I wrote some weeks back about the supposed Norwegian involvement with the Bodhu Bala Sena, I had not seen the clarification which the Norwegian Embassy had put on its website about the allegations. Having read it, I am more than ever convinced that the Norwegian government and its embassy have not behaved badly, but also that they, and also the Sri Lankan government, must go more carefully into the matter and check on what exactly has been going on. If they can do this together, so much the better, though I fear that neither side will have the correct skills and attitudes to ensure fruitful and productive cooperation. The reason I believe investigation would be useful is because of two names I noticed in the official Norwegian statement.

      One is that of the Worldview International Foundation, which is essentially run by a gentleman called Arne Fjiatoff, who has been in Sri Lanka now for several decades. During this period he has been involved in a range of projects with various Sri Lankan governments, which are in theory designed to benefit the Sri Lankan people, but which have also brought considerable benefits to Arne himself.

  • 9
    3

    Well, something is cooking! Can you get the smell? We will know what it is eventually.

    • 0
      4

      Guess, oe should just sit quiet then, rather than making up stories.

  • 8
    5

    If the objectives were so meritorious, why (1) hold the talks abroad (2) in secrecy (3) with unelected members of the Tamils (4) with persons who had no demonstrated support within the Tamil diaspora and (5) in the presence of Mr Solheim.

  • 3
    5

    oh Mangala no yakkadayas from NRT SL attended?

    • 4
      1

      Hi Rajesh Kumar

      I am very, very happy today because I am not far away from you.

      Tell me how to join the NRTSL. Whom to contact.

      [Edited out]

      Your close ally is giving me ins and outs of you. Read this columns for further facts.

      [Edited out]

      • 1
        0

        [Edited out]

    • 0
      0

      oh Mangla

      Subsequent to this comment of mine …Rajasigham Jeyadevan has just posted his comment – bending over backwards pleading with you to send hime an invite.

      oh poor thing they thought calling themsleves non resident Tamils instead of diaspoara may attract your attention.

  • 15
    5

    I applaud Mangala for his initiative in starting a dialogue with the Tamil diaspora. The Tamil diaspora has the power to relieve some of the serious troubles the Rajapaksa government created for the country. Only the Rajapaksa associated Sinhala racists are trying to cause trouble for the Sirisena govt by bringing up the non-existent LTTE bogey as usual.

  • 3
    4

    With their adventure with PLO …and LTTE ….Norway has lost her credibility ….

    No Tamils will believe Norway …never….

  • 17
    4

    I think Mangala has explained the purpose of the meeting quite clearly. All genuine patriots who desire reconciliation should boldly welcome this approach. There is nothing wrong in this approach.

    Sengodan. M

    • 1
      5

      Mangala is nothing but an opportunist and political manipulator. Nothing will come out of this as Mangala does not make any decisions although he is close to his former boss Chandrika BK.

      This is mainly for cheap publicity and bogus propaganda. Mangala is so damn naive that he does not even know that Surendran and GTF were one of the Tamils who desperately campaigned for the Tamils to Boycott the Presidentional elections in January. They failed miserably and that is how and why he is the foreign minister today.

      President Sirisena as the common candidate won by a narrow margin, despite losing the Attanagalla the Bandaranayake bastion and AnuradhaPura electorates. Rajapakses did extremely well in Matara district and the South where Mangala hails from.

      GTF desperately wants to be off the Proscribed list and are sucking up to Mangala for the past 1 year or more. They have had many secret meetings with Mangala and a few others and both are engaging themselves. GTF was formed 6 years ago with a whole different group of Tamil people who were active before the end of the war and has been hijacked by a new crowd. Fr. Emmanuel has been President for 6 years and they are unable to find a replacement or want to have elections similar to the TGTE.

      Tamil diaspora is in such a pathetic stage/situation making noises without substance.

      This meeting will only help the Rajapakses and Anti Tamil Sinhala Buddhist racist chauvinist forces in the elections around the 14th of August just 8 weeks away.

      Donald Gnanakone
      Tamils For Justice
      Founder.

      • 3
        0

        Donald,

        “Surendran and GTF were one of the Tamils who desperately campaigned for the Tamils to Boycott the Presidentional elections in January”

        Did they???

        We miss you in Tamil Aarachi forum

        • 2
          1

          Anpu

          “We miss you in Tamil Aarachi forum”

          It is All right to miss Mootals, Modayas and Fools.

          “Did they???” Some Mootals boycotted. Some Voted for Mahinda Rajapaksa. The have an average IQ of 65.

          Mootal Velupillai Prabakaharan even supported Mahinda Rajapaksa, after getting some money from Emil Kanthan, Tiran Alles, Basil Rajapaksa anbd Mahinda Rajapaksa.

      • 1
        0

        Dear Uncle Donald

        Hope you are keeping fine thanks to those blood pressure controlling tablet. What is going on Uncle? When I read your article after 8th of Janauary you were running very high horse praising Pamba Sena and Ponzie Singhe and talking very loudly about them being Sole Saviours. Now you are barking at Battcha Mongal from Matara whenever he is trying to loosen the grip of your Thamil- Die-Ass-Poo-ra by present SL Pumba Government. You guys have never been happy and you guys are very difficult to please. I am sure your former Sinhalese wife may support me on that.

        Just a piece of advice to you and yoru Thamil Peelum nation: “Please remember the Pamba Sena was in MARA’s government and he is far more smarter than MARA. Please continue to follow him like the stupid fox who followed the Billy Goat with large nuts. Surely Pamba Sena will deliver your dreamland soon.

        Your ever-loving cousin
        Sinhala Banda

        • 3
          0

          Sinhala Banda the ever-loving cousin of Dear Uncle Donald

          How could Uncle Donald become your ever loving cousin unless of course there was some incestuous relation along your family genealogy.

          By the way if you have a family dispute with your Uncle Donald/cousin why don’t you take it to the dinning table and deal with it decisively?

          Why are you bothering us with your family disputes here in this forum? It is wrong to wash your dirty linen in public.

          • 0
            2

            Kala Vaadda

            I have told you to mind your own business many times in previous forums. Still you keep pushing your dirty brown puggy nose to others business.

            Please mind your own business if it is not really relevant to you. Use your mustard seed brain. Try hard man!!!!!!!

            • 1
              0

              Sinhala Banda

              “I have told you to mind your own business many times in previous forums.”

              It is my right and business to poke fun at you as you seem to be another stupid Sinhala/Buddhist Banda. Are you a descendant of Pandara Nayagam?

              “Use your mustard seed brain. Try hard man!!!!!!!”

              I can see from your typing how hard you must have tried even with a large dead brain.

      • 0
        0

        Donald -GTF desperately wants to get off the prescribed list.
        —————————————————

        This is a private matter and they should approach
        the govt. unofficially or go to international courts, or UN
        but they should not sell Tamils’ rights to achieve it.

        TNA and the diaspora should realise that the priorities should
        be looked into first and these minor matters can be discussed
        at leisure after the election and permanent peace is set in
        Sri Lanka.

    • 6
      2

      Sengodan. M

      “All genuine patriots who desire reconciliation should boldly welcome this approach.”

      I humbly request you to stop using the words such as patriots and traitors. These words divide people rather than unite them.

      Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel – Samuel Johnson

      Patriot: the person who can holler the loudest without knowing what he is hollering about. – Mark Twain

      Mark Twain must have foresaw the birth of Weerawansa, Dayan, and others.

      • 1
        0

        This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2/

        • 1
          0

          Native Vedda

          In JOURNALISM, TRUTH IS NOT a Process. It is Deception.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Goebbels

          Joseph Goebbels

          At Hitler’s invitation, Goebbels spoke at party meetings in Munich and at the annual Party Congress, held in Weimar in 1926.[50] For the following year’s event, Goebbels was involved in the planning for the first time. He and Hitler arranged for the rally to be filmed.[51] Receiving praise for doing well at these events led Goebbels to shape his political ideas to match Hitler’s, and to admire and idolize him even more.[5

    • 0
      0

      Sengodan – Good speech indeed but the motive is different. Trying
      to win the diaspora over the Tamil voters in Sri Lanka over the war criminal report from UN, to be released in September. May be the end for TNA if they get further involved in meetings with diaspora while
      leaving the priorities behind. Local problems should be solved locally with the local authorities and they should not put the cart before horse as the priorities for the Tamils are different right now.

  • 2
    2

    Very professionally presented, Mr. Foreign Minister. Only thing is that GTF is a proscribed organisation in Sri Lanka.

    • 1
      1

      yeah with no prior cabinet approval and not informing president, very professional!

  • 5
    3

    Another giant stride towards PMship or and even Leadership of the UNP.

    This is a gold plated performance in front of an International audience.

    Although Uncle Kerry or Cameron weren’t there they were well represented by Norwegian Solly and the Swiss NGOs.

    To apologize to the LTTE supporters all over the World in front of the heaviest LTTE outfit of the West, the GTF on behalf of the unelected PM and the new President of Srilanka for eliminating Praba and causing distress to the Diaspora is a noble act,which only a good leader can execute.

    The unelected PM who was a close buddy of the TNA who even offered ISGA couldn’t do it even after getting PMship.

    TNA and GTF are now all in one thanks to the FM.,

    I am not sure how many parties there are now in this alliance.

    But they are going to scoop up the whole Tamil vote lock stock and barrel.which will make them the third largest party in Parliament after the Election.

    Will they still back Ranil, who is now covered in muck up to his eye balls, after what his mate Mahendran did with the Bonds.

    CBK and Ranil even wouldn’t care much about Ranil, because even Good people of UNP itself are s fed up with Ranil going after the Sinhala Buddhists like a rabid mongrel.

    Now the latest assignment Ranil has given to his F…CID is to find out how our poor Sinhala Buddhist Upasaka Ammes got LKR 600 Million to buy Sil Garments.(Sil Garment is a white cloth and a jacket to go to prayers)

    While Ranil’s UNP ladies in Colombo get the best Cut pile Carpet in our Premadasa Stadium for their poodles to piss on.

    Isn’t Premadasa stadium the correct name ?..

    How does that compare with our Samare’s Platinum performance in London…

    Only Sinhala Buddhist vote Ranil can expect this time is from the Poodle Society in Colombo and Mahendran’s family on behalf of the Vellalas.

    Can Mahendran vote?..

  • 11
    3

    An approach that is at least three years overdue. A good beginning, the right language and the correct path. I hope this dialogue triggers off the passion for reconciliation among all communities in Sri Lanka. Let it become a revolution of sorts.
    The Diaspora too should cease to be absentee land lords who want to have only say in our affairs. They should not only come back to reclaim the lands they own, but also develop them. The older generation should return to live part-time in Sri Lanka to set an example and transfer their valuable experiences. THEY SHOULD NOT BE COMING BACK TO SELL THEIR STAKE IN SRI LANKA- THEIR LANDS. They should come back in droves to see , experience and understand the post-war Sri Lanka. They should come back to see the nasty underbelly of the glitter and the real aspirations of the people who constitute this underbelly. They should come back give back something of lasting value to this country- their investments, expertise and knowledge. They should not come back to be aliens and sire thumbs. They should not come back to exploit poverty and all that it entails.

    Sri Lanka should become their favourite holiday destination. Their children should be brought frequently to Sri Lanka to live, learn, understand, reclaim and own the best of their heritage.

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

    • 1
      4

      Dr Narendran,

      Dr Mahendran came, reclaimed to the tune of 5000 Million on behalf his SIL for which Elite will have to pay extra 3 % over the going rate.

      And it is for 30 years.

      BTF which Abraham has made part of the TNA will have many more Mahendrans who will follow soon with their Duals.
      .
      But what is in there for our local Dalits?

      Are they going to get their labouring jobs back,which Yahapalana Ranil % his Buddy Samare have stopped.

      What about the Diasporians who haven’t the Dough for the Deposit to get the Dual.

      Is the BTF going to pay for them , now that it is part of the TNA?

      Or will Surendran put pressure on his Buddy Samare to wave the FX deposit requirements after the election?..

      You can always tell the local elite, it is a Means Tested Concession to have a level playing ground for the Elite and the Dalits when they reclaim their ex LTTE land..

      • 3
        0

        K.A Sumanasekera

        You are mad. Yours is always cockeyed thinking and shambolic argument.

        Please retire from these columns.

  • 3
    4

    If the Ranil government and Mangala are keen on reconciliation they must boldy come forward to discuss this openly in Sri Lanka with concerned Sri Lankan parties and entities. Mangala need not go to London and talk with GTF’s Surenthiran and Norway’s Eric Solheim. We do not need Surenthirans and Solheims to sought out the problems of the Tamils. Tamil problem is an internal Sri Lankan problem and need to be sought out in Sri Lanka with Sri Lankans. No need for these ‘foreign yakkos’ be it Surenthiran or Solheim.

    Why or what is the need to involve diaspora Tamil groups or total foreigners like Solheim? GTF is a banned organisation for having involvement with LTTE. Surenthiran & co should have no place in any reconciliation efforts. People like Surenthiran are anti-Sri Lanka and they are all anti-nationals trying to destablize Sri Lanka again.

    If any Diaspora Tamils want to give their contributions to help the affected Tamils or help in their rehabilitation and development let them come to Sri Lanka and do all what they can do. Many individuals among the Tamil Diaspora are already doing this.

    Now that President Sirisena has agreed to let the Chief Minister of Northern Provincial Council to float a development fund for the north, let them contribute to this fund which will be audited by the Auditor-General’s Department. Unlike all the TNA politicians including TNA’s backdoor MP Sumanthiran, NCP Chief Minister Vigneswaran is a straight forward person and a gentleman. Let the government deal directly with Tamil leaders like Vigneswaran. Vigneswaran is one of few former Sri Lankan Supreme Court Justices highly respected for unbiased decisions.

  • 4
    6

    Well done Mangala. Your dedication, commitment and calculated strategy will yield fruitful results. It is upto all citizens of Srilanka to chose a peaceful nation that can prosper in the future or to get tangled in a mess that an elite group of thugs who think they control the country. President Sirisena should call for elections and show the world how little support Rajapakse has now without all the resources he had before. There is definitely no chance of hom coming back and it needs to be proven to get them shut up or keep the rhetoric alive until they get tired.

  • 5
    5

    Well done, Mr Minister!

    Way to go!

  • 2
    2

    First of all it is not early to start reconciliation – I think it is a good start. Tamils are not living with feeding bottles for Singhalese to cheat-be man enough to face things-hiding head inside the sand will not bring any solution. They can’t include every time passing Tamil to the discussion because every Tamil person will pull the discussion from all four corners and the effort will never move – Each and every Tamil have different views and never unite – it is a curse from God – first try to unite and try to be genuine. The main reason for our present plight is not Sinhala resist it is our traitors and our me, me and my family mentality. Lot of Tamils talk about abolishing cast system but they maintain cast system within family marriage and attack others on that basis but talk about abolishing cast – correct yourself before waste talk. Please do not disturb others effort by the wasteful culvert talk -do something constructive or keep quiet – Tamils couldn’t do anything for the last six years after the war. See we srilankans were a proud nation, now pushed to take advise from African countries, Indians, Pakis and from many worst countries- very sad about our present pariah state – still we couldn’t make MR quiet – he is determined to sink srilanka into the sea -God save us from those nasty people.

  • 2
    0

    Mangala,

    >Our aim should be to embrace all diaspora, the Sri Lankan diaspora, irrespective of ethnicity or religion, who are committed to support our reconciliation efforts, capacity-building, development and welfare of the people while pledging to uphold the unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity of our nation.<

    <Finally, I would also like to inform the House that we discussed about a public declaration renouncing violence as a means of achieving political objectives and a public commitment to a united and undivided Sri Lanka. The recent statement by Rev. Fr. S.J. Emmanuel, President of the GTF and Mr. Suren Surendiran reflect this welcome shift in attitude. I now table some of these recent statement<

    Emmanuel and Surendiran yes but what about all the others and upholding the unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity of our nation? Most of the Tamil diaspora might agree but many do not.

  • 3
    1

    Initiatives for changes, if sincerely desired, cannot be taken without an element of risk. Following the end of the war the former Govt., although talked about seeking the support of the Tamil Diaspora, did not have a realistic approach towards seeking this support. The only steps taken are a few discussions with individuals from several countries or groups who had little or no influence within the expatriate Tamil community. Further, the Govt. had nothing to offer to convince the community that their issues will be seriously addressed to. Whether one may like it or not the GTF and the BTF have established themselves as organisations effectively representing the Tamils abroad with strong political connections and influence in Western countries, and their voice was heard and still being heard. That is the reality. While the engagement of the former Govt. with ineffective individuals became meaningless the groups of former Tamil militants, who have now shunned the LTTE and call themselves as moderates, and those were not gun-carriers but still stood for the Tamil cause; remain divided in smaller groups quarreling with each other still on issues of their past differences or newly adopted dogmas or ideologies. Then arises the question with whom the new Govt. of Sri Lanka, which shows signs of meaningful reconciliation, could deal with as representatives of the Tamil Diaspora. The GTF has,by its recent conciliatory messages, given some answer. Mangala, who appears to be becoming a ‘practical politician’, has taken this message seriously and has taken the needed risk. Together with this development the emergence of the NRSLT, whether its program announced is acceptable to different thinking or not, too should be viewed as a positive factor as both development will go a long in diffusing the much carried-out campaign of the communal elements that the ‘whole of the Tamil Diaspora’ seeks to divide Sri Lanka. Sumanthiran who is becoming acceptable to the non-communal Sinhala people has thrown his lot in the risk. The developments could be looked into with patient optimism and not with rushed in pessimism.

    • 2
      1

      The Tamil diaspora at the conclusion of the war, almost without exception were against MR, simply because his forces had whipped the terrorists. They were still working against him and his government and have not forgiven him. One must not be taken in too easily by the words of Surendiran and EmmanuEl.

  • 7
    4

    There should be no talks with any diaspora. They are no longer sri lankans but foreigners. The government must first look after interests of its citizens. Solheim, GTF, and all the violent ethnics in foreign lands that supported LTTE, keep them out of SLK

  • 1
    4

    The current government is trying to tap into the diaspora’s wealth, skills and knowledge. But do you think that the West is going to sit and watch while you tap into their resources? The norm is the other way around; the West normally taps into others’ resources to rule the world. The West hasn’t provided education, job and citizenship to the diaspora to develop Sri Lanka or Asia. The current government is fooling itself. Wait and see how this will turned into a bloody disaster. Ranil, Mangala, and Mahishini have so much to learn. In the history foolish leaders never led the country into prosperity, it will never happen.

    India created the Tamil armed groups, but never intended to support the war for decades. Indo-Lanka agreement in 1987 was the evidence that India wanted conclude the war in Sri Lanka. However, the West supported the LTTE indirectly through the Tamil diaspora to have a foothold in Sri Lanka, in order to control the Indian Ocean. President Mahinda Rajapaksa eliminated the LTTE, even though the Western governments tried their best to save the LTTE. Sadly, President Mahinda Rajapaksa wasn’t smart enough to save him and the country by securing his leadership.

    President Mahinda Rajapaksa didn’t understand how important to govern the country in truth as Singapore’s former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew. The West will eventually punish Mahinda Rajapaksa. The West has started to get a firm grip on Sri Lanka. Mr. Ranil Wickremesinghe has to go with the West. If he goes to China to develop the country, the West will divide the country to get a foothold in the Indian Ocean, in order to control China and India.

  • 3
    3

    LLRC was an attempt by Mahinda to cheat International Community along with Prof. Vithara lead All party group on finding solution to the ethnic problem, promises to go beyond 13+ etc etc. Mahinda and his group strongly believed that the people of Srilanka, particularly Sinhalese don’t have a brain. We all can remember on and off they created LTTE drama to maintain that LTTE is on the doorway. However, Majority of Sinhalese proved that Mahinda is wrong.They understood that his aim was to create a kingdom for his family at the expense of the true values of Buddhism and human values that was existed for long in this island. it is not a secret how the regime expolite the law and order, corruption from top to bottom, terror and selling the nation to China.
    Whatever the tactics they play, People are not prepared to go back to Mahinda. We don’t want Mahinda blocks every corner of this island. we want a simple, gentle, friendly Maithiri in our hearts, peace and love among all citizens of this island.

    • 2
      2

      You need not butter the sinhalese to keep the anti sinhala anti Lankan RW-Mangala government in power.

      Sinhalese have realised who RW is and will change the government

  • 2
    2

    MR is only a symbol. The main task in front of us now is to eliminate all racial elements from our politics. Clean army navy & air force MR created to support him and his ambition. It is very difficult to educate corrupted forces for last 35 years – best option is to replace them with new lot – majority of them can be removed, if a genuine war crime investigation is carried out. Mr can not win this time – he defeated Sarath Fonseka be rigging election, we all thought he will rig and defeat Mithiri but God helped – he stopped many Tamils from voting and to a certain extent he rigged votes but he could not win, so in the next election he will definitely loose his deposit also – many people will shake their heads and enjoy presents from him and will not vote to him – that is reality , people are not fools.

    • 1
      2

      ” The main task in front of us now is to eliminate all racial elements from our politics “

      Are you predicting the death of the TNA ?

      • 4
        1

        Ramuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu

        “Are you predicting the death of the TNA ?”

        As long as you are alive TNA will continue to exist and thrive.

        Actually MR, Gota, Gnanasara, Gamanpilla, Dayan, ………. Nalin de Silva, …. give sustenance to TNA for its survival.

      • 2
        2

        I am predicting death sentence to Mahinda by a court of justice of Srilanka for the crimes committed during his last 10 years including the murder of Lasantha and attempted murder of Maithiri.

        • 1
          1

          Really Ajith really!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Amen!!!!!!!!!!!

  • 1
    1

    Sri Lanka has been used to the war mentality that has been prevalent over many centuries. There has been many wars historically and the last one between LTTE and the government forces was one of them. We know the consequences of war – people lose everything, it creates enmity and resentments among people and and the country is put back socially and economical by many years. We need to get away from this culture and seek the path of peace, civility and growth.

    The last government unfortunately was intoxicated with victory and was fostering conflict and anger among people. They took the path of running a country by the victors over the misery of the defeated. The so called developments in the war affected areas was shown as a sign of reconciliation, but the manner in which this was done and the military presence in actuality promoted the suppression of the people who live in those areas.

    The path that the current government is taking is in the right direction and they will need full support from everyone who believes in the peaceful and prosperous Sri Lanka. Looking at the comments above, it is clear that there are people who still believe that they can continue to be successful by suppressing another community. Hopefully they will all get some sense soon.

  • 3
    2

    Hon Mangala Samaraweera

    I am not a stranger to you. We had discussions in the past.

    I welcome your sincere efforts to change Sri Lanka to a much acceptable tolerant society. Your speech in the parliament and your forward thinking efforts gives us lots of encouragement. Lots of blood have been spilt. Enough of enough.

    Whilst welcoming your honest and sincere initiatives, I humbly request you to take the next difficult step to widen the scope to engage with the wider Tamil Diaspora community. Consensus building is an essential process and this has to happen without giving the sole representative status to any one favourable and screaming loudly to be heard.

    Representing some socio, political and pressure groups, I and many more are prepared to engage to strengthen the process initiated by you. It is important that efforts must be made to bring about fusion without which, I fear, your sincere efforts will be undermined.
    THanking you

    R Jayadevan

    • 4
      2

      Mr Jaydevan.

      I thought your mate Mr Samaraweera categorically stated that there were representatives of Diapora from all over the World watching when he shook hands with Mr Surendran of the BTF.

      And he said there were Swiss , Norwegian ex Ministers , NGOs, Reverend Emmanuel and whole host of other Diaspora dudes including officials from the only elected governing body, the TNGTE. which is HQed in NJ next door to NYC…

      So what are these different issues which you are on about, when all the big honchos with the clout were there?.

      Unless you know something which our Elite in Colombo are not aware of.

      I know Ms Ananathi who was given a Red Card with suspension is stirring the pot to put some wind up the backside of TNA boss Sambandan.

      Is it possible that there are Diasporians who are not with the UNP, TNA BTF alliance?.

      I thought our Southern Inhabitants the great majority, the Sinhala Buddhists are the ones who don’t know how to appreciate and enjoy good things when those are right in front of their eyes and quite visible.

    • 2
      1

      “Lots of blood have been spilt. Enough of enough. “

      This is not the time to say this ne. This could have had any validity before 2009.
      Tell the truth you did not give a [Edited out] about spilling blood. It was only MR and SL state cared that and finished the war.

    • 2
      0

      Can you explain to me as to what you mean by wider Tamil diaspora community.
      As far as I can see they can be divided into three broad categories.

      1. Extremists supporting LTTE ideals. They are only about 10%. Whether we like it or not they are vociferous, have adequate financial resources and are able to mobilize people for demonstrations.
      2. Group consisting of opportunists, publicity seekers and few with allegation of financial misappropriation. They are also only about 10%. These people want to promote their personal agendas.
      3. Silent majority of rest 80%. Unfortunately they do not want to get involved in this dirty game of politics. These are people with self respect and cannot be bought over for money or positions.

      To which category of Tamils do you belong, certainly not the silent majority.
      You seem to be unhappy that you were left out when Mangala was in London.

      It is better for the government to engage with the silent majority than with any of these who claim to represent Tamils, but have no mandate to do so.

    • 0
      0

      jasingham Jayadevan
      “I humbly request you to take the next difficult step to widen the scope to engage with the wider Tamil Diaspora community”

      I thought you call yourself Non Resident Tamil and you distance yourself from the Diaspora.

    • 0
      0

      R Jayadevan “I fear, your sincere efforts will be undermined. “

      you are already underminin it. Just keep out of it.

  • 2
    1

    Excellent, intelligent and timely initiative by ManSam, Govt and TNA-GTF.

    I totally support the open and liberal democratic tone of his presentation in Parliament reported above.

    Keep it up ManSam; ignore the scum (including those in the Comments Column of CT) who thrive on prejudice, bigotry and hatred.

  • 2
    2

    Thank You Mr Minister,

    We were waiting for this historic moment for the last six years.

    I welcome this initiative

    I hope that this initiative from Maithiri, Ranil , Mangala, Sumamnthiran , sampanthan and Suren Surenthiran will be fruitful.

    Let them move slowly and caustically.At the end of this process

    let us have a united prosperous Sri Lanka

    I am excited optimoustically

    Sri

  • 1
    1

    There is no work for army in North and East after war ended other than supressing ordinary people from returning to normal life. LTTE who were created by India and killed by India and what army is doing now. We all read stories that in the past powerful governments sent missions to kill some body and send another group to wipe-out the previous group to hide evidence. Without removing army, reconciliation is impossible. Most of the western world developed through many wars but they are very clever to reconcile just after war unlike 3rd world idiots. If Mithiri government waited to satisfy all the Singhalese, things will end up like the parrot waited for the cotton fruit. Most of the western governments listen to public opinion but they only implement what is good for the country – they can’t implement everything dig and harry demand – listen to racist people but implement only what is good for the country, not what is good for the MP’s to loot the country like MR did. Example, Uk government listen to public opinion about 3rd runway but eventually construct what is important for uk economy.

    • 0
      1

      The army has the job of preventing a recurrence. It is far less costly both in terms of money and personnel. We cannot blind ourselves to the fact that the LTTE ideology and it’s supporters DID NOT disappear altogether when the war was won.
      If as you say the LTTE was created by India then the often given excuse that it was Sinhala misbehaviour must be wrong. The Western governments MAY pretend to listen to the people, but ONLY implement what is good for the 1%.

  • 0
    1

    Mangala’s statement is a succinct and well-worded response–a contrast and a far cry from his predecessor GL Peries, who have always been a sycophant, contentious, duplicitous and hypocritical. Mangala’s words are consistent with the expressed desire of the present Sri Lankan government to take the country forward towards reconciliation, national unity, economic and social development.

    But the real test and measure would be whether it would be ensured that at every step the deeds are consistent and compatible with the words and there is full commitment by the Sri Lankan Government and all the parties, both in and outside the country (including the Diaspora groups) to take the process forward, genuinely, meaningfully and constructively for the greater good of all the communities that comprise Sri Lanka.

    Far too long, we have given room for the inter ethnic conflict to be fostered and sharpened by the scheming politicians in pursuit of securing their parliamentary positions and political power which have led the country to ruination to the detriment of the whole country.

    Far too long we have allowed the wounds inflicted by the selfish politicians to fester and the elections and deliberations focused only on Sinhalese -Tamil mistrust to take precedence at almost all the polls at the expense of issues related to economic and social development and cordial international relations– issues that have to be addressed to take the country forward.

    There is now a glimmer of hope, but I am afraid that appeal to the base human aspects by the unscrupulous politicians on both the political divide would still find such persons returned to the parliament in greater numbers and thus destroy the hope, expectations and aspirations of a united and prosperous Sri Lanka.

    I see a flickering of light at the end of the dark tunnel, but whether it would turn out to be the rays of the sun or mere mirage, only time can tell.

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