Pro-Sirisena Bills Call For Unity to Face West Threats
COLOMBO: Playing upon the fears of the majority Sinhalese, who are the main prop of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP), a pro-Maithripala Sirisena pamphlet warns SLFP members that unless they unite under Sirisena, Sri Lanka will not be able to face the challenges thrown by the West in the form of economic sanctions and the setting up of an International War Crimes Tribunal to try members of the Lankan armed forces.
The party is badly divided between the Sirisena and Mahinda Rajapaksa factions. The Rajapaksa faction is bitterly opposed to Sirisena’s running a coalition government with the United National Party (UNP).
On the threat from the West, the pamphlet says: “An International War Crimes Tribunal is in the offing. Economic sanctions are on the horizon. This is the biggest danger facing the country.”
It promises that Sirisena will never “betray” the Lankan armed forces or allow the division of the country. He will put an end to the war crimes problem through an “internal solution,” it says.
Calling for unity in SLFP and also cooperation with the UNP, with which Sirisena is in alliance, the pamphlet says: “In the face of this challenge we have no option but to leave aside all differences and unite. The Geneva (UN HRC) report is to be released in September. If Maithripala Sirisena has both the main political parties with him, he can ask the US, the UN and India to allow us to settle our own problems. That is the only way to save our war heroes.”
Justifying Sirisena’s policy of mending fences with the US and the West, the pamphlet says. “He was able to postpone the release of the UNHRC Commission of Inquiry Report. If it had come out in March, as scheduled, some of our people could have faced war crimes charges and we may have been deprived of the Western markets due to sanctions.”
The pamphlet further claims that Sirisena has been able to rebuild relations with India while keeping China on board.