Friday, November 27, 2009

Lalith on traitors and intl conspiracy directed at Lanka - Island

Presidential Secretary Lalith Weeratunga yesterday said that a conspiracy against Sri Lanka during humanitarian operations had been much bigger than the government believed.

He said that a section of the international community as well as influential foreign media organisations and INGOs had been involved in the campaign which almost overwhelmed the country during the war against the LTTE.

Responding to queries, he said that a recent study had revealed the true extent of the anti-Sri Lanka operation. He said that local partners of the operation had been identified.

President Mahinda Rajapaksa told the media yesterday that the country was being targeted even after the end of war. A damaging campaign to deny Sri Lanka GSP plus facility and USD 500 million loan facility from the HSBC during the war were part of their strategy, he said adding that the conspirators also made an abortive bid to censure Sri Lanka at the UN Human Rights Council sessions in Geneva shortly after the end of war. The President said that they went to the extent of calling a special meeting in Geneva ahead of the scheduled confab just to humiliate Sri Lanka though they failed.

The President said that unlike other political parties he would not get an INGO to print his manifesto. Although the President did not name names, it was a reference to Friedrich Naumann Stiftung paying for the printing of a booklet on behalf of the UNP to propagate the party’s vision.

Commenting on a statement attributed to Democratic People’s Front leader Mano Ganeshan, MP that he was prepared to help the President in his efforts to develop the country if a permanent solution could be found to solve all problems faced by the Tamil community, an irate President said that they were the people who accused him of running detention camps in the north. "For me, there is absolutely no difference among people. "There are people who love this country and those working against it," he said.

The President regretted that the Tamil Diaspora had been working overtime against Sri Lanka. He said that as part of their overall strategy, websites had been increasingly used to bring disrepute to the country.

Although the US had accused us of using rape as a weapon in Sri Lanka’s war against the LTTE, once we countered that argument, they were humble enough to rectify the blunder. He said that Sri Lankans were responsible for making an effort to isolate the country internationally.

Recalling his campaign against the then President Ranasinghe Premadasa’s government over human rights violations, President Rajapaksa said that he and Vasudeva Nanayakkara were the first to seek UN intervention. "But we never tried to stop aid," he said recalling their detention at the Bandaranaike International Airport with a set of photographs of youth killed during anti-insurgency operations.

The President said that he was aware of efforts to cause political chaos by bribing MPs to switch allegiance. He said that bribing MPs was a reality they had to be alert to the threat.

SLFP frontliner Minister Dallas Alahapperuma said that President Rajapaksa was the common candidate as he had the backing of many political parties and groups representing all communities. He urged the media not to call anyone common candidate other than President Rajapaksa, who commanded the respect of the vast majority of people. Quipped President Rajapaksa, "Let us call one common candidate and the other wada common candidate."

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