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* Sri Lanka has strength to face any international challenge - President
Mon, Mar 10, 2014, 01:10 am SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Mar 09, Colombo: Sri Lanka has strength to face any international challenge and will never give into imperialists or their followers, the country's leader said today in reference to a resolution tabled by the United States and few other countries at the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva.

Addressing the first election rally held in Gampaha town Sunday, the President further said that only the citizens of the country have the power to change the government and no outside force at the UN can oust the government without public support.

"We are prepared to bow our heads to the people. We will not do so to imperialists or their henchmen betraying the hard won peace and freedom. We believe in the judgment of the people," the President said addressing the massive audience.

He said that the government implemented a massive development drive systematically to benefit all the people in the country and in return the public should have full confidence in the government.

The rally has been organized by Minister Basil Rajapaksa and Deputy Minister Pandu Bandaranayake.

He pointed out that result of ending the war that lasted for 30 long years is the unprecedented development the country has seen within the last five years but the country has been hauled to Geneva every six months to answer allegations of war crimes.

"The other result is that we have to go to Geneva every six months to answer. They asked whether we have violated human rights. What is the bigger human right than allowing people to live? Right to life is a human right," the President stressed.

"We lived in fear and suspicion those days. Isn't it protection or violation of human rights when we stopped bombs exploded in Dehiwala, Central Bank attack, in Kebithgollewa, Muslims in prayer killed inside the Mosque in Kattankudi, worshippers killed near Sri Maha Bodhi, Dalada Maligawa bombed?" he asked.

He emphasized that the people should decide the right and wrong, not the Human Rights Commission.

"The decision is your hands. If you say it's wrong we have to bow our heads to that. We are prepared to bow our heads to the people but we clearly say that we are not prepared to do so to imperialists or to their henchmen. We believe in the people of this country," the President said.

Two UNP councilors of the Meerigama Pradeshiya Sabha joined the UPFA at the meeting. Opposition leader of the Minuwangoda Pradeshiya Sabha and a Councilor also joined the UPFA extending their support to the President.

Ministers Basil Rajapaksa, Tissa Karliyedda, Pavithra Wanniarachchi, Mervyn Silva, Felix Perera, Lasantha Alagiyawanna and Pandu Bandaranayke, and several parliamentarians were also present at the occasion.

(Photos by President's Media Unit)

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