Select committee best way to find a political solution – Basil tells Akashi

Saturday, 25 August 2012 03:01 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Parliamentary select committee is the best way to find a political solution to the national problem of Sri Lanka. Such a committee will represent by the Government and opposition parties with the people’s mandate and recommendation of such a committee will be acceptable to all communities in Sri Lanka. The TNA insists that the Government should agree to some of their demands in order to TNA to participate in the select committee deliberation.

If the Government and TNA take the decisions before forming the select Committee there is no meaning in convening a select committee. In that way TNA expects the select committee to be mere a rubber stamp to endorse their demands but the Government wants the select committee to be a peoples’ forum that can find a lasting solution to the country’s national problem, said Minister of Economic Development Basil Rajapaksa when he met special envoy of the Japanese government Yasushi Akashi at the Ministry of Economic Development on Thursday.

“All political parties national as well as representing the different community interests should make genuine efforts to find a solution to this problem. The TNA say they are the sole representative of the Tamil people. LTTE also said the same thing, and eliminated leaders of the other political parties to be the Tamils’ sole representative. The TNA couldn’t even get a simple majority of the North Eastern Provinces at the last election. How did they become the sole representatives of the Tamil people? The TNA has a big responsibility in finding a solution to this problem. They should not waste time in engaging such a meaningless exercise,” the Minister said.

“The Government has taken every possible step to reduce the military presence in North Eastern Provinces. Now, forces have only few camps compare to the conflict time. Some of the army camps remaining in these provinces were established during the Dutch and English period. Now they want to remove even these camps. TNA now wants to do all these things about the military presence but they supported former army commander at the last presidential election. They wanted to have a former military commander as the country’s president,” said the Minister.

Akashi said Sri Lanka carried out post conflict resettlement programs very smoothly. “We were able to provide some assistance for these works. But Sri Lanka Government’s able leadership was the major factor behind these land mark achievements,” he stated, adding that Sri Lanka has reached the highest stage of development process and Sri Lanka’s post conflict achievements are tremendous: “All political parties can start a meaningful dialog joining the parliamentary select committee. The President has given priority to the North-East reconstruction programs. Most of these projects are completed. Now everyone should get together to find a political solution acceptable to all communities forgetting minor differences.”

Ambassador of Japan to Sri Lanka Nobuhito Hobo, Sri Lanka Ambassador to Japan Admiral Wasantha Karannagoda, Director General of the Ministry of Economic

Development Prof. Sunanda Madduma Bandara, Secretary PTF for Resettlement S.B. Divaratne and Ministry of Economic Development Director General of External Affairs Saroja Sirisena also participated at this discussion.