Aug 21, Colombo: Sri Lanka's main opposition United National Party (UNP) today said the party does not support another parliamentary select committee and asked the government to produce a White Paper setting out detailed proposals for power devolution and implementation of the measures recommended by the government's reconciliation commission.
Issuing a statement to clarify the position of the party on the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) appointed to recommend and report on 'Political and Constitutional Measures to Empower the People of Sri Lanka to Live as One Nation", the Assistant Leader of the party MP Joseph Michael Perera said the government has failed to fulfill its pledges for reconciliation measures to bring a lasting peace in the country.
The party explained that the government, after the end of the war in May 2009, in a joint statement with the United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon al pledged to bring a lasting peace and development in Sri Lanka among other matters.
"The Government expressed its commitment to ensure the economic and political empowerment of the people of the North through its programmes," the statement said.
The UNP pointed out that the President at the time expressed his firm resolve to proceed with the implementation of the 13th Amendment and to begin a broader dialogue with all parties, including the Tamil parties in the new circumstances, to further enhance the process.
Further the government promised to implement the recommendations the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) made to resolve the ethnic problem and related matters.
The opposition party noted that the government has failed both in respect of recommendations of the LLRC and its undertakings as set out in the Joint Statement with the UN Secretary-General.
Further the Leader of the Opposition Ranil Wickremasinghe wrote to the President on 12 June 2013 seeking an appointment to discuss among other things, the restoration of the 17th Amendment, the implementation of the LLRC Report, and the appointing of Commonwealth Observers prior to the Elections.
However, the President has failed to respond to this letter, the MP said in his statement.
"In the light of this, we in the United National Party fail to see the need to appoint yet another Select Committee all over again to merely go through the same matters," Perera said.
"What we need now is a White Paper setting out detailed proposals regarding the implementation of the recommendations and undertakings already made."
The Assistant Leader said the Leader of the Opposition is currently out of the country and a comprehensive statement will be issued by him on the party's position regarding the PSC when he returns.