Comments made by the Sri Lankan Ambassador to Israel, Donald Perera on the Israel-Palestinian conflict has sparked controversy that have prompted calls for being made to the External Affairs Ministry to recall him, immediately .
Ambassador Perera who was also the former Sri Lankan Air Chief Marshall, in an interview with Ynetnews – an Israeli media station – has pledged Sri Lanka’s staunch support for Israel in its fight against Palestine.
He has stated in the interview that Palestinians should be offered direct negotiations without preconditions and added, if they are not interested in a compromise, Israel should move on to a ‘military phase with full force’.
He had furthermore stated that Israel was a partner in Sri Lanka’s war against terror due to the relentless support they provided through the:
– exchange of information as well as military technology and equipment
– 17 Kfir warplanes and Dabur patrol boats
– pilot training and billions of dollars in aid over the past few years
Meanwhile, National Unity Alliance Leader and Western Provincial Councilor Azath Salley who has heavily criticized Ambassador Perera’s comments has described his statements to Ynetnews as ‘deplorable’ and ‘unacceptable’ due to the strong bonds of friendship, solidarity and goodwill between Sri Lanka and Palestine.
Pointing out that it was the Palestinian President Abbas who awarded Mahinda Rajapaksa with the award of the ‘Star of Palestine’ Salley has deplored the statements and demanded the External Affairs Ministry to recall him immediately.
Furthermore, he has urged the EAM to release a new statement to prevent further damage to Sri Lanka’s deep ties of friendship with the people of Palestine.