Criticising the Sri Lankan prime minister’s statement that a resolution passed by the Northern Provincial Council (NPC) calling for an international investigation in genocide as “racist”, adding that the UN Human Rights council’s decision to defer the publication of a report examining mass atrocities against the Tamil people was intended as a slap in the face to the NPC.
“Asking that the truth should come out cannot be racism,” the Northern Provincial Council’s chief minister, C V Wigneswaran told reporters on Wednesday. “If only the truth is first learnt, a path for reconciliation can be created,” he pointed out.
“The prime minister saying that revealing what happened to our people is racism gives us great sadness. Saying the truth can never be racism. Real racism can be pointed out. That is what the resolution we brought to the Northern Provincial Council showed.”
“Only if the truth is known, the creation of reconciliation can be aided. In South Africa the commission for truth and reconciliation was called the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Only if the truth is known first, can a path for reconciliation be created.”
“We brought our resolution only after we learnt that the international community is working to support you to defer the inquiry report based on the UN Human Rights Council resolution, from the American representative.”
“This resolution was brought to show our feelings to everyone. We are bemused by Prime Minister Ranil’s comments the international community gave us a slap in the face over a resolution that was passed at the same time as we knew of the deferral of the report; like putting a cart before the horses.”
“It can be seen that this is the reply from the Prime Minister to me calling for a change in political culture. The Prime Minister is trying to make it true to say that our people cannot expect true reconciliation from anyone in the South.”
“But, I do not believe so. Sinhalese people are good people. It is their political leaders that have lead them in a wrong way till now.”
“For instance, I do not need to tell the PM that when then president Chandrika tried to pass a draft constitution in 2000, it was opposed by some in parliament at that time who disregarded the best interests of the country. They did that with a short-term self-interest. Not considering the best interests of the country. Please make sure that you do not create racism having said racism is not wanted. I trust that you will not forget that our Tamil people voted for you hugely in the last presidential election.”