Thursday, March 11, 2010

SL Govt. team going to Brussels for talks with EU

By Sandun A. Jayasekera - The Government is to send a high powered official delegation headed by Treasury Secretary P.B.Jayasundara to Brussels on Monday to discuss the GSP+ and other related matters to get a more active support from the European Union (EU) for the reconstruction and reconciliation in post conflict Sri Lanka, the Government announced yesterday.

Cabinet Spokesman, Enterprise Development and Investment Promotion Minister Prof. G.L.Peiris told the weekly Cabinet news briefing that the Government is sending the official delegation to Europe with good intentions and expects the EU to reciprocate.

“There was a concerted attempt by the office of the UN Secretary General and a section of the Tamil Diaspora in the US, EU and elsewhere, sympathetic to the LTTE, and led by Global Tamil Forum (GTF) to thwart the efforts to rebuild Sri Lanka after the war against terrorism was concluded successfully,” Prof. Peiris stressed.

The war against terrorism is over but the danger of a revival of the LTTE and its threats are still there mainly at the international level. Sri Lanka must never undervalue the attempts of certain sections of the international community to harm her, he said.

The GTF that held a conference in London on February 25 which was addressed by British Foreign Secretary David Milliband has three objectives. vis-√†-vis., to bring war crime charges against Sri Lanka’s military chiefs before an international tribunal, to boycott Sri Lanka’s exports to the EU, North America and other countries and to win the right of self determination for Sri Lankan Tamils, Minister Peiris said.

The LTTE oriented Tamil Diaspora wants to set up a state of Transnational Tamil Eelam and the actions of Milliband and UN Secretary General (UNSG) Ban ki Moon have given oxygen to that campaign, Prof. Peiris charged.

The decision of the UNSG to appoint an advisory committee to brief him on Sri Lanka’s so called war crimes is totally unwarranted and against the UN charter. Besides, the initiative to appoint this committee has taken personally by the office of the UNSG, he said.

“This is an unnecessary act and against the interests of Sri Lanka. The arbitrary decision of the office of the UNSG appointing a committee to probe a member state of the UN has deprived the opportunity to other members to protect Sri Lanka from war crime charges, he said.

“The allegations against Sri Lanka are a closed matter. There was an attempt to pass a resolution against Sri Lanka at the Human Rights Commission in Geneva in March 2009. It was debated and defeated with a huge margin by Sri Lanka with the assistance of her friendly countries. The appointment of an advisory committee by the office of the UNSG is against the fundamental policies of the UN Charter adopted in 1946 and against the wishes of the member countries. Why the Secretary General wants to drag this issue once again, we do not understand?” Minister Peiris asked.

Sri Lanka is always ready to deal with the international community in a friendly and cooperative manner. In turn Sri Lanka also expects the international community to reciprocate in the same respected manner, he said.

“Sri Lanka is not a football to kick around by certain groups in the international community. Why a different treatment for Sri Lanka alone? The international community, the US, UK and the EU in particular must understand the ground realities of Sri Lanka and her efforts to reconstruct, reconciliate and reconsolidate. We expect only their empathy, understanding and cooperation,” Minister Peiris emphasized.

The countries where the Tamil Diaspora is strong must not use it for their political expediency and fuel anti-Sri Lanka feelings. The funds and votes of the Tamil Diaspora are not more precious than the sovereignty and peaceful existence of Sri Lanka, he said.

Other members of the official Sri Lankan delegation to the EU are Attorney General Mohan Peiris PC, Foreign Secretary Romesh Jayasinghe and Justice Ministry Secretary Suhada Gamlath.

© Daily Mirror

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