Following is the statement sent by the Lanka Sama Samaja Party on the Experts panel’s report on Sri Lanka
The Government is facing a serious diplomatic offensive that could have disastrous consequences for the country as a whole. The LSSP calls on all Sri Lankans to unite to defeat this imperialist conspiracy which is based on the Ban Ki Moon Panel Report. The Government should not react emotionally or underestimate the magnitude of the threat. It needs to act effectively, but with great care.
The Mahinda Rajapaksa-led Government has carried out a non-aligned foreign policy which does not find favour with the USA. It has not only effectively defeated the deadly terrorist LTTE and its efforts to divide the country, but also thwarted the efforts of the USA to save the LTTE leadership at the end of the war in May 2009. By ending the war the arms sales to both sides of the conflict have practically ended, a blow to struggling Western economies. Therefore the USA would like to see a regime change in Sri Lanka.
The Imperialists therefore seek to discredit the Government both locally and internationally and if possible pave the way for their intervention through the UN mechanism. The way they are seeking to do so is by charging the government with “war crimes” and “crimes against humanity” directed against the minority Tamil population. By making the issue one of injustice by a majority Sinhala government against an innocent Tamil minority, who have suffered due to a long and bitter conflict, world public sympathy is harnessed to achieve the Imperialist objective.
The Panel (BKMP) appointed by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has been presented with a large body of information, some of which may be accurate. However much of what has been included are clearly exaggerations, distortions or even complete fabrications by those wishing to discredit the Government. Unfortunately the sources include people who are expected to be neutral, such as members of United Nations and other international organizations, but over the years it has become evident that many of them are blatantly biased. Even if the three members preparing this report had been neutral, they were probably unaware of this and have taken the statements given to them to be factual. Many people abroad are unaware of the friendly relations that exist among the different racial groups in Sri Lanka, particularly the Sinhalese and the Tamils. This contrasts with the intense hostility that prevails between racial or religious groups associated with conflict situations abroad.
The LSSP requests the Ministry of External Affairs and other relevant government ministries to quickly and objectively point out and refute the misinformation contained in the BKMP Report, so that the record can be put straight.
The BKMP report aims to enable UN interventions in Sri Lanka to be initiated. Among the recommendations are the establishment of an International Investigative Process to look in to alleged human rights violations from the point of view of accountability. Considering the biased nature of the BKMP report one cannot expect fairness in such a process. The need for the suggested course of action can be overcome by establishing a credible accountability process within Sri Lanka itself, as this is an internal problem which we should address.
The LSSP also calls upon the government to intensify the efforts being made to attend to the grievances of the Tamil people. While attending to economic and social needs of the Tamil people it is important that they should also get a reasonable share of political power. One of the outcomes of the All Party Representatives Committee (APRC) process was the reaching of a consensus on power sharing at the center and the periphery within a unitary framework. Meeting the economic and social needs of the Tamil people in a country that is still poor and underdeveloped like Sri Lanka will take a long time. But the necessary political changes can be implemented quickly. This would effectively undermine the attack of the Diaspora and Western Powers against the Government on behalf of the Tamil people.
The LSSP calls upon the government to respond effectively and with dignity on the lines outlined here so that we can effectively defeat the machinations of the imperialist countries. We give our fullest support to the government in this endeavor.