UN call for ‘new union’ disturbs JO

‘CBK, pro-LTTE Diaspora taking common stand’


By Shamindra Ferdinando

Outgoing UNSG Ban Ki-moon’s call at the 71st Sessions of the UNGA for a ‘new union’ in post-war Sri Lanka has seriously disturbed the SLFP-led Joint Opposition.

Top JO spokesman and Matara District MP Dallas Alahapperuma asserted that that there couldn’t be any justification in comparing Sri Lanka with Myanmar.

MP Alahapperuma was addressing the media at Dr N. M. Perera Centre, Cotta Road, Borella on Wednesday (Sept. 21).

Hailing what he called Sri Lanka’s deepening efforts to heal the wounds of war, Moon, in his final opening address to the UNGA in New York on Tuesday (20) described Myanmar and Sri Lanka as states in now in transformation from conflict and political turmoil.

"In Myanmar, the transition has entered a promising new phase. In Sri Lanka, post war healing efforts have deepened," the former South Korean Foreign Minister told the UNGA.

The genuine reconciliation would depend on guaranteeing that all communities both minorities and majorities alike were included in building a new union.

Having first assumed Office of UNSG on January 1, 2007, Moon wraps up his second five year term at the end of this year.

Alahapperuma asserted that Moon had unwittingly revealed what the UN wanted in Sri Lanka. The UNSG had actually let the cat out of the bag, the MP said.

The SLFPer pointed out that the controversial reference to building a new union in post-War Sri Lanka had been made in the wake of the country being compared to Rwanda and Bosnia (Srebrenica) where genocide took place in 1994 and 1995, respectively.

Alahapperuma alleged that some members of the ruling coalition went out of their way to defend Moon’s statement.

Urging the government to clarify Moon’s statement, Alahapperuma accused Moon of acting beyond his mandate.

The MP said President Maithripala Sirisena should use his speech at the UNGA to respond to Moon’s statement. The former Minister expressed fears that a section of the global community and the ruling coalition had been pursuing an agenda severely inimical to Sri Lanka.

However, there hadn’t been any reference in President Maithripala Sirisena’s speech to Moon’s comments regarding Sri Lanka and Myanmar.

Chairperson of Office for National Unity and Reconciliation (ONUR) and former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga and the pro-LTTE Tamil Diaspora had been taking a similar stand on the national issue in the post-war situation, Alahapperuma said. The SLFPer said that the JO had been concerned about various statements issued by the former President in her capacity as ONUR Chairperson. The former Minister asked whether the views expressed by Mrs Kumaratunga were acceptable to the SLFP as well as the UNP-led government.

The MP alleged that the former President at a recent event held at the BMICH had called for a federal and semi-secular Constitution.

However, a spokesperson for ONUR told The Island yesterday that a speech delivered by Mrs Kumaratunga in her capacity as the Chairperson of ONUR on Sept. 15 at the BMICH had been misinterpreted. There had been a number of panellists, including constitutional affairs expert, Dr Jayampathy Wickremaratne who discussed constitutional making process in aid of national reconciliation process.

Alahapperuma strongly criticized President Maithripala Sirisena and Mrs Kumaratunga for participating at the UNP’s 70th anniversary celebrations at the Campbell Park. The SLFPer said that the President who is also the SLFP leader and the former President had badly hurt the feelings of genuine supporters. They had conveniently forgotten how the UNP deprived Mrs Sirimavo Bandaranaike of civic rights on the basis of false allegations.

MP Alahapperuma alleged that the UNP had propagated far more lies regarding Mrs Bandaranaike than the former President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

The MP urged the media to peruse the speeches made by Messrs Maithripala Sirisena, Mangala Samaraweera and S.B. Dissanayake supporting a resolution moved in parliament on April 8, 1994 to restore Mrs Bandaranaike’s civic rights. Alleging that the UNP had walked out of parliament at that time, MP Alahapperuma said that the presence of the President and the former President and the, accepting portrait of Mrs. Bandaranaike from the UNP leadership really surprised genuine supporters.

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