Rights of all protected, says Prime Minister


Rights of all protected, says Prime Minister

Prime Minister DM Jayaratne speaking in Parliament on Thursday said:
“As Sri Lankan citizens, legal, economic, education and health
privileges have been provided to the Tamil community as given to all the
other communities.”

He said: “Although certain elements state that the Tamil community
has been treated as a minority race and neglected since 1956, and that
Tamils have not been given their fundamental human rights, they were
appointed as government ministers, Chief Justice, secretaries of
ministries, lecturers and professors in universities and maintained
their political, economic and cultural rights. Further government aid
have also been given to them.

“A small fraction was involved in violence to achieve their goals.
Even before the humanitarian rescue operation the Sinhalese, Tamils and
Muslims were living in harmony. The Tamils affected by terrorism had
also gone abroad. Now as Sri Lanka has returned to normalcy and peace
restored hundreds of Tamil people are now returning to their motherland.

“Approximately 300,000 people who were affected were provided with
houses, electricity, water, schools, agricultural equipment and funds
are being allocated to renovate their religious centres, and to commence
small industrial activities. There is a small number who are eligible
for such assistance.

“The hardcore terrorists have been rehabilitated and even provided
with public sector employment. The Tamil community has been living in
Sri Lanka for a long time and live in all parts of the country.

“More Tamils are living in other parts of the island other than in
the North and East. Due to terrorist activities in the past, a large
number of Sinhala, Tamil and Muslim people were killed. A large number
of Sinhala people disappeared. A large number had been widowed.

“A major part of the government funds, foreign funds, housing, roads,
schools and other facilities are provided to Tamils and Muslims living
in the North and East more than the other areas of the country. They are
being gradually made to live a comfortable life. It is observed that
some countries have betrayed the Tamil community for their own interests
to divide the country into two.

“They are attempting to divide Sri Lanka, specially to break India to
portions. The great scholar Krishna Menon once stated that the
Trincomalee Harbour has to be protected to maintain the unitary status
of India.

“We must think as to why Rajiv Gandhi and the Indian Government
opposed the attempt of former President J R Jayewardene to handover the
oil tanks at Trincomalee to America. Sri Lanka should be totally
committed and help India maintain its present unitary status.

“That is our protection too. Let us cordially, friendly and honestly
discuss this matter considering the general public.

“We must not forget, that in the middle part of the 20th century when
the world was equally balanced in power. Patrice Lumumba was killed
along with many other leaders in Asian countries.

“A very powerful and large country, Russia, which belonged to Europe
and Asia was divided into parts and separated. No one is exactly aware
as to how it happened.

“Although Sri Lanka ended its 30 year war situation through a
humanitarian operation, the idea of the developed countries was that the
LTTE could never be defeated. Therefore, they try to insult us by
forwarding false information such as the Darusman Report, Channel 4
telecast, foreign parliamentary discussions and so on.

“During this short period the economic growth rate of Sri Lanka has
increased to eight percent.

“It is clear that various strategies are being used to stifle our
progress. Therefore, we question whether it is proper for educated and
intelligent people to break the economic and social development of the
country by false and foolish ideas, such as, the arsenic story, oil
crisis, the Katunayake incident the university lecturers’ issue, protest
on elders pension scheme etc.

“There were invasions in Sri Lanka not only after 1956, but, also
before that. In 104 AD Pulasti captured part of the country. In 205 AD
Panayamara, Piliyarama, Datiya, Peetiya, Elara conquered the country. In
436 AD, Thirithara and Dathiya reigned Sri Lanka. In 479 AD Prince
Mugalan brought an Army from India and fought.

“Pottakutta, the commander of King Agrabodhi who reigned in 1673 AD
was a Tamil citizen. He built Buddhist Pirivenas and religious centres.

“This situation existed throughout world history. Greek, Roman,
French, English, Portuguese and Spanish Kings captured Asia and Africa
by force. King Parakramabahu the great captured some parts of India and
Burma and made Sri Lanka an empire.

“I am delighted to say that President Mahinda Rajapaksa, a politician
with noble sense of humanity, has understood the economic, social,
racial and religious problems of the people and acts according to the
Mahinda Chintana programme to solve them.

“Today, a political dialogue is in progress. I very respectfully
request cooperation in settling the Tamil problem reasonably and
satisfactorily.”

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