The Sunday Leader

They Are Part Of The Problem – Ravi Karunanayake

By Camelia Nathaniel

The UNP charges that the government has tried to hoodwink the international community with false promises and now they have to face the consequences, when asked to deliver on their promises. In an interview with The Sunday Leader UNP parliamentarian Ravi Karunanayake alleged that the Sri Lankan government ‘thinks that they can just make false promises to the international bodies and get away. These foreign institutions are not asking the Sri Lankan government to keep to the promises made by them. The bluff has been called off.’
He said that even the proscribing of the 16 organisations is a hypocritical move just for political gain, in order to keep the political nationalistic frames going on. ‘After G. L. Peiris met diplomats last week, seeking their assistance  in dealing with these proscribed organisations, they have basically told the Sri Lankan government that they need to furnish credible evidence to substantiate these charges in order to gain the assistance of the international community.
He said, “after five years since the end of the war where is the peace dividend?  Has the government brought down the cost of living? So what is the government gloating about, and what are the benefits for the people?”
Regarding the government claims that sanctions were to be imposed on Sri Lanka, Karunanayake says that the whole fiasco was just to hoodwink the people. “This is an absolutely concocted yarn by the government,” he charged.Following are excerpts of the interview:
Following are excerpts:

Q. You accuse the government of failing in the area of foreign policy.
A. This is absolutely the case and it has always been a disastrous foreign policy. The government does not have a foreign policy to be very frank and the meagre reactions that are being given have put the country into absolute disarray.

Q. President Mahinda Rajapaksa in his May Day rally speech had accused the opposition of betraying the nation. How would you respond to that?
A. I guess he does not know the meaning of betrayal. Betrayal is when what is in the constitution is not adhered to, and that is exactly what this government is doing.
The government claims there will be no casinos and they bring casinos in.
Further they promise all sorts of things to the UN such as the LLRC and so on, but they are not delivered. If the foreign community is at our doorstep, it is because this government has promised and not delivered. Therefore the betrayal is done by the president and his government. This is a clear manifestation of an African type operation.

Q. Does the opposition agree with the failure by some countries to arrest LTTE suspects or supporters living overseas?
A. The LTTE, as stated by the government is extinguished. They cannot be crowing on one side and crying on the other. If it is gone it’s gone and any issues coming up must be faced by the government and dealt with.
However whenever the government feels like it they apprehend people and when problems arise as a result, they start accusing everyone. If they have not properly engaged themselves then they are part of the problem.
As for me I believe its all a mocked up case for their own political consumption.

Q. How does the UNP see the pressure being exerted by some countries particularly the US on Sri Lanka?
A. If you look at any country, their pushing is for what the government has promised them. These are what the president, G.L. Peiris or the cabinet have promised. There isn’t one aspect beyond that. So if the government has promised something then they must keep to their promise and deliver.
This cannot be taken lightly just like the promises that this government gives the voters and does not deliver. So there is not one statement that the international community is pushing for that the government has not pledged.

Q. Is there a threat of Sri Lanka losing foreign assistance down the line if the Human Rights issue is not resolved? 
A. Well we have already lost it. The GSP is gone through the window and the Canadians are already not giving us aid, so it has already happened. No need to speculate about the future as it is already happening.

3 Comments for “They Are Part Of The Problem – Ravi Karunanayake”

  1. gamarala

    Karunanayake has called the bluff the regime is trying to foist not only on the people,but also on the international community.
    The UN is aware.

  2. Ranjith

    This man is a number 1 FOOL who destroyed the Ministry of Commerce during his tenure. What he knos about the foreign policy ?

  3. raj

    yes, you are right that SL government gives false promised whenever crisis arise. This is nothing new. It is part of the government culture regardless of who is in power. If past governments did not give false promised to Tamils when there were negotiantions, ethnic problems would have exist today.

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