Peiris, Wickramasinghe speak on Weerawansa hunger strike in parliament

[TamilNet, Friday, 09 July 2010, 05:24 GMT]
The hunger strike by Minister Wimal Weerawansa, leader of the National Freedom Front (NFF), a constituent of the ruling United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA) and a splinter group of the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) came up for debate between the External Affairs Minister G. L. Peiris and opposition leader Ranil Wickramasinghe Thursday in parliament during the committee stage debate of the 2010 budget.

Ranil Wickramasinghe, leader of the main opposition United National Party (UNP), said that the current situation could result in major difficulties for Sri Lankans when obtaining visa to foreign countries. This could harm the reputation of Sri Lanka among the world.

Furthermore, he guaranteed that no soldier will be taken to international courts under any circumstances.

External Affairs Minister G. L. Peiris dismissed opposition allegations that the appointment of a panel of experts by the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon was in keeping with the joint declaration issued by the Sri Lankan government and the UN Chief when he visited the island in May 2009. There is absolutely no connection between the joint declaration and the expert panel’s appointment, he said

The minister said the government has taken steps to appoint the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission and it was not done due to external pressure.

The security assurances have been given to the UN head in Colombo as well UN officials in New York that their work would not be hindered in any manner due to protests. While the government understands its international obligations, it is also bound to honor the people’s right to peaceful protest, he added.

 

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