Former UN staffer says SL has shot itself in the foot



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By Shamindra Ferdinando


The Geneva process now being implemented in accordance with Resolution 30/1 co-sponsored by Sri Lanka in Oct 2015 couldn’t be reversed by one leader, former UN staffer and political analyst Mohan Samaranayake said.


The former presidential spokesman compared the ongoing project spearheaded by Western powers to that of a road roller capable of crushing resistance. Samaranayake said so in response to President Maithipala Sirisena’s declaration on Sunday (Sept. 3) that he wouldn’t allow the international community to subject General Jagath Jayasuriya or any other military officer to universal jurisdiction. Addressing SLFP’s 66 anniversary celebrations at Campbell Park, President Sirisena vowed to thwart various anti-military projects implemented by pro-LTTE Diaspora and a section of the NGO community.


Samaranayake addressed the media along with Ven. Elle Gunawansa, Manohara de Silva, PC and Gevindu Cumaratunga at Sambuddha Jayanthi Mandiraya, Thunmulla. "I don’t think we can survive the Geneva process," Samaranayake said, recalling the murderous Western powers’ project to breakup former Yugoslavia in the 1990s.


Referring to representations made by Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative in Geneva Ravinatha Aryasinha in late Sept. 2015 in respect of the then draft Resolution, Samaranayake pointed out the political leadership simply rejected Foreign Ministry stand articulated by Aryasinha.


Samaranayake faulted the UNP-SLFP coalition for co-sponsoring a resolution severely inimical to Sri Lanka’s interests.


South Africa based Truth and Justice project had recently moved court against Sri Lanka’s former Ambassador in Brazil accredited to several other countries, including Colombia in line with their overall strategy. Action taken against Jayasuriya, who had been Security Forces, Commander (Aug 2007-July 2009), Vanni during the Vanni offensive (March 2007-May 2009) couldn’t be considered a problem beyond Sri Lanka’s seas. Samaranayake was responding to President Sirisena’s assertion at Sunday’s rally that Jayasuriya’s wasn’t a domestic issue.


Samaranayake explained how Yasmin Sooka, who had been a member of UNSG panel appointed in 2010 to inquire into accountability issues in Sri Lanka moved court against Jayasuriya in Brazil and Colombia a week ago. Samaranayake regretted the failure on the part of the current political leadership to comprehend the diabolical nature of the threat. ‘We are under a sustained attack," Samaranayake said, pointing out that Latin American lawyers who had moved court against Jayasuriya referred to 40,000-100,000 civilians killed due to military action.


Samaranayake said wartime US Ambassador in Colombo Robert Blake bluntly warned the Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama that Sri Lanka would have to face war crimes allegations unless the Vanni offensive was immediately halted. Samaranayake admitted that he wasn’t sure whether Sri Lanka could successfully counter unsubstantiated allegations propagated by a powerful enemy.


Cumaratunga said that Regional Development Minister Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka’s attack on Jayasuriya should be examined against the backdrop of Wijeyadasa Rajapakse being deprived of justice portfolio following his highly publicized clash with UN Special Rapporteur Ben Emmerson in mid July. Alleging that Western powers had demanded Rajapakse’s removal, Cumaratunga said that it was an attempt to keep the Geneva process on track.


The media was told how Emmerson urged the government not to allow the Geneva process to be diverted by retrograde elements in the security establishment and their allies in the government, at a briefing at UN, Colombo on July 14.


Cumaratunga demanded that since the government had now claimed that Rajapakse was sacked for violating collective cabinet responsibility in respect of leasing of Hambantota port in July this year, Minister Fonseka should be dealt the same way.


Asked by The Island whether they were satisfied the way the previous government had addressed accountability issues since the conclusion of the war in May 2009 and change of government in January 2015, Samaranayake said that an idiotic attempt was made to influence the US by hiring some costly public relations firms. Samaranayake said that the previous regime failed to comprehend that US decision makers couldn’t be bought over the way various interested parties influenced members of Lankan parliament.


Cumaratunga pointed out that whatever the lapses in the previous administration, it always sought to protect national interests. Unfortunately, the present lot had been hell-bent on pursuing policies detrimental to the country. There couldn’t be a better example than the pathetic way the UNP-SLFP coalition co-sponsored resolution against Sri Lanka.


Ven. Gunawansa thera said Field Marshal Fonseka’s unsubstantiated attack on Gen. Jayasuriya couldn’t be condoned. The Ven thera expressed serious concern over Fonseka engaging in a personal vendetta at the expense of the military.


Pointing out that Fonseka, who had been defeated at the last parliamentary polls in Aug 2015 was accommodated in parliament through the UNP National List, Cumaratunga said that the government should take responsibility for the former Army Chief’s actions. Fonseka couldn’t pursue his own strategy to take revenge from fellow officers while enjoying the status of an MP courtesy the UNP, Cumaratunga said.


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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