20 May, 2022


UNP Explains Why It Abstained From Vote On Non-Cooperation With UN Investigation

The UNP today informed the Parliament that they decided to abstain from partaking in the vote held on the mandated OHCHR probe on Sri Lanka, owing to the government’s lack of genuine interest to protect Sri Lanka’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Chief Opposition Whip, UNP MP John Amaratunga

Chief Opposition Whip, UNP MP John Amaratunga

“The UNP was compelled to abstain from participating in the vote today due to the government’s non-acceptance of amendments suggested by the UNP that would have helped preserve Sri Lanka’s sovereignty,” Chief Opposition Whip, UNP MP John Amaratunga said.

MP Amaratunga in his statement listed out the suggestions made by the UNP to which includes annulling the joint statement issued by President Mahinda Rajapaksa and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon on May 23 2009, effective implementation of the LLRC action plan, re-implementation of the 17th Amendment provisions, the inclusion of Latimer House principles to the constitution and the implementation of mechanisms that would assure the right to information.

“Unfortunately, all of these suggestions were rejected by the government,” he said.

He stated that the UNP is strictly against any international intervention on the country’s domestic processes irrelevant of political affiliations, but added such threats can only be avoided if democracy, human rights, rule of law and judicial independence is upheld in the country.

“The rejection of our proposals has made it evident that the government is not ready for such a transformation,” he said.

While describing the vote taken up today on the OHCHR probe as a feeble attempt by the government to accomplish their underhand motives through a few backbench MPs, he said that despite the government’s pledges to uphold sovereignty, it was the joint statement issued by the President and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon that paved way to call for an international inquiry into Sri Lanka.

“Despite our repeated advises to the President to reject the clause that welcomed an investigation into the war, the President proceeded with the joint statement – a fact that has been pointed out by UPFA MP Rajiva Wijesinghe himself,” he said while describing the 2009 joint statement as the ‘gravest betrayal of Sri Lanka’ since the Kandyan Convention of 1815.

MP Amaratunga went on to state the UNP is however not surprised at this ‘betrayal’ since it is the incumbent President, who made a complaint before the UNHRC against the then-UNP government while pledging to go before any  international organization to uphold human rights, as an Opposition MP in 1990.

He pointed out the Government blunders did not stop there but were continued, with the persistent engagement with UN processes to probe the conflict in Sri Lanka through the sponsorship and approval of UNHRC resolution S-11/1 and cooperating with the UNSG’s Panel of Experts led by Masuki Darusman that probed alleged human rights violations and international humanitarian law during the conflict in country.

“It was these doors that the government swung wide open to the UN that has now been exploited to pave way for the UNHRC resolution that mandated the OHCHR probe against Sri Lanka in March,” he said.

Speaking further he said that Sri Lanka doesn’t need an international investigation to solve human rights issues in the country.

“There was a strong in place in Sri Lanka to protect Human Rights and we believe this probe can be evaded if that mechanism is revived,” he added.

Following a two-day debate on the mandated OHCHR probe on alleged violations of human rights and international humanitarian law in Sri Lanka, a vote was taken up in Parliament this afternoon. The motion was signed by nine UPFA members to which includes Achala Jagoda, Malini Fonseka, Janaka Bandara, Udith Lokubandara, Shantha Bandara, J.R.P. Suriyapperuma, Nimal Wijesinghe, R. Duminda Silva and A.H.M.Azwer was presented by UPFA MP Janaka Bandara in Parliament. It was seconded by UPFA MP A.H.M.Azwer.

Amendment moved by Mangala Samaraaweera in Parliament today

Rejecting an international investigation can only be done acceptably if there is a credible domestic mechanism : credible and independent democratic institutions must be restored to address the issues of accountability as a matter of national urgency.

It is in this context the UNP is moving the following amendment to resolution No.P.212/14 of 13th June 2014.

” The house regrets that the government failed to consult Parliament prior to

  1. Issuing a joint communique with the Secretary General of the United Nations on 23rd May 2009.
  2. Jointly sponsoring a reseloution at the UNHRC bearing No.S 11/1 in May 2009 and the matters agreed upon and
  3. Making written submissions to the Darusman panel.

And the Parliament calls upon the government to:

  1. Bring the relevant bills to before the house within two months;
  2. Fully implement the totality of the LLRC recommendations.
  3. Revive the provisions of the 17th amendment to the constitution.
  4. Incorporate Latimer House Principles as an integral part of the constitution and
  5. Make provisions for the freedom of information.
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Latest comments

  • 3

    UNP and it’s leaders have no guts. They are the opposition party but they not the institution “the opposition” in fact they are clandastinely in power as well. As Sampanthan stated in his address the UN Investigation is not against the country. The regime and UNP is as usual taking the Sinhala South Modays for a ride stating that the UN Investigating the countyr. As Sampanthan correctly states thst if the UN resolution is against the country then Mahinda acted against the interest of the country when he signed the joint motion with Banki Moon to investigate war crimes.However this is an excercise in futility as it has no impact at all on the UN investigation.

    • 3

      This is such a disingenuous, unprincipled and convoluted speech that it is easy to see why the UNP can NEVER WIN votes in Sri Lanka with the current leadership.

      Ranil Wickramasinghe is an UNPRINCIPLED and SHAMELESS person as is Amaratunge who has one leg in the UPFA. This is the great betrayal of principles that the UNP represents.

      IF the Jarapassa regime is acting against Sri Lanka then UNP should have voted with the TNA against the resolution condemning the UN resolution. The Rajapaksa regime’s Terrorist attacks carried out by BBS of the last few day against Muslim minority shows the clear failure of reconciliation, the existence of State terrorism, need for a UN investigation of the regimes and LTTEs crimes. Ranil’s response to the violence against Muslim has been similarly doublespeak. [Edited out]!

      • 0

        The problem is that the UNP wants to run with the hares and hunt with the hounds. They cannot do both. They must take a stand whatever it is and show that they have principles. Ranil must tour the country relentlessly telling the masses that it does not have to be like this, explaining the alternative.

        All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing(or words to that effect) -Burke

  • 3

    each prick trying to make space for himself from the carnage of these politicians- sihala buddhist of course the buruvas.

  • 2

    If the UNP sits on the fence too long they will get castrated.

    • 1

      it tradition for the southern sihala buddhist to be castrated by the pigs when they go to the loo! Hambantota mee harak too.

  • 1

    We totally agree. The Jokers run the Country like a family business and does not care two hoots for the National State Assembly. Now that they are in trouble, are trying to find a scapegoat for their sins. Unless the corrupt Jokers are chased out, slowly but surely we will loose our Mother Lanka.

  • 1

    Once again the UNP lost its guts and sits on the fence ….well what can you expect when a ponnaya runs the show

  • 1

    The Govt pushes aside its own PM to allow their Tamil brethren to tell the Parliament why “Pillai Police” is bad for the peace and harmony which they enjoy now to live as equals .

    What a contrast to the LTTE proxy Sambnadan who repeat the same thing, about how bad the elimination of his beloved liberation fighters was and the brave Soldiers need punishment by an International force lead by Ms Pillai.

    Mr Sambanadn’s local ally the UNP wouldn’t even utter one word to prop up poor Sambanadan.

    Isn’t It time for Sambanadan and his Vellala cabinet to get out of the Diaspora induced hallucination of a separate land in the North and the East for Vellalas with their own TNA Police?.

    And try to live as equals with the rest of the inhabitants including the non Vellalas?.

  • 1

    every time i see this long John , reminds me his fully paid trip to NY with MR and the photo of smiling MR putting his arm around long john’s shoulders at the post budget gala party.who can possibly trust this depita kattu ?

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