18 December, 2017

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Review Sri Lanka’s Position And Sign The Treaty On Prohibition Of Nuclear Weapons: Friday Forum Tells Government

The Friday Forum is extremely concerned that Sri Lanka did not sign the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in New York in September 2017.

Sri Lanka has a proud record of unequivocal opposition to nuclear weapons, and has long championed multilateralism in the fields of arms control, disarmament, and non-proliferation.  It has been among the first States to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty in 1968, the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty in 1996, the Chemical Weapons Convention in 1993 and the Biological Weapons Convention in 1972. Over the last few decades Sri Lanka has worked to prevent future weapons threats, notably an arms race in outer space, and has been a steadfast supporter of the work of the United Nations in disarmament. It has also joined, and often led, efforts in the Non-Aligned Movement to advance disarmament. In addition, Sri Lankans have served as UN Under-Secretary-General for Disarmament Affairs, as Director of the UN Institute for Disarmament Research, on the Secretary-General’s Advisory Board on Disarmament Matters, and as an eloquent voice for nuclear disarmament in the International Court of Justice.

Has there now been a change of policy after a new minister assumed office?

Sri Lanka’s principled stance in voting for the resolution adopting this very same Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons on July 7th this year was a logical continuation of its stand against all weapons of mass destruction, and was a source of pride for all of us.  The failure to sign the Treaty at this point of time is a serious setback for our country’s international image and its contribution to disarmament and world peace. The Treaty is fully consistent with Sri Lanka’s existing obligations under both the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty. This new treaty goes farther in de-legitimizing the very possession of such weapons, which will be essential if we are to achieve a world free of nuclear weapons and ensure peace and security for present and future generations.  This Treaty emphasizes in particular the applicability of international humanitarian law and the laws of war in governing both the use and existence of nuclear weapons – it seeks to establish a universal norm that is non-discriminatory, it is a light illuminating the way to achieve global nuclear disarmament.

There have been no multilateral disarmament negotiations for over two decades, and there have never been any nuclear disarmament negotiations since the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty was signed in 1968, despite the commitment of its parties to negotiations in good faith on nuclear disarmament.  While the current Treaty is not itself a disarmament treaty since it does not require the elimination of weapons, it nevertheless helps to set the stage for one to come.  Sri Lanka should join with other committed nations in leading the way toward a more comprehensive nuclear weapons convention, as well as new progress in achieving the agreed goals of general and complete disarmament.

Investments in nuclear weapons jeopardize human civilization—not only through their use, but also through the outrageous expenses incurred in manufacturing and modernizing them.  These investments drain resources away from meeting sustainable development goals and reducing poverty and deprivation throughout the world, including in our own country.  Nuclear weapons are inherently immoral, both in their manufacture and their potential use.  It is inconceivable that Sri Lanka should take a position that indicates otherwise.

The Friday Forum strongly believes that Sri Lanka should continue to show solidarity with its friends in the Non-Aligned Movement who support the Treaty, including countries in the South Asian region, and support the future negotiation of a comprehensive nuclear weapons convention.  There is no possibility that any use of any nuclear weapon, anywhere, would serve either the ideals or self- interests of Sri Lanka or any other nation. Sri Lanka voted for the resolution adopting this very same Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons on July 7th, when we had a different Foreign Minister and Foreign Secretary. Has there now been a change of policy after a new minister assumed office?

The Friday Forum urges the Sri Lankan government to review its position and sign the Treaty without further delay. This is an issue of concern for all the people, on which there can be no compromise.

Professor Arjuna Aluwihare  and Prof. Camena Guneratne

For and on behalf of

Ms. Manouri Muttetuwegama, Dr. A. C Visvalingam, Ms. Suriya Wickremasinghe, Prof.  Gameela Samarasinghe, Prof. Savitri Goonesekere, Mr. Chandra Jayaratne, Mr. S.C.C. Elankovan, Dr. Geedreck Usvatte-Aratchi, Prof. Ranjini Obeyesekere, Mr. Priyantha Gamage, Mr. Javid Yusuf, Ms. Shanthi Dias, Prof. Gananath Obeyesekere, Mr. Ananda Galappatti, Bishop Duleep de Chickera and Mr. Pulasthi Hewamanna.

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Latest comments

  • 20
    2

    Nuclear weapons? …Sri Lanka should first get rid of its “weapons of mass destruction in yellow robes” Sri Lanka should sign an internal treaty and change the constitution to ban men in yellow robes from public life. what is the difference between the man who gunned down 58 innocent life in Las Vegas with his licensed sub machine gun and the men adorning licensed yellow robes.

    • 1
      9

      Rajash

      “.. to ban men in yellow robes from public life….. ” Dreaming????

      If Buddhists request the Most Venerable Chief Prelate of Asgiriya Chapter to contest the next Presidential Election to get rid of all selfish, power hungry politicians, LTTE and ISIS sympathizers, racists and separatists, what are you going to do? Can anybody stop that? Don’t underestimate the power of Maha Sangha. The power of the “yellow robe” even petrified the powerful British when we were a colony.

      Suppressing and imprisoning Buddhist priests since coming into power were the reason for Ranil to go after Buddhist priests and temples now.

      Maha Sangha is benign and protective. That is the power.

      Some Buddhist priests fight against injustices too. It is because of their Sinhalese fighting blood running in their veins. Sinhalese don’t stay numb when they see any moves against the country, its sovereignty, Buddhism and war heroes.

      You have mentioned about the deadly mass shooter.

      I am waiting for UNHCHR, Al-Hussein to call for an immediate investigation into the murder of the gunman in Las Vegas for violating his human rights. Human Rights of all terrorists should be protected whether they were in Sri Lanka or USA, right, Al?

      Who was that NGO cow who filed a case against General Jagath Jayasuriya, oh, Yasmin Sooka of ITJP, hey woman, file a case against Las Vegas Police Commissioner for possible isolated war crime followed by Al-Hussein’s investigation into violation of human rights of the gunman by brutally killing, sorry, disappearing him.

      Preemptive State-Defence doesn’t apply to Police/Army right? It’s a right enjoyed by terrorists only, according to HR.

      Hey, HRW this gunman is a lonely figure. What are you waiting for? HRW always come forward to protect the rights of terrorists/gunmen. He is a White. Where is the condemnation?

      • 6
        0

        “Don’t underestimate the power of Maha Sangha. The power of the “yellow robe””….I don’t. That is why I posted that they should be banned

        • 0
          0

          I would say that the so called Maha Sangha’s metamorphosis into BBS is a counterpart version of it’s fascistic Indian twin the RSS in our adjoining sub-continent.
          It commenced on the day the man in yellow robes Somarama Thero shot the elected PM of Ceylon as it was then known in 1959.

          • 3
            0

            Uthungan

            “It commenced on the day the man in yellow robes Somarama Thero shot the elected PM of Ceylon as it was then known in 1959.”

            Actually Anagarika Homeless Dharmapala was the father of Sinhala/Buddhist fascism. He was a big fan of Hitler and imperial Japan.

            Hitler the Aryan roared and left a trail of destruction. The Aryan Anagarika Homeless Dharmapala roared and we are still picking the pieces.

    • 6
      1

      Thumbs up to you Rajash, Sira and Ranil must get rid of its “weapons of mass destruction in yellow robes ” first . Shame on you Sira and Ranil for what these yellow robes did. Some one said that Sirisena will be nominated for the Peace prize, is he eligible now after what they did to the refugees. .?

    • 6
      0

      I don’t see why we shouldn’t sign this treaty unless we are trying to end up like North Korea!?

      Well even if we want to be a North Korea that will never happen…

      It shows how stupid our leadership is If we are even thinking of going down the road of Nuclear Weapons!!?

      If we even think we can go to war with another nation whoever is fueling these ideas probably want to destroy our country!!?

      Who knows anyone willing to sell us a Nuke might be knowing that we have a good chance of blowing up ourselves so that they can walk into our country and take it for themselves!!?

      No brain to see through the risks of playing with Nukes!!?

      You need to be a highly advanced nation to even handle such a thing safely and even then things can still go wrong…

  • 0
    0

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  • 0
    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
    5

    There is no need to for Sri Lanka to sign the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

    None of the countries which own Nuclear Weapons – Russia, USA, North Korea, UK, China, France, Pakistan, India and Israel have signed the Treaty.

    Only 9 countries own Nuclear Weapons, although a large number of countries own Chemical Weapons.

    Sri Lanka is already a State Party to the Convention on the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) since 1997 (signed/ratified in 1993/1994).

    • 1
      2

      Hello Friday Forum, you should have written to the Embassies of the above 9 countries which own nuclear weapons, demanding them to sign the Treaty on Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

  • 3
    2

    Ranil Wickramasinghe and Avant Guard Marapana are dancing to the tunes and taking their orders from the so-called sole Superpower, now in decline and seriously threatened by China in the Indian Ocean.

    Check out the number of marine and high level security visits to “train” SL navy, while the corrupt clowns from the parliament are given free holidays in Washington DC!
    Foreign Aid transparency by SL govt. is needed also to arrest the massive DEBT TRAP and disasters caused in the name of development. This is what these Friday folks should ask for!

  • 1
    6

    In a way, why should any govt, that has been elected by the popular vote, listen to a grouping like ‘friday forum’ whose pass time is to take the country as a bite over whisky sipping at TGIFs’?

    • 5
      0

      Civic organizations are an absolute necessity for this country that is run by idiots and thugs. Somebody has to be there to pressurize the government to follow the correct path. The fact that the government was elected by the masses does not mean that it can do whatever it pleases.

      • 1
        3

        civil Organizations are called civil society, Open soceity and INGOs, all funded by the west. They use human rights, transpraency, reconciliation to ruin countries. Some african countries eliminated them. then west wanted war crime charges against them. So, estate labourer is in that camp.

    • 2
      0

      max

      “In a way, why should any govt, that has been elected by the popular vote, listen to a grouping like ‘friday forum”

      Why should anyone listen to the un-elected grant duke of Assgiria when he advises the state, government and voters on new constitution?

  • 0
    0

    Proclaim something nearer home like how to negate the financial corruption and the robed thuggeries. SL will never be focus of nuclear attack and when they do come we will all be gone. Be more down to earth, relevant and realistic and not esoteric

  • 1
    0

    This is no big matter. We have all the time to sign!

  • 0
    0

    Where the hell are you Achchige Patali Champika Ranawaka ? As “Obedient Servant of MR, Minister of Electricity” you led opposition to the commissioning of the Tamil Nadu Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant. Surely you have something to add here.
    By the way how many of your JHU lawmakers are in US as guest of Trump?

  • 3
    0

    Marapana as foreign minister or as any other minister is a bad omen for the government. He should go the way Wijedasa Rajapaksa was thrown out. They are only interested in warming their backs and not in bringing a good name for the country. Their mouths are shut when it comes to speaking out the truth. Ranil is tagging on to failed men.

  • 4
    0

    Foreign Minister Marapana better watch out before the grass is cut under his feet by the (unofficial) husband-wife team that has implanted itself in running the Foreign Affairs Ministry.

    Sri Lanka had being an ardent advocate of nuclear disarmament since 1948 and for this it won the even the respect of of states who are nuclear powers.Not even Yankee Dickee J R Jayawardena dared to mess around with this commitment.Jayantha Dhanapala,easily the finest Ambassador we had in the United States besides Neville Kanakaratne, also served the cause of global disarmament when he held high office in the UN espoused disarmament superbly.

    So why this sudden change?A little bird whispers that the a certain high Foreign Ministry official appointed very recently ( he really parachuted himself despite being a Rajapaksa relative and lackey)who holds some sort of ex officio appointment in the the IOM has some plans for seeking a paid office in the UN.So the need to placate the international powers without whose support such a dream would be useless.So his lady love in the ministry is hell bent on achieving her paramour’s dream.To mask this both of them have high lighted advantages for the country by turning away from disarmament.

    Unfortunately non in Colombo including the genial respected minister Marapana has any clue on what disarmament is all about and our country’s role in it.Sri Lanka thus stands ashamed in the eyes of the international community

    .Government please wake up.Just check with with Jayantha Dhanapala who now lives in Sri Lanka and and others like Nihal Rodrigo and HMGS Palihakara and they sure will sure have much to say about the damage being done to Sri Lanka’s reputation.

    • 0
      4

      I don’t know anything about the politics in the FM. But a Treaty is not strong enough to ban nuclear weapons in the world.

      It is the hypocrisy of the United Nations which made some countries go to extreme ends.

      The Treaty on Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons had been negotiated for nearly 21 years yet UN failed to make any of the countries which own nuclear weapons even to participate in those negotiations.

      Plus this Treaty lacks the most prominent feature which is the “Elimination of Nuclear Weapons” which should have come as a Charter not as a Treaty so that it will be legally binding by all State Parties including those countries which own nuclear weapons.

  • 1
    4

    Friday forum is old people. when we don’t have nuclear research when we cannot expect nucledar weapons for the next two kalpas, when we do not have nuclear research, why do we need to sign on some papers useless to us. What is the point. there is notthing important for these people to discuss ?.

  • 2
    0

    OMG, what a lot of hot air? Or trying to look important? Anybody might think Sri Lanka is just about to make a breakthrough with our R&D into on how to manufacture nuclear weapons! SLK politicians should first sign a later pledging, we shall not hijack our own banks and national assets, and return to the Treasury what we have stolen and stashed away in foreign banks.

  • 0
    0

    It is not really difficult to make an atom bomb. The hard part is preparing the necessary raw materials that are essential for making the bomb. If someone would give us about 25 kg of enriched uranium or plutonium, I am sure there are people in the engineering faculties of our universities who will be able to conduct a test explosion. However, it is rather more tricky to make a deliverable atom bomb.

  • 0
    0

    Signing the Treaty On Prohibition Of Nuclear Weapons is a symbolic gesture to ensure the survival of future humankind.
    If GoSL fails to sign the document, we have to infer that they are interested only in their individual self. They will sell their grandchildren to enjoy a foreign trip.

  • 0
    0

    This is the last issue any group in Sri Lanka needs to worry about now. It has no relevance to the welfare of Sri Lanka; present or future. There are many more pressing issues the country needs to pay its attention to. How silly of these cone heads to think of this issue and waste time making a statement. They probably think so highly of themselves too for putting out this letter.

  • 1
    1

    Friday Forum is a forum without an audience. Blind to all the corruption of yahapalana and chasing after irrelevant issues to divert the attention of the public.
    Disgraceful!

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