Sri Lanka

Harold F. Schiffman haroldfs at
Fri Jan 12 16:57:33 UTC 2007

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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