“The UNP is disturbed with the Secretary-General’s statement that his good offices have drawn up the road map that the “Commonwealth had developed and agreed upon by Sri Lanka”. The UNP is of the belief that the Secretary General´s interventions are limited to Human Rights Commission and the Electoral Commission and in fact avoid all real issues connected with Human Rights at the level of civil society. ” says the United National Party.
Issuing a statement UNP says; “During the visits to Sri Lanka by the Secretary-General in September 2012 and February 2013, the Leader of the Opposition and Leader of the United National Party Hon. Ranil Wickremesinghe met with him. At these meetings, Hon. Ranil Wickremesinghe while emphasizing his and his party’s support for holding the CHOGM in Colombo for the year 2013, said that outstanding issues relating to Commonwealth values, UNHRC Resolutions regarding Sri Lanka and Sri Lanka’s own Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC)’s recommendations should be resolved before CHOGM 2013 commences. It will be embarrassing to all concerned to have these issues on the Commonwealth Agenda with Sri Lanka chairing CHOGM.”
We publish below the statement in full;
During the visits to Sri Lanka by the Secretary-General in September 2012 and February 2013, the Leader of the Opposition and Leader of the United National Party Hon. Ranil Wickremesinghe met with him. At these meetings, Hon. Ranil Wickremesinghe while emphasizing his and his party’s support for holding the CHOGM in Colombo for the year 2013, said that outstanding issues relating to Commonwealth values, UNHRC Resolutions regarding Sri Lanka and Sri Lanka’s own Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC)’s recommendations should be resolved before CHOGM 2013 commences. It will be embarrassing to all concerned to have these issues on the Commonwealth Agenda with Sri Lanka chairing CHOGM.
Therefore, the United National Party (UNP) subscribes to and holds correct the announcement made by the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) at its meeting on 26 April 2013 that the Ministerial body cannot change a decision taken by the previous Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) and that only a Heads of Government meeting can act to change the venue for the 2013 CHOGM. The UNP also welcomes the emphasis placed by CMAG on the need for Sri Lanka to comply with the Commonwealth values.
During the Press Conference after the CMAG meeting, the Secretary-General of the Commonwealth, Mr. Kamalesh Sharma, identified human rights, rule of law, governance, institutional building, strengthening the independence of the judiciary and the LLRC report as issue of concern in Sri Lanka. He referred to the “many lacunae in the appointments and dismissal practice of judges” and Dr. Dipu Moni, Foreign minister of Bangladesh and Chair of CMAG admitted to discussing issues arising out of Sri Lanka. The Vice Chairman of CMAG Foreign Minister of Australia Bob Carr referred to the issues of accountability, legal protection for all Sri Lankans and reducing inter-religious tensions. The Chairman of the CMAG stated that the Secretary-General’s good offices are engaged in Sri Lanka on all issues that were raised by the media personnel, including resettlement of displaced persons and human rights suppression.
Mr. Sharma said he had engaged with Sri Lanka on many levels, “across a wide front” to pursue “Commonwealth values that are so dear to us” and will continue to do so in the months to come. Mr. Sharma also mentioned that the Secretariat is also engaged through helping the government of Sri Lanka to implement the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission´s recommendations released in November 2011, more than 18 months ago.
With the 2013 CHOGM less than six months away, the United National Party wish to bring to the notice of the Secretary-General and the Commonwealth, that no broad engagement has taken place at ground level in Sri Lanka and the deteriorating ground situation belies the statements made by the Secretary-General and Dr. Moni during the Press Briefing following the CMAG meeting.
The UNP is disturbed with the Secretary-General’s statement that his good offices have drawn up the road map that the “Commonwealth had developed and agreed upon by Sri Lanka”. The UNP is of the belief that the Secretary General´s interventions are limited to Human Rights Commission and the Electoral Commission and in fact avoid all real issues connected with Human Rights at the level of civil society.
The road map developed by the Secretary-General for Sri Lanka appears to have dealt so far with the only the following issues:
Enhancing the authority of the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka
- The Secretary General met with the Chairman and some members of Sri Lanka´s Human Rights Commission at the Commonwealth roundtable on reconciliation, held at the Commonwealth Secretariat in the first week of May 2013.
- Sri Lanka’s National Human Rights Commission was downgraded from Grade A to Grade B by the International Coordinating Committee of National Institutions for the promotion and protection of human rights, for not being in compliance with the Paris Principles. One such grounds was that the Commission’s practice was not balanced, objective and non political. Any attempt by the Secretariat therefore to strengthen the Commission without interaction with the International Coordinating Committee is bound to fail.
- Another ground for downgrading was that the appointment of the Commissioners is not compliant with the Sri Lankan law at that time. The situation has been further aggravated since by the repeal of the 17th Amendment to the Constitution and the abolition of the Constitutional Council that was an independent mechanism for supervising appointments.
- To support independence, effectiveness and professional standards of Sri Lankan journalists including strengthening the independence of the Sri Lanka Press Council – a government appointed body.
- None of the Independent Media Associations in Sri Lanka recognizes the Press Council – instead most media associations are members of the Sri Lanka Press Institute, an independent, self-regulating body.[i]
- The spokesman for the Nine Independent Media Organizations representing the Sri Lanka Press Institute pointed out to Max Everest-Philips – Director Governance and Institutional Development Division of the Commonwealth Secretariat, that the media organizations have called for the abolition of the Press Council Law which is empowered to fine and jail journalists up to 20 years.
The issues affecting the freedom of expression, media freedom and right to information are set out in Section 9.115 of the Report of the LLRC. The recommendations made by the LLRC includes
- Steps to taken to prevent harassment and attacks on media personnel and institutions;
- Action to be taken to impose deterrent punishment on such offences, and priority to be given to the investigation, prosecution and disposal of such cases;
- To build-up public confidence in the criminal justice system;
- The Government to ensure the freedom of movement of media personnel in the North and East, and;
- Legislation to be enacted to ensure the right to information.
None of these issues have been resolved. For example, four attacks have been made on Uthayan Newspapers in Jaffna, this year alone. The last being on 13 April 2013, a few days before the CMAG meeting, armed men entered the office and printing press of Uthayan, a daily Tamil language newspaper published from Jaffna in northern Sri Lanka and burnt the printing press and newspapers that were about to be dispatched for sale.
Just a few days earlier, on April 3, the same newspaper’s Kilinochchi office was attacked and several employees were injured. On 20 March, an Uthayan reporter was threatened by the military. In mid-January the Editor of Uthayan was interrogated by the Criminal Investigation Department about an article implicating senior army officers. Over the years, at least five staffers have been killed or disappeared and many have been injured.
The US State Department’s acting deputy spokesperson, Patrick Ventrell, referring to the Uthayan on 30 April said, “Uthayan has seen its personnel beaten, its newspaper shipments burned, its equipment destroyed, and its offices set ablaze in this last month alone.”
Mr Ventrell described the “assault on a free press in Sri Lanka” as extending beyond Uthayan. “The BBC Tamil-language service has had its programs about Sri Lanka and the Human Rights Council censored. Reporters have been physically assaulted and murdered in years past, and a prominent political cartoonist has been missing for three years,” stating that “the necessity of upholding this fundamental right was not only a component of the UN Human Rights Council resolution in Geneva this March but it was a central recommendation of the Sri Lankan Government’s own Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation commission.”
The New York-based, Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) in its Impunity Index listed Sri Lanka as the fourth worst country for journalists to live in.
The members of the Media highlighted all these when they spoke at the World Press Freedom Day at Sri Lanka Press Institute on May 03, 2013.
Subsequent to the CMAG Press Conference the following issues relevant to the Commonwealth “engagement” have also surfaced:
- Continuing attacks on Uthayan paper, mostly in the form of threats and negative reporting in the government owned media
- The disruption of political activities of the TNA and other Opposition parties
- A tight control kept by the Government on the civil society and security forces that are used for the detriment of the Opposition political parties.
Addressing the Commonwealth roundtable conference on Reconciliation, Lord John Alderdice pointed out the need to build trust on institutions and legal regimes for delivering justice. Implementing the main recommendations of the Report of the Presidential Commission on Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation is one of the main issues relating to the violation of the core principles.
The LLRC (in Section 9.202 to 9.228) emphasizes “along with an independent Judiciary and a transparent legal process a strict adherence to the Rule of Law is a sine qua non for peace and stability which is of the essence, if there is to be any meaningful reconciliation.”
The Commissioners recommended:
- Police to be de-linked from the Ministry of Defense and the establishment of an independent Police Commission – Section 9.214 to 9.215 [ii]
- The establishment of an independent Public Service Commission – Section 9.217 to 9.219. [iii]
- Power to be devolved – Section 9.229 to 9.237 [iv]
During the Secretary-General’s second visit to Sri Lanka in February 2013, he took note of the constitutional crisis that had arisen due:
- To the removal of the Chief Justice subsequent to a debate in Parliament.
- The violation of the Constitution during the enactment of the Appropriation Act 23 of 2012 [v]
At the Abuja CHOGM in 2003, the Heads of Government endorsed the recommendations of their Law Ministers on Commonwealth Principles on the accountability of and relationship between the three branches of Government. They acknowledged that judicial independence and delivery of efficient justice services were important for maintaining the balance of power between the Executive, Legislature and Judiciary.
These recommendations, known as the Latimer House Principles due to their origin at a meeting summoned in June 1998 by the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, the Commonwealth Legal Education Association, the Commonwealth Magistrates’ and Judges’ Association and the Commonwealth Lawyers’ Association to discuss the implementation of the Harare Commonwealth Declaration with regard to the Commonwealth parliaments and the judiciary, at Latimer House in Buckinghamshire, England, lays down clear guidelines and set values to enshrine the balance of power between the three branches of government.
Following the Secretary General´s visit in September 2012, the Executive, blatantly violated the Latimer House principles with heavy interference in the judiciary. The procedural violations in impeaching the sitting Chief Justice in February 2013 by the Executive need not be elaborated more as they have been documented and discussed extensively. [vi]
These violations were extensively discussed and raised with the Secretary General´s office by the Commonwealth Lawyers Association and the Commonwealth Judges Association, two of the bodies that were involved in defining the Latimer House principles in 1998.
The Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission´s recommendations released in November 2011, more than 18 months ago, also deals extensively with Re-settlement and High Security Zones.
Affirming inalienable right of any citizen to acquire land in any part of the country, in accordance with its laws and regulations, and reside in any area of his/her choice without any restrictions or limitations imposed in any manner whatsoever, the Commissioners stated “the land policy of the Government should not be an instrument to effect unnatural changes in the demographic pattern of a given Province. In the case of inter provincial irrigation or land settlement schemes, distribution of State land should continue to be as provided for in the Constitution of Sri Lanka”. (Ref paragraph 6.104)
Beginning from the 2009 UNHCR review meeting in Geneva, the government of Sri Lanka has continued to re-affirm its commitment to the UN principles governing post-conflict resettlement and restitution of property, described by the 1997 Francis Deng report and the subsequent Pinheiro principles adopted in 2005.
The present Government policy in regard to re-settlement and land distribution is in violation of the recommendations as well as the UN’s Deng and Pinheiro Principle. More so as this is despite a 2006 order by the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka to replace all displaced people and President Mahinda Rajapaksa‘s undertaking to resettle all those displaced by the war by the end of 2009, in his joint communiqué with the UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon on 26th May 2009.
The Minister of External Affairs G L Peiris has acknowledged in Parliament that the Secretary-General has wide discretion in exercising his good offices. Accordingly, there is no impediment for the Secretary General to determine the manner of engagement suitable to the situation in Sri Lanka and he can engage with any party or body without any hindrance from any other party.
Paragraph 18(1) of the Report on Strengthening the Role of the CMAG, requires the Secretary-General to take cognizance of serious violations of the Commonwealth values.
Article 1 of the Charter of the Commonwealth specifies that the trinity of government, political parties and civil society are responsible equally for upholding and promoting democratic culture and practices, and therefore engagement must be equal across all three. The Secretary-General has so far failed to engage with the political parties and many segments of the civil society, contrary to the many statements attributed to the Secretary-General that he has done so.
The road map referred by the Secretary General at the conclusion of the CMAG meeting has failed to take cognizance of any of these issues. Therefore the question arises as to whether the Secretary-General addressed the serious violations of the Commonwealth values.
The engagement has been mainly with the government.
It is not possible for the Secretary-General to resolve the serious violations of Commonwealth values without engaging the political parties and civil society in Sri Lanka.
Members of the Commonwealth family – the Commonwealth Lawyers Association and the Commonwealth Judges Association in particular, have issued statements in relation to some of these issues. There is no indication so far that the Secretary-General has consulted the members of the Commonwealth family who has expressed concern.
In promoting and protecting Commonwealth values, the Secretary-General is expected to keep high-level contact both with the Government and the civil society.
None of these have happened so far.
The United National Party notes the dichotomy between Mr. Sharma´s “emerging menu of working” with the government, his sense of progress and positive engagement as opposed to that of the International Community, including bodies represented within the Commonwealth, such as the Commonwealth Lawyers’ Association, who continue to note with clear apprehension the continuing decay of polity and platforms within the framework of basic human rights in Sri Lanka.
It is necessary for the Secretary-General to clarify as to:
- Whether he will take cognizance of the serious and persistent violations of the Commonwealth core values referred to above.
- Whether engagements will be restricted to the Government of Sri Lanka excluding political parties in the Commonwealth family;
- What time frame within which the Secretary-General hopes to report on these issues, since the CHOGM will take place in a few months time.
The answers to these issues will determine whether the Commonwealth will live up to its obligations envisaged in the Charter, or prefer silence as an option thereby making a mockery of the Commonwealth Charter.
In this background the UNP and many other Opposition parties which constitute Vipakshaye Virodaya have called for the:
- Appointment of the Police Commission, independent Public Services Commission, independent Judicial Services Commission, Elections Commission with the powers granted under the 17th Amendment (now repealed) prior to the Northern elections.
- Replacement of the present Governor-currently a retired military official, with a civilian.
- Presence of the international observers at the Northern Provincial Council elections. These elections are being held subsequent to an undertaking given to the UN Human Rights Council.
[i] The Newspaper Society of Sri Lanka, The Editors’ Guild of Sri Lanka, Free Media Movement, Sri Lanka Working Journalists Association, Sri Lanka College of Journalism (SLCJ), Sri Lanka Tamil Media Alliance (STMA), Sri Lanka Muslim Media Forum (SLMMF), Federation of Media Employees Trade Union (FMETU) and South Asia Free Media Association (Sri Lanka Chapter) support the SLPI.
[ii] 9.214: The Police Department is a civilian institution, which is entrusted with the maintenance of law and order. Therefore, it is desirable that the Police Department be de-linked from the institutions dealing with the armed forces, which are responsible for the security of the State.
9.215: The Commission is of the view that an independent permanent Police Commission is a pre-requisite to guarantee the effective functioning of the Police and to generate public confidence. Such a Commission should be empowered to monitor the performance of the Police Service and ensure that all Police officers act independently and maintain a high degree of professional conduct
[iii] 9.217: The political culture of the country has made the general public powerless and helpless to a point that they have become dependent on politicians to obtain many services and amenities they are entitled to.
9.218: The present law that deals with the office of the Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration is inadequate to effectively deal with the grievances of citizens arising from state action, even though the amendment introduced by Act No 26 of 1994 has sought to improve the public petitions procedure. Therefore, the Commission recommends that the Government should establish an independent institution to address the grievances of all citizens, in particular the minorities, arising from the abuse of power of public officials and other individuals involved in the governance of the country. This mechanism should be invested with a strong investigative arm in order to enable it to effectively discharge its functions.
9.219: Any citizen of this country who has a grievance arising out of any executive or administrative act, particularly those based on ethnicity or religion, should have the right to seek redress before the independent institution
[iv] 9.229: The Commission wishes to underline the critical importance of making visible progress on the devolution issue, in order to ensure the success of any process of lasting and sustainable reconciliation. The Commission therefore recommends that the present opportunity be utilized to launch a good–faith effort to develop a consensus on devolution, building on what exists – both, for maximum possible devolution to the periphery especially at the grass roots level, as well as power sharing at the Centre. This consensus should be one that will enable peoples’ participation in governance decisions affecting them and avoid costly and unnecessary duplication of political, bureaucratic and other institutional structures that hamper efficient, cost-effective and transparent governance.
9.237: To this end, the Government must take the initiative to have a serious and structured dialogue with all political parties, and those representing the minorities in particular, based on a proposal containing the Government’s own thinking on the form and content of the dialogue process envisaged. That dialogue must take place at a high political level and with adequate technical back-stopping.
[v] On 8th December 2012, in relation to the Appropriation Bill 2012, which authorizes for the Government’s expenditure for the calendar year 2013, the government refused to adhere to the determination of the Supreme Court (made under Article 123 of the Constitution), holding Clause 2.1(b) of the Appropriation Bill 2012 to be unconstitutional because it violates Article 148 – Parliamentary Control over Finance. The determination specified an amendment to Clause 2.1(b) to ensure its conformity with the Constitution. Completely disregarding this, the government enacted the Bill as law without incorporating the proposed amendment but with the government’s own amendment.
[vi] For example the US State Department´s 2012 Human Rights Report on Sri Lanka released on April 13, 2013, states “Following the September 2010 passage of the 18th amendment, executive influence over the judiciary significantly increased. The 18th amendment repealed the 17th amendment and eliminated the Constitutional Council, a multiparty body created to name members of independent judicial, police, human rights, and other commissions. In place of the Constitutional Council, the 18th amendment established the Parliamentary Council, which submits nonbinding advice on appointments to the president, who has sole authority to make direct appointments to the commissions. The president also directly appoints judges to the Supreme Court, High Court, and courts of appeal. There were coordinated moves during the year by the government to undermine the independence of the judiciary”. (http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/2012/sca/204411.htm)
Blakepala / May 31, 2013
And we feel disturbed by some Commonwealth countries’ behaviour.
Let us name just two:
Country A –Trained, funded and provided accommodation to a Terrorist group, which wanted to destroy another Commonwealth country.
Country B – Provide accommodation and give all party support to a Terrorist group, which is trying to destroy another Commonwealth country.
jaeg / May 31, 2013
There is another Country C : Which since it’s independence it has enacted acts in the parliament to erode the rights of the minorities. Also leashing violence against the minorities planting fear in their mind, destroying their livelihood and properties.
Ben Hurling / May 31, 2013
And there is a minority, within a minority called LTTE, which mounted the most horrific terror campaign the world has ever seen. In country C. Which lasted 30 long years.
Lokaya / June 1, 2013
And there is a majority called D in country C who believe in depriving all basic rights of all minorities as well as the majority themselves though they are really unaware of it due to succumbing to racism and religious mania planted in their mutt heads by the ruling megalomaniac rogue king of that country and exterminating all minorities in a fake familial project called development! They really started on this project when they killed more than 100000 innocent civilians and then named that crime humanitarian rescue mission! And from there they are continuing their most horrible crimes, murders, whitevannings, plundering, hr violations under the guise of sovereignty! This country now deserves to be mediated by the UN and give a solution comparable to that of Sudan and Yugoslavia-separate state for minorities and the majority can opt to live with their suffering under the Rajapaksha rule! But the war crime charges would not allow Rajapakshas to avoid electric chair.
Ben Hurling / June 2, 2013
Remove corrupt Rajapassa clan from power? Yes!
Use stupdity of the Rajapassa clan to achieve racist Ealam project, through the back door? Keep dreaming!
JimSofty / June 1, 2013
Are you talking about Tamilnadu ?
Don Stanley / May 31, 2013
The Commonwealth of Clowns should be shut down! It is a useless and irrelevant organization and RW is a clown to support this platform for third world and wanna be DICTATORS!
Ben Hurling / May 31, 2013
This response by the UNP is too little. Too late.
Totally impotent. Useless!
It helps Rajapassa by giving the impression, there is democracy and opposition in Sri Lanka.
K.A Sumanasekera / May 31, 2013
What is more embarassing than a seventeen times loser Opposition Leader to front up to these Heads of Sovereign Nations, and say he is the representative and the leader of the English speaking Elite ,the well off and the new Moderate vigilantes of Srilanka?.
Especially in light of this Commonwealth being now run by a South Asian guy with guts who has told this opposition leader’s minders Cameron and Harper where to get off.
JimSofty / June 1, 2013
Mr. Ranil Wickramasinghe was pro-LTTE and was a British man with YANKEE features.
Even to date he is like that.
Rod Atkins / May 31, 2013
This is Sinhala State, its like a Hells Story
justice / May 31, 2013
The Secretary General Sharma has a “See no evil,Hear no evil,Speak no evil” policy.
He wants to remain a ‘good boy’ of all CHOGM members so that he can go on uttering inanities to please eveybody.
He doesnt have the balls to confront the deterioting situation with regard to Rule of Law & Human Rights in many members of the commonwealth.
tasil samarasinha / May 31, 2013
Welcome to Sri Lanka a land like no other.We are the masters of deception,like this whole country believing all the lies that are being churned out by the day even the Secretary General has swallowed the GULIES. We must also remember that bribery and corruption are the rule of the day in this the miracle of Asia or is it the world
milinda / May 31, 2013
Sharma will utter any nonsense, if you have guys like this to head CW you can imagine where it is heading. In Delhi Indian women are brutally raped & murdered and no one can do anythig to stop this horrendous crime, while I write sure there is a rape happening in Delhi or elsewhere in India, because some rogues sitting on their parliament have against them allegations of rape and murder charges, Sharma should try to do something if he can to stop brutal rape and inhumane killing of women in his home country.
Prem / May 31, 2013
leave india and focus on our country. the minorities in this country are not slaves. its the Sinhala extremists who planted the seeds of hate, and still continuing to do so. sad to say if this situation continues there will be no peace in this country.
Anura / June 1, 2013
Why there are so many Sinhalese who shows their logical and analytical views when they talk about other countries like India or USA.. But when it comes to SL issues, the same person looses all his analytical and logical thinking !!!
These Sunhalese people are very worried about rapes, murders in India, Chatholic priest’s sexual harassments of boys western countries..
These Sinhalese people want to discuss these issues and make strong suggestions to fix them.
But these same people don’t hear or concern about 1800 per year underage reported rapes in SL, frequent brutal killings, destructions by open racial hatred…. These Sinhslese never heard, noticed how often SL Buddhist monks sexually harass boys, sexually harass younger monks ..
Why these SL Sinhalese spend their intellectual capacity to resolve other country issues and don’t care about their own????
punchinilame / May 31, 2013
Sharma, an Indian Bureaucrat will serve his masters and has separated
himself from any UN related issues vis-a-vis Sri Lanka. He gives it
a Tin-God like twist to carry on his agenda as GS, as a duty-bound high
Officer? It will be a difficult task for the diaspora and the UNP to
get Sharma to think otherwise.
MR heading the CW for 2 yrs. will be in name and ego only!
K.A Sumanasekera / June 1, 2013
Are the Human Rights Watchers in AHRC,Miss Pillay’s HR and our own NGO funded Watchers going to question Mr Cameron why the two Black men in Woolwhich,were shot by the Special Forces while they were talking to Social Media,who are the front men /women of these Watchers?.
Or are they going to hand in the question in writing to Mr Ranil Wickremasibghe to ask when he has cocktails with Cameron?.
douglas / June 1, 2013
Instead of accusing each other, can someone tell what this Commonwealth Union is all about. As I have seen it for the last so many many years, it serves as an “Elite Club” of so called Heads of Governments of countries once under the “iron foot” of Great Britian to meet, talk, exchange pleasantries, bow down to the Head, The Queen or the King, now this time to Her Majesty’s Representative, and decide what the venue to hold the next “get-together”. Now as the “HOST” of this meeting, look at the “colossal” Budgetary Provisions made to meet the expenses of entertaining these “delegates”, with what benefits. In that context I congratulate Canada for not participating even on the guise of “hoodwinking the Tamil Diaspora” of that country.
Even as regards the importaion of “luxury” vehicles, for this event our Minister of Foreign Affairs made a blunder,(as usual) and had to eat his own words. This is yet anothr “circus”. We will watch it “unconcerned” (never mind the escalation of the cost of living etc.)
Senguttuvan / June 1, 2013
The conduct of Mr Sharma, from the beginning, has given much room for
speculation if he was, in fact, ensuring the Rajapakse regime to satisfy Commonwealth Standards to facilitate the holding of CHOGM. Sharma also should hold himself responsible in the event of any unfortunate mishaps in the untried Rajapakse fiefdom. It is a fact the area has never held even a local enterprise of national significance. Transport from Colombo, satisfactory lodging facilities to the VVIPs in mosquito-infested Hambantota, special security arrangements to Prince Charles and other necessary infra-structure facilities are tremendous challenges that requires a high degree of managerial expertise. Are we absolutely certain we have this? In the highly volatile global scenario extremists waiting to grab the headlines – and CHOGM with the British Royalty and other world leaders should not get caught in the cross-fire.
In the absence of convincing evidence the holding of such a super-expensive extravaganza will bring any substantial benefit to Sri Lanka to justify the massive expenditure – except a massive ego trip to the Rajapakse clan – one wonders if we should have got into this mess at all. As far as we know Parliament was never given chance to debate the pros and cons of CHOGM by this regime.
K.A Sumanasekera / June 2, 2013
Don’t you worry about that Mr Segutuan.
If anyone who is willing to engage in extremists acts that you are referring to they would have been the ones you are very familiar with and your current idols were protecting.
Now they have very limited opportunities.
But things may change if your current idols have their way,
John / June 1, 2013
“The UNP is disturbed with the Secretary-General’s statement..” not disturbed with MR govt. ? because UNP is so bankrupt, cannot take on Govt., so they take on soft target , Secretary General the innocent man
tasil samarasinha / June 1, 2013
Dear John the SG is not an innocent man and also not a soft target.Wake up man cant you see the unp is flexing its muscles now that the time is right.join in and support to get rid of this evil.
John / June 2, 2013
What a cunning ruse Ranil Wickremesinghe has
adopted in this statement.
Is it not a subtle attempt to help the Mahinda
Rajapaksa government? Does he take all people
to be fools?
He is known to dance to Mahinda’s tune. During
Sinhala New Year he went on holiday to Laos.
Locally electricity prices went up. As soon as
RW returned, he flew to Jaffna and spent four
Why? MR wanted him to go. He wanted to give a
message to the country that Jaffna is not an
open sesame for Tamil National Alliance alone?
So he went, had a holiday and came back to launch
a strike which he knew would fail. Why? He pulled
the plug and his own party trade unions were not
sure whether or not to take part. Even is JSS at
Buhari Hotel did not come out.