By Upul Joseph Fernando
It is reported that United Nations Representative of the United States, Samantha Power, is expect to visit Colombo shortly. She may be arriving to evaluate the progress with regard to the Resolution passed at last September sessions of the UNHRC in Geneva.
Ahead of her visit to Colombo, a meet was held in Colombo between President Maithripala Sirisena and former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa. Following that meet, Gotabaya revealed that the President had given him an assurance. The assurance is that the President would never betray the trust of the Armed Forces.
Gotabaya held media conferences after meeting the President to emphasize that the President had accepted his (Gotabaya’s) view point with regard to war crimes allegations levelled by America.
Meanwhile, former Service Commanders who were summoned before the FCID explained the embarrassment they faced to President Sirisena. The President said he was not aware that the FCID had summoned the former Service Commanders.
On the day the President met Gotabaya, former Treasury Secretary Dr. P.B. Jayasundera and former Secretary to President Mahinda Rajapaksa Lalith Weeratunga had met President Sirisena. At that meet Dr. Jayasundera had pointed out that America and the West were not prepared to grant financial assistance to Sri Lanka and had proposed to secure Chinese monetary assistance to strengthen the economy.
Dr. Jayasundera is a person charged before Court. Weeratunga faces a case for financial corruption. The Bribery Commission is probing Gotabaya and the latter had obtained a Court Order preventing his arrest. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe was critical of that Court Order given in favour of Gotabaya.
The process followed to secure an Order from High Court to prevent the arrest of Lalith Weeratunga without him being produced in the Magistrate Court as required by law was criticized by a Magistrate. Lakshman Yapa Abeywardene who was a pro-Mahinda man had brokered the meet between the President, Gotabaya and Lalith Weeratunga. Laskman Yapa became close to Maithri only after Maithri was elected President. This is a clear indication that pro-Mahinda supporters and those who indulged in fraud corruption are gradually getting into the circle of the Maithri-Ranil Government.
In a dramatic turn of events, Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe has taken over the responsibility of protecting Gotabaya Rajapaksa who opposed a solution to the Northern ethnic issue and the US backed West demand for war crimes probe. Gotabaya also viewed India as an enemy. It is Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe who vowed that he would not permit the arrest of Gotabaya over the Avant Garde controversy.
Rajapakshe says that it is inappropriate to arrest Gotabaya who won the LTTE war and rendered a yeoman service to the country. If the Justice Minister takes such a stand, how could the present government act against those who violated human rights during the war period? It is the Attorney General’s Department that has the power over the machinery to investigate issues of persons who violated human rights during the war period.
If the Minister-in-Charge of the Attorney General’s Department is working towards the protection of Gotabaya, those within the government were likely to ask why the government is silent on corruption committed during the Rajapaksa regime. Then how could people expect justice?
They may ask. Government ministers allege that the Attorney General’s Department is covering up corrupt issues of the Rajapaksa administration. How could Samantha Power expect true reconciliation from such a government?
Samantha Power became popular following her book on Problem from Hell on global human annihilation. Samantha Power who will come to Sri Lanka will have to discuss the, ‘A Problem from Yahapalanaya Hell’.