All- party meeting to consider the ideas of all parties – MS

Published : 9:16 am  October 23, 2015 | No comments so far |  |  (508) reads | 


By Ranjan Kasthuri 
President Maithripala Sirisena, addressing the first session of the all-party meeting convened yesterday said the government’s objective was to consider the opinions and proposals of all the political parties in order to create a mechanism for implementing the UNHRC resolution. 
He said the resolution should be implemented in accordance with the Sri Lankan Constitution while preserving the human rights of all the people. 
The President emphasised that the status of the latest UNHRC resolution was very favourable to the country compared with the previous resolutions.   
The two-hour-long all party meeting was held last evening at the presidential secretariat. Leaders and representatives of 21 political parties attended the meeting.  Political parties represented in parliament plus other political parties were invited to the meeting.  
About 80 representatives — including menbers of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party, United National Party, Tamil National Alliance, Sri Lanka Communist Party, Lanka Sama Samaja Party, Democratic Party, Jathika Hela Urumaya, Pivithuru Hela Urumaya, National Freedom Front (NFF), Mahajana Eksath Peramuna, Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna, Democratic Left Front, Sri Lanka Muslim Congress and Ceylon Workers’ Congress attended the meeting.
MP Jayantha Samaraweera represented NFF leader Wimal Weerawansa in his absence. The next session is to take place in three weeks time. 
Opinions of party representatives at meeting:
Opposition Leader R. Sampanthan requested the implementation of the UNHRC resolution comprehensively and honestly. “The slogan ‘Eelam’ may not have been created if the previous governments accepted the opinion of the moderate Tamils. The Tamil community today expects a future within an undivided and united Sri Lanka,”
UNP General Secretary Kabir Hashim said solutions could be found to face the challenges within a domestic mechanism instead of an international one. 
SLFP representative Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva said no country could survive without the international community in a globalised world. He said steps should be taken to establish reconciliation while benefitting the victims. 
“However, we shouldn’t accept everything told to us by the international community. It should take measures without violating our Constitution,” he said.
JVP General Secretary Tilvin Silva said it was unnecessary to internationalise internal issues and that our issues had already been internationalised because of our carelessness. 
JHU leader Ven. Omalpe Sobitha Thera said the proposals of the UNHRC resolution should be implemented while preserving the unitary status of the nation and in line with the Constitution.
“According to this approach, the actions of the soldiers were not illegal,” hesaid. 
D.E.W. Gunasekara of Communist Party said the sovereignty of the country, the foreign policy based on world’s power balance and national harmony and reconciliation should be the basis of the solutions.
“We held the same position even during the conflict and before the LLRC. We should consider the past when speaking of the UNHRC resolution,” he said.
Muslim Congress leader Rauff Hakeem proposed a proper structure to the all party meeting and said it should have frequent sessions. 
Selvam Adaikalanathan of the TELO said powerful laws should be introduced to protect witnesses giving evidence before a truth commission. 
MEP leader Dinesh Gunawardane said it would have been more convenient if the all party meeting was convened before the UNHRC resolution was published.  “However, as we are against the international mechanism, we should take measures to create a domestic mechanism,” he said.