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No moral or legal basis to prosecute our Leaders- GL

Though some attempts were made to produce the leaders who decimated the LTTE terrorism before an International tribunal, there was certainly no legal or moral basis for such action, Prof. G. L. Peiris, Minister of Export Development and International Trade and Acting Minister of Posts and Telecommunications said. He was addressing a meeting held to rename Badulla Postal Complex and Auditorium after Nimal Siripala de Silva, Minister of Health and Nutrition.

A new stamp of the Rs 5 denomination was issued in this connection. The first day cover and the stamp was offered to Nimal Siripala de Silva by Prof. Peiris. Nanda Mathew, Governor of Uva Province was also present.

Prof. Peiris said, the international community was of the opinion that Sri Lanka was a State where mass killings of innocent civilians took place without any hindrance. They alleged that human rights were totally disregarded in Sri Lanka. The very leaders who completely decimated the LTTE terror were now under threat of being produced before international tribunals. In that context, Sri Lanka needed people of the calibre of Nimal Siripala de Silva who had been just appointed to the highest position in the World Health Organization, to take that message to the international arena.

There was no basis whatsoever for such action and that view point should be defeated and proved to be completely false. Such a process would be strengthened by the appointment of Nimal Siripala as the chairman of WHO. He recalled that prior to the appointment of Nimal Siripala, that chair was held by Madam Bruteland who was held in high regard throughout the world.

Prof. Peiris also said, he was opposed in principle, to naming public buildings after politicians. That not only demeaned the role of politicians in society but also allowed the governing process to lose all its credibility. But for all the services rendered by Nimal Siripala, an exception could be made in his case, said Prof. Peiris.

Nimal Siripala de Silva, Minister of Health and Nutrition said that he was extremely happy to note that the Postal Complex and the Auditorium provided a great service to the people of the Badulla area. The Auditorium itself would cater to a wide segment of artistes, students, youth, Government officials etc. He also referred to the "Pubudamu Wellassa’ Programme under which he was able to carry out a lot of development work.

He also said that the State Sector had to be modernized and energized to enable it to compete successfully with the private sector. This could be done by introducing new technology and increasing productivity in that Sector.

Dilan Perera, Minister of Port Development and Civil Aviation said that a heavy responsibility had been thrust on the President to make this country a peaceful habitat for all communities which could be as daunting as his successful elimination of terrorism from Sri Lanka.

Vadivel Suresh, Deputy Minister of Health and Nutrition said that he was priviledged to be the Deputy Minister to an internationally-recognized personality such as Nimal Siripala. He also praised the President for securing the country from terrorism and said, "now the need of the hour would be to create conditions in the country so that Sinhalese and Tamils could live as equal citizens". Governor Nanda Mathew and M. K. B. Dissanayake, Post Master-General also addressed the gathering while Ananda Wijesinghe, Deputy Post Master-General, Uva Province and D. K. Sisira Kumara, Regional Postal Superintendent delivered the Welcome Speech and the Vote of Thanks respectively.

Also present were Udith Lokubandara, new SLFP Organizer for Badulla District, Athula Kahandaliyanage, Secretary to the Ministry of Health, Upali Nissanka Gunesekera, Mayor, Badulla, Martel Ratnayake, former Chairman, Uva Provincial Council, Dhanasiri Amaratunga, Deputy Mayor, Dehiwela-Mt. Lavinia, K. A. S. Senadheera, Deputy Post Master-General, J.D.N. Assnasion, Director, Philatelic Bureau along with other officials of the Postal Department and members of the general public.

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