UNP To Request Adjournment Debate On GL’s Plan Revealed By The Sunday Leader
By Dinouk Colombage
The United National Party (UNP) will be requesting an adjournment debate in Parliament this week regarding the document that was presented to the United States’ Secretary of State Hillary Clinton by Sri Lanka’s Minister of External Affairs Prof. G. L. Peiris, according to UNP Communications Division Head Mangala Samaraweera.
Following last week’s exclusive report by The Sunday Leader titled “GL-Clinton Deal On LLRC Implementation Revealed”, the UNP are planning on once again taking up the issue in Parliament following initial denials by the Government.
“We (UNP) first presented a motion in Parliament asking for details about the meeting and for details about the “secret document” which was presented to Clinton. At that point we requested that the Minister respond to these allegations, he refused to and the Deputy Minister (Neomal Perera) came forward denying that any such document had been presented to the Americans”, Samaraweera said.
He went on to accuse the Government of lying to Parliament, “the Government’s official stance regarding such a document has been that it does not exist. The reproduction of this document in The Sunday Leader suggest otherwise.”
Samaraweera added that if the Government was sincere about the reconciliation process they should not have hidden such a document.
“Prior to the delegation’s departure to the US they never made public such a document, the Parliament and the public were unaware of what would be discussed with Hillary Clinton”, he said.
Samaraweera added that with the reproduction of this document he hoped that the Government would allow the adjournment debate to take place in Parliament. The document with the heading “The way forward in regard to the report of the Commission on Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation-LLRC” was the basis of the talks between a three member delegation led by Peiris and American officials led by Clinton at the State Department in Washington, DC on May 18 this year. Following the discussions that took place a spokesperson for the US State Department told media that Clinton had been satisfied with her meeting with Peiris, while no details regarding the meeting had been divulged. Subsequently Peiris and the government have continually denied the existence of any “secret plan”.
According to the document shown to the American Government 33 of 135 main recommendation of the LLRC are to be to be implemented at the national level.
The Sri Lankan Government has pledged to appoint a Task Force headed by the Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunga which would monitor the implementation of the LLRC recommendations.
Despite repeated attempts neither Weeratunga nor Peiris were available for comment on the document. The first document titled “The Way Forward in regard to the Report of the Commission on Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation (LLRC)”, which has been reproduced in this paper, was the official plan presented to Clinton by Peiris highlighting the steps that would be taken in implementing the recommendations.
The second document reproduced was Peiris’ personal notes that were used during his discussions with Clinton. According to Peiris’ notes the 135 “main recommendations contain sub recommendations and this is the reason for the ‘disparity between the quoted and much publicized figure of 285 recommendations and this figure of 135’.