The Sunday Leader

Lanka In For Serious Crisis At Geneva – Lakshman Kiriella, UNP MP

By Rasika Jayakody

UNP Parliamentarian and former Deputy Foreign Minister Lakshman Kiriella is a strong opinion maker in terms of Sri Lanka’s foreign policy and the diplomatic service. He predicts Sri Lanka will face a serious crisis at the next UN Human Rights Council session in Geneva due to the lack of international support. “Over the past few years the government has failed miserably to fulfill the promises it made to the international community and that is why they are coming after the government,” Kiriella said. In an interview with The Sunday Leader, the Parliamentarian also highlighted the serious lapses in Sri Lanka’s foreign policy.

Following are excerpts of the interview:

Q: What do you think would be the outcome of the next UN Human Rights Council Session which is taking place in Geneva towards the end of March?
A: From what we can see, the government is running into a serious problem. In 2009, when a resolution was presented against Sri Lanka at the same Council, a large number of countries supported Sri Lanka because the government made certain promises to the international community. It promised to formulate a political solution based on the 13th Amendment and conduct a credible domestic inquiry into human rights allegations. Then, when the UN Secretary General visited Sri Lanka in May 2009, President Mahinda Rajapaksa signed a joint statement with him along the very same lines. Over the past few years the government has failed miserably to fulfill the promises it made to the international community and that is why they are coming after the government. One has to understand that these are not resolutions against Sri Lanka. These are resolutions against the government on its unfulfilled promises.

Q: The government is constantly saying that it has embarked on the implementation of the LLRC recommendations. Don’t you see that as a plus point?
A: The government has implemented the soft recommendations of the LLRC recommendations. But, it hasn’t even thought of implementing the hard recommendations. Therefore, the government can’t wash its hands saying it has implemented the LLRC recommendations.
The government cannot fool the international community in the same manner it fools the innocent voters in villages.

Q: What measures can the government take to counter the actions of the international community which are detrimental to the country?
A: Who created this problem? The international community did not create this problem. It was the government which created this problem by giving false promises to the international community. The government has to tell the country as to how it is going to manage this problem. The saddest outcome of this issue is that the government has brought the country into disrepute in the eyes of the rest of the world.

Instead of resolving this crisis, the government is apparently politicking with the matter. It is widely assumed that the dates of the Provincial Council elections will be fixed in line with the resolution against Sri Lanka. They are trying to gain petty political advantage out of this precarious situation the country is facing.

Q: The government is saying that measures such as holding the Provincial Council elections in the North and rapid economic development in that province will stand in favour of Sri Lanka at the UNHRC session. What is your take on that?
A: First they have to understand what a resolution is. It is like a charge sheet. There are specific charges and you have to address each one of them! You can’t get away by talking about the Provincial Council elections or the economic development in the North.

It is all about what you have done and have not done. Questions are very specific and you need to have specific answers. On the other hand, although the Northern Provincial Council election was held, the Governor of the Province, who is an ex-Army General, is overriding the provincial administration! Even though the government is boasting of rapid infrastructure development, people are struggling to make ends meet.

Q: The government, over the past 12 months, has worked hard to make new friends in the Asian and African regions in order to counter the pressure mounted by a section of western nations. Do you think that it will produce results?
A: You can’t win friends by setting up embassies or dishing out money.
First, Sri Lanka needs to establish trade links with those countries.

Has Sri Lanka established new trade links with these countries in the Asian and African regions? On the other hand, you need to have a just cause to win over their support.

For instance, countries like Cuba and Palestine have gained the support of other UN countries against powerful nations merely on the grounds that their cause is just.

10 Comments for “Lanka In For Serious Crisis At Geneva – Lakshman Kiriella, UNP MP”

  1. provincial council election, opening new embassy in a small countries, some trade is nothing to killed the civilians,the UNP strong leader in the party is coming out facts. srilanka government know how to answer the problem,in geneva in march2014, srilanka has found gility in 2012 and 2013,uk,,usa,un, human rights,world criminal judge in srilanka to investicate to civillian killed in the enthnic war,

  2. Henry Wong

    this clown said LTTE can not be defeated. Stupid idiot

  3. S. Makenthiran

    Why is the Rajapakse dragging its foot on the implementation of LLRC, which is their own creation.? Why don’t Rajapakse come to an agreement with TNA who are the representatives of Tamils. ? It is more cost efective than running all over the world spending money to garner support at the UNCHR. Rakapakse should give up all anti Tamil policies and look after them as they are Sri Lankan citizens.

  4. Gon

    Nothing will happen. there is no big deal there. You will see.

  5. marcus fernando

    change the foreign minister

  6. marcus fernando

    change the foreign minister

  7. Malin

    Looks like Lakshman Kiriella is over the moon as to the dilemma SL faces. Instead of looking faults of the Govt, it’s time that UNP rallied round the Govt and save Sri Lanka from western hypocrites.

  8. Jayalath

    These people are playing a game to gain the power as they cannot come through the elections that they try to gain it through the international rogues department led by USA And UK . How come this man tell that Cuba and Palastian gained the support even in difficult time but Rajapaksa regime is not capable of doing that ? Why we can’t get it done because of the crooks like you who cannot stand with mother land when it is in a difficult time . You people are traitors who ready to say yes to any dog . I know you mr. Kira . You said Rajapaksa created this , no ,it is not true what he did is , gave his life to freedom of country , that’s why even you moving freely today and important thing needs to regard is that you know that you will ever be in the opposition as long as Rajapaksa is there , therefore you are doing every thing to tame with international support . It is a shame on you people , disgusting .

  9. Piyadada Yalagala

    UNP had been responsibility and accountability of war of Terrorism being prolong since 1983 Black July. JRJ & R.Premadas of UNP and Second generation Leadership of UNP Leader of Ranil.W wholly mishandle, that issue of Tamil LTTE terrorism in Sri Lanka. Not only war came into being that WAR of business since 1983 to 2005,until MR came being that war footing to be combating of Terrorism was negative attitude and defensive in nature by ruling party in POWER.
    What ever the cost of politics and disastrous WAR in Sri Lankan has not taken into account by UNP or CBK ruling party. There were more IRREGULARTIES IN THE WAR WAY THEY LUNACH BY TOP ECHELON IN POWER CIRCULARS INCLUDING RANIL AND CBK. These are not mishaps by political leader of nation, who has undertaken to protected our national UNITY, SOVEREIGNTY AND DEMOCRACY OF SAMLL ISLAND.
    Hon Kiriella MP for UNP try to exonerating their own political error by blaming other.
    Is historical fact Under the Leadership MR ruling party combated TAMIL-LTTE TERRORISM DEFATED LAST BATTEL NADAIKADAL ,NOT “WAR CRIME”, BLAME BY USA,UK SOME EU-NATION AS WELL AS INDIA. MR had carry out MANDATE ENTRUSTED BY PEOPLE OF SRI LANKA TO eradicated terrorism from land to bring PEACE FOR OUR ISLAND. That is not crime of our nation.

  10. gamarala

    Our cause should b just – that is the bottom line.

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