London Symposium
JJ, Wickremabahu lambasted for Lanka bashing



By Dasun edirisinghe


UNP MP Jayalath Jayawardena and NSSP leader Dr. Wickramabahu Karunaratne incurred the wrath of a Sri Lankan audience last Thursday in London, when they started bashing Sri Lanka, making allegations of human rights violations etc. at a debate on ‘Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation in Sri Lanka.’ Sources said they had been interrupted and asked to substantiate their allegations or stop making them.


Sri Lankan expatriates in the UK who were present at the seminar pointed out that the dissemination of adverse publicity and hurling allegations without any proof did not help bring about national reconciliation needed for rebuilding the country.


The seminar chaired by Former BBC News Editor Clive Lawrence was held in the Committee Room 8 in the House of Commons in London.


Rajesh Balasubramaniam, who is in constant touch with officials in Sri Lanka regarding the progress of resettling the internally displaced persons (IDPs), according to sources, took the lead in confronting Jayawardena and Wickremabahu, key speakers, to the point of heckling, demanding that they back their claims with facts and figures.


The seminar had been organised by Dai Liyanage a former Mayor of Medway and Nesan Shankar Raji of EROS.


Former Labour Transport Minister Paul Clark felt that it was very generous and tolerant act for the participants to suggest that what had been done in the past be forgotten and a fresh beginning attempted to rebuild a new Sri Lanka for all ethnic and religious groups to live in harmony.


UNP Organiser in the UK, Dr. Roger Srivasan’s proposals that sanctions be imposed against Sri Lanka had also been widely opposed sources said.


A participant, Cathy Ranasinghe, pointed out that the abolition of the GSP Plus trade concession had caused more suffering to the rehabilitated former Tamil Tiger combatants who had found employment in garment factories


The need for a political solution acceptable to all stakeholders was stressed at the meeting.


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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