Govt. won’t cancel Colombo CHOGM 2013 over Ranil’s antics - GL

By Saman Indrajith

The Government will not cancel the 2013 Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in Sri Lanka just because Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe put up a show in Parliament by removing his Commonwealth Parliamentary Union tie, External Affairs Minister Prof G. L. Peiris said in Parliament yesterday.

Not a single member country of the Commonwealth was against the decision to hold the meeting in Sri Lanka, he said adding that none of those countries questioned whether the Sri Lankan government rules the country in conformity with the international conventions to which it is a signatory. In such a context the conduct and protest staged by the Opposition Leader was shameful, he said. Such acts not only discredit but also tarnish the good name of the country. While all the member countries of the Commonwealth have taken the side of Sri Lanka, the Opposition Leader alone has taken a stance against the country, he added.

"I think, not in a grudging spirit, not in the spirit that was demonstrated with great regret by the Leader of the Opposition this morning, not grudgingly but generously, large heartedly and in a spirit of magnanimity, we must give credit where credit is due," the Minister said adding that Sri Lanka had achieved substantial accomplishments in the international sphere. It is not easy that Sri Lanka has secured the unreserved and emphatic support of the international community. "It is something that must kindle the flame of pride in hearts and minds. It is not a matter that should elicit the kind of response and behavior of the Leader of the Opposition which the whole country painfully and tragically witnessed this morning… I do not think people of this country appreciate politics of that kind. Taking off a tie, a Commonwealth tie, what does that mean? Does it mean that the decision of 54 heads of state can be reversed by such an empty gesture? It is a vacuous, empty and meaningless gesture and it is a sign of disrespect, not to the President, not to the government."

The Minister requested the opposition to join and support the government in a spirit of solidarity. "Let us seize this moment which has arrived after 30 years and let us in a large hearted and generous spirit work together to ensure for our country a stable and prosperous future," he said. 

animated gif
Processing Request
Please Wait...