By Saman Indrajith
Opposition Leader R. Sampanthan yesterday asked former President Mahinda Rajapaksa not to stir communal unrest in order to come back to power.
Participating in the final day of the second reading debate on Budget proposals in Parliament, the Opposition Leader also requested Rajapaksa to support the new Constitution.
Former President Rajapaksa’s position on national issues promoted disharmony amongst the people, the Opposition Leader said
Sampanthan said that if Rajapaksa was against devolution he should frankly say whether power should only be exercised by Colombo just as he sought to do through 18 Amendment to Constitution. Such arrangements might be beneficial to individuals in power but not to the public, he said.
“Rajapaksa makes out that there are efforts to divide the country, which is absolutely false. The proposal says that country will be an undivided and indivisible. We have constantly repeated this position in public. He should not once again seek to divide the people of this country. That is not what we expect of a senior political leader. Such conduct is unbecoming of a senior leader like him.”
The TNA leader, quoting extracts from the inaugural speech made by Rajapaksa at the All Party Representative Conference ((APRC) on 11 July 2006, asked whether the constitutional reform process was any different from what had commenced in 2006.
“There was a resolution to convert Parliament into a constitutional Assembly. I want to ask Rajapaksa if he is against a new constitution and why didn’t you come to parliament to oppose the resolution. Why didn’t you say that the country didn’t need it? Why are you now trying to stir communal tension?”
Sampanthan, while noting that Sri Lanka had co-sponsored a UN resolution in 2015, committing itself to finding a political settlement through constitutional means, whether asked whether it was not obligatory for Sri Lanka to honour its commitment made in Geneva.