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 panelís 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 peopleís right to peaceful protest, he added.