Govt. has ignored Pillaiyan's call for Karuna to apologise to country – Gayantha
But wants Fonseka to beg for pardon
Assaults on undergrads to divert attention

by Zacki Jabbar

The government was asking General(Retired) Sarath Fonseka to seek pardon from it, but had turned a blind eye to Pillaiyan’s call for Karuna to apologise to the country for the wrongs he had committed while being a senior member of the LTTE, the UNP said yesterday.

Media spokesman of the UNP Gayantha Karunathillake MP, told a news conference in Colombo, that the SLFP led UPFA government, had not only turned a deaf ear to calls for Karuna to be made accountable for his past actions, but had even made him a Vice President of the SLFP.

"Instead of taking Karuna to task for his violent past, the Mahinda Rajapaksa regime was asking a war hero to beg for pardon. What has Fonseka got to apologise for? Is it for defeating the LTTE? he queried. "Fonseka is languishing in jail on trumped up charges, while those who were labelled as terrorists are being pampered with all the luxuries. A cross section of Sri Lankans including the Buddhist clergy have called for Fonseka to be released immediately. But, the powers that be are bent on satisfying their egos by getting Fonseka to kneel before them."

The Opposition was being harassed, in an attempt to divert attention from the government’s inability to relieve the people of the burdens imposed on them, he said.

Karunathillake said that university students were assaulted for protesting against the denial of their rights, which the UNP when in power, bestowed on them. However, the Rajapaksa regime prefers to call it a conspiracy.

"The ‘Mahinda Chintana II’ wants to establish international universities, but when the UNP proposed it while in power, the SLFP dragged students on to the streets in protest," he said. "The UNP developed state universities, schools, technical colleges and hospitals, before implementing its privatisation programme. We also established the Mahapola Scholarship scheme which the present government continues to neglect, while promoting private universities, schools and hospitals."

The UNP also introduced the free mid day meal and school uniforms for students, which has been done away with by "Mahinda Chintana II", that caters only to a select few, Karunathillake said.

Paddy farmers, he said are unable to get a decent price for their produce, because the middle men and rich mill owners with political patronage, were making huge profits at their expense, he said.

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