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* Sri Lanka needs to re-establish democratic credentials to overcome international censure - opposition MP
Mon, Jan 28, 2013, 10:23 am SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Jan 28, Colombo: A parliamentarian of Sri Lanka's main opposition United National Party (UNP), Mangala Samaraweera says the government needs to re-establish democratic credentials to overcome international censure.

In an interview with a local weekly English national newspaper, the MP has said that the country would have to face far reaching implications due to the recent issue of the impeachment of the Chief Justice and issues faced by the judiciary.

"Now Sri Lanka is perceived as a country where the rule of law has totally collapsed and as such Foreign Direct Investment would come to a virtual halt, he has remarked.

"Other than the money laundering 'round tripping' investments by those connected with the ruling class, it is now doubtful if any serious and legitimate big time investors would even consider Sri Lanka under these circumstances," he claimed.

He pointed out that Burma, which is now coming out of its dictatorial shell, will be the new destination of choice for many of these investors.

Samaraweera, a former minister in the government before falling out with the Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, has explained that Sri Lanka received an amazing window of opportunity to turn a new page with the defeat of the LTTE in May 2009, and that Sri Lanka could have been what Burma is to the world today.

"Mahinda too had the opportunity to be the greatest leader Sri Lanka has ever produced. He had the chance of becoming another Dhammasoka but unfortunately for us and for him, the President has chosen Mugabe as his role model. Actually, I feel sorry for my old pal, Mahinda. He has completely lost the plot," Samaraweera has noted.

Speaking of the worst case scenario for the country under the current situation, the UNP MP has said it would be total international isolation making Sri Lanka the new Myanmar of Asia is the worst possible scenario.

"Investments will freeze, tourism will be hit and even international cricket could be a victim. Let's hope and pray it does not come to that," he has added.

According to Samaraweera, the government must immediately implement the LLRC proposals and reestablish their democratic credentials in order to overcome the current crises faced by the country before the international community.



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