The UNP yesterday demanded that General Secretary of the UPFA and Environment and Renewable Energy Minister Susil Premjayanth withdraw his claim that the UPFA government need not take responsibility for its failure to prevent the recent de-proscription of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) by the European Union General Court.
General Secretary of the UNP, Tissa Attanayake MP said that not only should Premajayanth retract his irresponsible statement but also tender a public apology on behalf of the Rajapaksa regime of which he was a senior figure, for doing nothing since 2006 to ensure that the European Union (EU) ban on the LTTE continued.
Following a spate of LTTE killings, Britain commenced an EU campaign in August 2005 which led to the LTTE being proscribed the following year. The government without challenging the ban being lifted even two weeks after the EU Court’s judgment had been delivered was dreaming of the possibility of the EU freeze on Tamil Tiger funds and assets in the form of cash, ships, oil tanks and land and property worth over Rs. 200 billion also being reversed in due course, so that it could, through Kumaran Pathmanathan who was the chief arms procurer of the LTTE, lay its hands on the booty, he noted.
The MP said that without giving credit to the EU for proscribing the LTTE, President Mahinda Rajapaksa was claiming that it was due to his efforts. “The President should stop making false claims and take the blame for failing to counter the LTTE’s appeal against the EU ban.”
The EU Court in its 40 page judgment stated that the Sri Lankan government did not provide any evidence as to why the EU proscription of the LTTE in 2006 should be continued, MP Attanayake observed, adding that the Foreign and Defence Ministries and the Attorney General’s Department were in deep slumber, while the Tamil diaspora worked overtime to successfully take to a conclusion legal proceedings it instituted in the EU Court in April 2011,with a verdict in its favour 13 days ago.
Attanayake said: “How can Mr. Premajayanth claim that the Rajapaksa regime is not liable for shirking its duties? He should act more responsibly without falsely and foolishly blaming the UNP for the EU Courts order. The EU does not have judges who read out judgments dictated to them by politicians. While the LTTE engaged the best lawyers to overturn the ban on it, on a technical point, the President and his Ministers such as Premajayanth and Wimal Weerawansa were busy hoodwinking the masses with bogus election pledges which were never implemented and blaming the UNP for its incompetence and lack of foresight.”