by Shamindra Ferdinando
Former Navy Chief of Staff Rear Admiral Sarath Weerasekera yesterday faulted political parties represented in parliament for not taking a common stand against Western-led project to adopt a resolution targeting Sri Lanka at the Geneva-based United Nations Human Rights Council.
Weerasekera, who represented the Digamadulla District during the previous administration pointed out that those who hadn’t been bothered about Sri Lanka being humiliated and vilified on the basis of unsubstantiated war crimes accusations, had taken a principled stand on the US stand on Jerusalem.
The former UPFA Deputy Minister said that political parties and some civil organizations had swiftly reached consensus on US decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
Had they responded in a similar way in the wake of Lord Naseby’s defence of Sri Lanka, political parties could have made representations to the UN as well as the UK, the naval veteran said.
Asked whether he endorsed their stand on Jerusalem, Weerasekera said that it wasn’t his intention either to endorse or oppose political parties taking common stand on US move. “The issue is why a similar stand can not be adopted on behalf of your own country”, Weerasekera asked, adding that the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe government created history by co-sponsoring a resolution against Sri Lanka.
“Have we ever heard of a country moving a Resolution against itself?” Weerasekera asked, inquiring whether the forthcoming local government polls was a strong inducement for political parties to be swift in their condemnation of the US move.
Weerasekera said that political parties hadn’t been prepared to take up Sri Lanka’s case even after Lord Naseby produced irrefutable evidence by way of wartime dispatches from British High Commission in Colombo to counter Geneva Resolution.
The US would have been certainly surprised by Sri Lanka’s reaction, he said.
“I don’t blame the government and political parties for taking a common stand on the vexed Jerusalem issue. But why cannot the same interest be shown for our own cause,” Weerasekera said.
Referring to the statement issued by some members of parliament representing Palestine interests urging the US to abandon its project, Weerasekera said that no parliamentary association felt the requirement to make an appeal on Sri Lanka’s behalf so far.