Nov 15, Colombo: Opposition Leader of Sri Lanka Ranil Wickremasinghe has called on the government to explain the joint statements issued with the UN in 2009 and with India in 2011.
Wickremasinghe has made a statement in parliament asking the government to explain to the House the joint statement issued by India and President Mahinda Rajapaksa where the latter had expressed commitment to implement the 13th Amendment to the Constitution.
He has added that the joint statement with the UN Secretary-General was also on similar lines.
Full text of Wickremasinghe's statement:
The Secretary General of UN and the Government of Sri Lanka issued a joint statement on May 26 2009 which read "President Rajapaksa expressed his firm resolve to proceed with the implementation of the 13th Amendment, as well as to begin a border dialogue with all parties, including the Tamil parties in the new circumstances, to further enhance this process and to bring about lasting peace and development in Sri Lanka."
In like manner the government of Sri Lanka, in many occasions, has stated in writing as well as orally that the dissolution of power implemented under the 13th Amendment will be made further strong and systematic. This has been mentioned in the joint statements made not only with UN but with the other parties.
The joint statement issued on May 17 2011 with India reads that "The Minister of External Affairs of Sri Lanka emphasized that it is the resolve of the government to ensure achievement of a speedy and lasting progress in the discussion being held presently between the representatives of the Tamil Parties and the government. The conditions required for such reconciliation will be met by a package of dissolution of power based on the 13th Amendment."
Despite such statements made on the part of the government from time to time, now we are hearing a completely different tone. Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa who is an officer playing a major role in the government states that 13th Amendment to the Constitution should be repealed.
Also, the political allies of the government raise similar voices. JHU making a statement reiterates the same idea. Minister Wimal Weerawansa sending a letter to president asks for a referendum to repeal the 13th Amendment. Dinesh Gunawardena the chief government whip and his MEP ask for a repeal of the 13th Amendment., which is also the voice of government media Therefore , it is very clear that it is a very clear that this is an organized process.
Does this mean that the Government has changed its former stand? Or else, do the officers, allies and media of the Government bean an anti-Government opinion? Coming to the light of such contradictory opinions from various parties of the Government will bring disrepute and embarrassment to our country not only locally but also internationally.
Therefore, I request Prime Minister to answer the following questions clarifying the stand of the Government on the matter.
1. Does the Government now reject the joint statement issued on May 26, 2009 together with the Secretary General of the United Nations and the joint statement issued on May 17, 2009 together with the Indian Government?
2. If so, what is the present stand of the Government?