Supreme Court setting policy of SL Government- Kiriyella

[TamilNet, Thursday, 11 January 2007, 12:02 GMT]
"Tamils did not demand a separate state in 1956. They only demanded their language rights but we denied their rights then. The Sri Lankan governments since independence in 1948 have not seriously attempted to solving this problem," Laxman Kiriyella, the United National Party (UNP) parliamentarian for Kandy district, said in Parliament Wednesday, speaking on the present state of affairs in the Northeast, parliamentary sources from Colombo said. "This government is reluctant to express its stand in important policy matters but uses the supreme court as a cover. Effectively, the Supreme Court is determining the policy of the government," he added.

"I am not asking the verdict of the supreme court on the question of merging North and East again. What I want to know is the stand of the government on this issue," said the MP.

"We have a credible opportunity to create a Post Tsunami Operational Management Structure (P-TOMS) to deal with the tsunami disaster but we lost it due to the ruling of the supreme court," Mr. Kiriyella said.

"Soon there will be a motion brought in the UN security council against Sri Lanka and what has the government done to prevent this?" asked the parliamentarian.

"Violations of human rights in Sri Lanka are rampant with abductions and assassinations. Attacks in the north and east continue inflicting heavy suffering on Tamil people. Tamils are also citizens of this country and it is the duty of the government to protect them," Mr. Kiryella said.

"I request the government not to ridicule the Memorandum of Understanding the SLFP signed with the UNP," he said.

Mr. Ranil Wickremasinghe, the UNP leader, said that his party will submit its position on the merger of the north and east at the next All Party Meeting.

Mr. Wickremasinghe also said that UNP will soon submit its proposals to solve the ethnic issue, interrupting Rauf Hakeem, the leader of the Sri Laka Muslim Congress (SLMC) party who said in his speech that the main political parties are yet to reveal their stand on the merger of north and east.

"The proposals put forward by the UNP will be based on the Oslo Agreement, and UNP will hold talks with the SLMC and the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) on the issue of merging the north and the east," Ranil Wickremasinghe added.


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