Prof G.L. Peiris, Minister of External Affairs in his presentation at the Defence Seminar – 2014 on ‘Defining the Nation’s Success: a Critical Examination of the ascension of Sri Lanka,’ queried the wisdom of ill-treatment towards Sri Lanka by some foreign powers while exerting relentless pressure on her forward-march.
Explaining the series of positive and pragmatic measures that have been taken by the government after putting in place local mechanisms with the implementation of social and economic equity projects, enhancing credibility and the trust, being reposed in a society that has been affected continuously for near 30 years was as a result of bloodshed and violence, caused by the LTTE.
Professor G.L Peiris, noted that the Government had no issues with operative para 2 of the resolution on Sri Lanka adopted by the UN Human Rights Council recently which calls for the strengthening of domestic mechanisms to deal with human rights issues. He said it was for this reason that President Mahinda Rajapaksa appointed leading experts to advice the Missing persons commission in its investigations on the war.
“It is a matter of profound regret that we look at some foreign powers who are targeting Sri Lanka without learning or seeing what we are today and our involvement and the trajectory for the future, to couple with our social and economic growth. Our critics conveniently say that physical development, alone is not adequate. But they always fail to see reconciliatory moves, set in motion in war-affected areas in correct perspectives,” Prof Peiris said.
“It is the constructing approach that is wanted, instead, what is forthcoming is the disincentive to engage in earnest in domestic process, by application of devolved power. All what they talk is 13th amendment. Other than Police powers, everything has already been devolved and such devolution has to go on,” Prof Peiris commented, saying that it is the people who would identify their needs and not the powers that dedicate terms to us.”
The minister said a regulatory system would be put in place to monitor the activities of the NGOs. “It is necessary to look at the quantum of money they receive and how it is used,” he said and added that such a regulatory framework existed in South Asian countries. The Minister said that evidence for the investigation is being clandestinely collected by people in Sri Lanka. He claimed that in some instances people are being paid to provide evidence for the investigation led by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).
“A foreign minister of an Asian country told me that there was an avalanche of foreign funds was received by NGOs when elections are around the corner in his country. Elections are meant for people of a particular country to decide their future. In certain cases, NGOs mention their purpose vaguely. Therefore, it is a matter that warrants consideration. It has been flagged for consideration now,” the minister said.
People believe that the hard-won victory in the country should be maintained and should not be allowed to be torpedoed by organizations with vested interests, he added.