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If we start from devolution of powers, all other issues can be resolved: Kiriella in the House

Kiriella 700 04

Public Enterprise, Kandyan Heritage and Kandy Development Minister and Leader of the House Lakshman Kiriella has observed that if we start from devolution of powers, we can resolve all our other issues with the assistance of the international community. We did not agree on the presidential system and the electoral system, but almost everyone in the steering committee were agreeable to the devolution of power.

Speaking in Parliament, Kiriella further said:

“ During the previous government’s tenure in 2012, 2013 and 2014, three proposals were passed by the United Nations Human Rights Council against Sri Lanka. We were isolated internationally and had Mahinda Rajapaksa won the election in 2015, the country was facing the risk of having economic sanctions imposed against it. Even MP Mahinda Samarasinghe acknowledged it.
This was the situation we faced when we assumed power. However, we discussed this issue at length and to reduce the international pressure on our country.

In the proposal the UNHRC had praised Sri Lanka’s efforts over the past three years. Although MP Dr.Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe is blaming us for co-sponsoring the UN resolution, he has not read the contents of it. The resolution has praised the measures taken by Sri Lanka and reaffirmed the commitment to the unity sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country.

The UNHRC had also welcomed the setting up of the Office of the Missing Persons, the special visits made by the Special Repertoire, noting with appreciation the return of some private lands, the special steps taken by the government of Sri Lanka to implement the human rights council resolution, noted with appreciation the comprehensive report presented by the United Nations Human Rights Commissioner at the 40th session and welcomed the positive engagement of the government of Sri Lanka with the Human Rights Commission.

Nothing unfavourable will come off this resolution to Sri Lanka. Taking into consideration the factors included in this document, it is clear that the UN has appreciated the efforts taken by our government over the past three years. We cannot be at loggerheads with the international bodies eternally. We are a small country and we must get along internationally.

As we discussed at the steering committee, we could devolve power to strengthen the provincial councils. However, we did not agree on the presidential system and the electoral system, but almost everyone in the steering committee were agreeable to the devolution of power. If we start from there, I think we can resolve all our other issues with the assistance of the international community.

The opposition is now talking about War Heroes, but it was Mahinda Rajapaksa who imprisoned the country’s key War Hero Sarath Fonseka. There is no need to talk about whether or not they would be sent to face international charges. That is a matter for the future. Sarath Fonseka was the country’s foremost War Hero. It is because he was capable that Mahinda Rajapaksa overlooked three others above him and made him the Army Commander. It was he who was instrumental in winning the war. But as he wanted to contest the Presidency, he was dragged and dumped in jail.

Their intention is not to safeguard the War Heroes, but to use them for their own petty political gain.”

 

 

 

 

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