The Sunday Leader

Government’s Foreign Policy Is One Of Abject Servility – G.L. Peiris

by Camelia Nathaniel

Joint opposition member and Former External Affairs Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris said that certain rumours that were spread claiming that the joint opposition was experiencing internal disputes were a fragment of imagination of their opponents. In an interview with The Sunday Leader he said that such disputes never existed. He said that the joint opposition is resolute in their determination to protect this country to the best of their ability through the challenging times ahead.

Following are excerpts of the interview;

Q:  The people had great expectations regarding the new good governance regime, based on the promises they made to the people. But how do you see the current situation in the country, and do you think there is a proper direction?

A:   Throughout the spectrum of society there is today deep disillusionment. It is a story of unfulfilled promises all the way. No one is in charge. The cost of living is spiraling to such an extent that making ends meet has become a nightmare for most people. Corruption which the new government promised to eradicate is rampant. Yahapalanaya has asked for luxury cars for themselves and more and more money is being wasted for their upkeep, while the country is in the throes of unprecedented adversity. One half of the government is engaged in undermining the other half and the public is looking on in despair.


Q:  How do you perceive this government’s foreign policy?

A:  The government foreign policy is one of abject servility.  We have abandoned our identity and our independence to decision making and judgment. We have lined up ourselves as junior partners of the western bloc and we are now taken for granted. We have made solemn commitments to the international community and gone back on them. The Geneva resolution of October last year was co-sponsored by the government of Sri Lanka. It was obvious that many of the commitments would fall by the way side because of vibrant opposition in the country. We have freely given undertakings without any thought of how realistic they are.


Q:  The current government, especially the UNP was very critical of the Chinese involvement during the previous Rajapaksa regime. But now they too have gradually turned to China. What is your view?

A:   What has happened was plainly predictable. The UNP played cheap politics with our relationship with China. During the elections they asserted categorically that they would cancel the port city and other Chinese projects. Now they have had to eat their own words. They are now prepared to offer more land than we ever did. They now had to reverse every major premise of their previously articulated position. They gratuitously insulted and humiliated one of Sri Lanka’s strongest friends. Having done all of this, they are now turning to China for support and assistance.


Q:  There are allegations that the government failed in their handling of the disaster situation experienced in the country recently. Do you think the government handled the situation efficiently?

A:  It is painfully obvious that the government’s handling of the floods and the Kosgama explosion was a disaster. It was almost as though Sri Lanka was a country without a government. We saw it vividly with the people whose houses had been destroyed or rendered uninhabitable, screaming that no one had turned up to give them even a glass of water. The government’s only concern was to create the illusion that everything was in order and to demonstrate this they opened the road prematurely gravely jeopardising the relief operations. The affected people were compelled to take the law into their own hands and to close the road forcibly. We are back to self help and near anarchy.


Q:  Many believed that the UNP had a proper economic policy for the country and they promised prosperity for the people during their election campaign. Yet today the people are burdened with taxes and the country’s economy is in a mess. What is your opinion?

A:   The unrivalled mess is all too evident. How many budgets have been presented this year? Proposals are made modified and withdrawn as a matter of routine. Taxes are levied without parliamentary approval and the legality of this has been challenged in the courts. Nothing remains of the finance minister’s budget presented to parliament in November last year. It has been mauled beyond recognition. The finance minister presented his own budget in February this year. Neither has received legislature endorsement.  The division of subjects is chaotic. Where in the world does one have a finance minister without control of the central bank and the commercial banks? Do we really expect that this dismal state of affairs will inspire confidence amongst investors?


Q:  One of the allegations against the previous regime was the overseas travel and the expenses incurred. Do you see the current regime members travelling any less?

A:  This government is travelling a great deal more. The name of the game appears to be “now that we are in office, let us enjoy it to the fullest.” Insult is being added to injury. It is a grievous insult to the intelligence of our people that super luxury cars costing 1.1 billion rupees are being ordered for 30 ministers and state ministers to enable them to give ‘instant  service’ to the people. It is not surprising that in this situation the government is determined to postpone the elections on the flimsiest of pretext.


Q:  Although the current government accused the previous regime members of many malpractices, to date none of these allegations have been proved, except for arresting some. How do you see this stance of the government?

A:   The whole country is aware that this is nothing more than a political witch hunt. No one has been convicted. This farce has nothing to do with eradication of corruption or objective, impartial, fair investigation. We now have the extraordinary situation of the highest echelons of the government pushing the Attorney General to reconsider his orders in respect of the current and particular persons. Are these then legal or political initiations? The only result has been to bring about a state of gridlock in the public service with officials being reluctant to take any decisions. They are inhibited by the fear of reprisals selectively imposed.


Q:  What is your opinion on the country’s future at the hands of the current regime?

A:  It is the darkest period in our recent history. The local government elections long overdue, has been illegally postponed. Let the people have the opportunity of using their franchise and the results will speak for themselves.


Q:  How different has this regime handled the international community in relation to the previous regime and why do you think the international community (some powerful countries) was unsupportive of the previous regime?

A:  Our government had the courage of its convictions and we did what we believed to be right. In particular we strived every time to protect our armed forces. By contrast the present government co-sponsored a resolution based on a report by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human rights which concluded on the basis of evidence from anonymous sources that there are good grounds to believe that SL armed forces were responsible for the massacre of civilians on a large scale, abductions and disappearances, rape and deliberate starvation of the civilian population.


4 Comments for “Government’s Foreign Policy Is One Of Abject Servility – G.L. Peiris”

  1. renu

    Nutty one has opened his foul mouth again . Generally what he utters are GL ( Great lies) so take with a pinch of salt. Nobody bothers about his slimy comments

  2. wimal

    This old out of date fellow ruined our foreign Ministry for years,I have a double econ law degree from Monash,only half this Moron GL’s age,I can tech him economics
    he is an out and out bullshit artist
    an absolute dud of a kajal,no common sence,his theories are good for the gabage bin
    GL go home dont try to ruin this country any more with your pakaya MR,you should wrap up your stinking bags jump into the ocean,you filthy Moron

    • Tim

      Monash, as a respected Australian University, do not produce characters like this who use vulgar words in a public forum. Its true alumni does not need to say that ” I have a double degree”, but actions will speak for itself,

      One wonders if this person has even attended a Public school and got through a grade. Your use of the language stinks Mister Wimal.

      • harris

        Tim you must be sa very strong supporter of this Moron,I am sure you have nothing in your upstairs tim,you mus t be close associate of this Man Gl,we know his form eversince he became Foreign Ministre and Un spoksman’he writes lengthly reports of not mush of sustance,he never won a proper debate in the Un sessions,support him mate,we know your standard,if you only the reasons you will keep your trap shot

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