To: Hon. Chamal Rajapaksa,
Parliament of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka.
POST OF OPPOSITION LEADER
I write in regard to the proposal to designate Mr. R. Sampanthan Opposition Leader. I am firmly opposed to any such step. Mr. Sampanthan, both as a result of public statements made by him, as well as his membership in the Illangai Tamil Arasu Kadchi (ITAK), has identified himself with certain agendas antithetical to the State, and making him Opposition Leader will put him in a position to pursue those agendas with greater ease, to the detriment of the State.
I wish to place on record the following concerns, which I trust will inform any decision to appoint Mr. Sampanthan Opposition Leader.
Neville Ladduwahetty, in his article on the National Anthem raises a very valid point, namely that we are prepared to violate the Constitution for the sake of reconciliation. The LRRC whose main objective was reconciliation, was prepared to violate the Constitution and allow the National Anthem to be sung in Tamil. To avoid a major irritant was the excuse for doing so. The incumbent President whose role in this respect has been enumerated in your editorial (unflinchingly vaporized the then Government which had a majority in parliament and installed a minority one; he decreed that Mohan Pieris who had been functioning as the Head of the Judiciary was not the Chief Justice. Then he appointed Nimal Siripala de Silva whose party is not in the opposition as opposition leader. (6/4 Island) He has violated the Constitution for the fifth time by declaring that the National Anthem could be sung in Tamil.
Having commemorated those who had perished, on Mullaitivu beach, US Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labour, Tom Malinowski, told a media roundtable, in Colombo, early this month, that the new government had time till September, 2015, to conduct an independent domestic probe into war crimes allegations. Malinowski was reiterating a deadline set by the Geneva-based United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) last March. The roundtable was held at the conclusion of his three-day visit.
Malinowski told the roundtable on April 4: "We expect genuine progress to be made by September so that the findings of an investigation conducted by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), could be fed into Sri Lanka’s domestic inquiry".
Apr 21, Colombo: Following the disruptions of parliamentary proceedings this morning, the Sri Lankan parliament has been adjourned until April 27th and accordingly, the debate on the 19th Amendment to the Constitution that was to begin today, too has been postponed.
The decision to postpone the debate has been arrived following an emergency Party Leaders meeting held with the President.
The 19th Amendment will be taken up for debate on April 27th and 28th and a vote will be taken on the 28th, the Leader of the House has announced.
Following the chaotic situation arose in the House due to the protests staged by the opposition MPs over the Bribery Commission summoning former President Mahinda Rajapaksa to record a statement, the Speaker convened an immediate meeting of party leaders.