RANIL ASKED JAPAN TO STOP ECONOMIC ASSISTANCE FOR SRI LANKA

PM Ranil Wickremesinghe

Wikileaks has reported that Ranil Wickremesinghe then Leader of the Opposition, asked the Japanese Special Envoy to halt economic assistance for Sri Lanka. At the time President Rajapaksa was in the process of seeking international assistance including that of Japan, to get the LTTE back to the negotiating table.

(quote from Wikileaks: “In a briefing to Co-Chair Ambassadors on June 8, Japanese Special Envoy Yasushi Akashi found Colombo more polarized and pessimistic when he arrived on June 5 than he had seen in any of his 14 previous visits. By the end of his visit, he was only slightly more optimistic.

In response to a private exhortation by Opposition Leader Wickremesinghe for Japan to suspend its economic assistance, Akashi told Wickremesinghe and later reiterated publicly that the Sri Lankan people should not be punished “for acts of commission and omission by their leaders.”

President Rajapaksa emphasized to Akashi the government’s readiness to investigate all human rights violations and support the Commission of Inquiry, but said that the “complete revamping” of the Sri Lankan legal system that some eminent persons were seeking would not be possible.

Rajapaksa repeated his pledge to support whatever consensus proposal emerges from the APRC process and pledged to do his best to persuade the people of Sri Lanka to support such a proposal.

JVP Leader Amerasinghe told Akashi that while the JVP is opposed to the devolution process, it will support a consensus APRC proposal provided such a proposal receives popular approval either through a referendum or a majority vote in parliament.

According to Akashi, President Rajapaksa thanked the international community and NGOs for the work they are doing to help resettle IDPs in eastern Sri Lanka. The President said Sri Lanka is trying to re-establish law and order in that part of the country. He also expressed his hope to organize elections in the east, but did not provide a time frame or target date. In response to the President’s request for additional Japanese assistance to help rehabilitate the resettled IDPs, Akashi said that it would be very important for the Government to establish law, order and good governance, which would help facilitate such assistance.

Akashi turned the subject to human rights noting the importance of the work of the Commission of Inquiry (COI). He asked for the President’s continued commitment to the work of the COI and requested a thorough investigation into the abduction and killing of two Red Cross workers (unquote)”

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