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Government will not permit ugly face of extremism to raise its head again and protect the country … Weerasekera

Sarath Weerasekera

Provincial Councils and Local Government State Minister Dr. Sarath Weerasekara has observed that the Government will not allow extremism to raise its head again and will continue to crush extremist activities to protect the people and the country.

He made this observation participating in the Third Reading Debate on the 2021 Budget in Parliament. Weerasekera said:

“As a military person, I had witnessed the destructive effects it had on the country. We lost 29,000 security forces personnel during the war and 14,000 were disabled. However, we see in Parliament how certain Tamil politicians are instigating racial tensions and trying to instill animosity in the Tamils against the Sinhalese. They are making statements that arouse the Sinhalese against the Tamils. They do not talk about the difficulties of the Tamil people or their needs, but they only focus on spreading hatred. One of the main reasons that led to Tamil youth taking up arms was the hateful statements by Tamil politicians.

There is no middle man in terrorism, either you are a terrorist or not. In the event terrorism raises its head again, all those who spread hatred and racial discord would have to be considered as terrorists. He warned the Tamil politicians who make statements inciting racial tensions in Parliament that they would be directly held responsible if such a situation arises again in the country.

At the time the Peace Accord was signed, the LTTE was invading homes at night and kidnapping the Tamil children from their homes. But where were all these Tamil MPs who are talking so much, back then? They used to forcibly enter schools and abduct children and if principals object, they were killed at night. We are the ones who were there to help the people at the time. Where were all these people who talk so much now, at the time? During the war we did not see any of these Tamil MPs who are talking so much now. When Prabhakaran took over 300,000 civilians hostage and used them as human shields, where were you all? Back then you were all in your luxury homes in Colombo.

The Sri Lankan forces won the war while conducting the largest hostage rescue operation and freed over 295,000 Tamil civilians. Thereafter, we resettled 295,000 Tamils within a very short period. At the time, none of these Tamil politicians were there to offer these Tamil children even a cup of yoghurt. You have no right to talk about the welfare of the Tamil people as we have taken care of them far more than you.

I urge the Tamil politicians not to accept kickbacks from the Tamil Diaspora and make statements in Parliament that antagonize the people and causes racial tensions between the Tamils and the Sinhalese.

There were six world renowned war crimes experts attached to the Paranagama Commission, which investigated these allegations and determined that no war crimes had been perpetrated. All six of these experts have said that no war crimes had been committed. Where were you when these people were suffering? Those who engage in commemoration ceremonies of the LTTE should be dealt with according to the law as their action signifies their support for separatism.

The Government had taken a number of steps to strengthen the country’s economy despite the challenges faced due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Government had paid off USD $4.2 billion of foreign loan repayments and had obtained USD $ 900 million through exports.

We are confident that despite the Government being on damage control mode, it will somehow provide concessions to the public and ensure the country is set on a path of prosperity through the implementation of the 2021 Budget.”

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