Published On:Wednesday, November 13, 2013
Posted by Sri Lanka Guardian
He has mentioned this in a letter to the Commonwealth Secretary General.
Like the kindly teacher who believes that the truant of the class can be rehabilitated by making him, the monitor, I am sure that you too believe that President Rajapakse will mend his ways when given the task of upholding the Commonwealth Charter in 53 countries and this blue eyed optimism is reflected in a statement made by you to a British TV network last week when you say ".......significant advances have been made in the interests of the citizens of Sri Lanka," he added.
"Instead of merely basing your assumptions on information provided by a few salaried members of the regime, you should at least now speak to members of the opposition and civil society as well as affected parties and ordinary citizens of this country to assess the prevailing situation," he further said.
The letter also states :
"He will not only be the public face of your association for the next two years but also the guardian of the Commonwealth Charter in 53 countries. Therefore, it is your bounden duty to ensure that the new Chairman of the Commonwealth implements the Charter in his own country first , if he is to have the moral authority to preach to other member states who may behave in contravention of the charter. You must not be fooled by time buying tactics of the regime like the proposed Commission on Torture and must insist on the speedy implementation of the President's own LLRC proposals.However, as some of the proposals may require time for full implementation, there are three proposals which can be implemented immediately in order to prove that the truant of the class has now turned a new leaf since being made monitor and is truly committed to the Commonwealth Charter."
The three proposals are as follows :
1. Repeal the 18th Amendment and restore the independence of the judicial Commission, the elections commission, the police commission, public services commission and the bribery and corruption commission. In fact this is one of the key recommendations of your own Commonwealth Election Observer Mission to ensure free and fair elections in this country.
As 2014 has been touted as an election year this must be passed in Parliament in January and the UNP has already handed a draft amendment to the Speaker.
2. The freedom of Information Act can also be passed in Parliament immediately as an act has already been tabled in Parliament by the UNP.
3. There are unverified but extremely serious allegations of war crimes against the Government which in turn has tarnished the reputation of our armed forces who for many decades were renowned for their discipline and dedication as a fighting force. Therefore it is extremely important that the government abandons it's 'shoot the messenger' policy and initiate a credible and independent investigation into these allegations as early as possible without paving the way for international scrutiny.
"The immediate implementation of these proposals will reassure the people of this country, that your strategy has worked and the Rajapakse regime has now changed its authoritarian direction and is sincere in its commitment to the fundamentals of democracy. Given the history of the regime, I do not expect it to implement the Charter voluntarily.Therefore , I hope that you along with the leaders of the Commonwealth will bring sufficient pressure on the government to implement the charter as soon as possible," the letter states. MP Samaraweera expressed these views again at a media briefing held at the UNP headquarters Sirikotha this morning (13).
Copies of this letter to the Commonwealth Secretary General was also distributed at the media briefing.
Read the complete letter of MP Samaraweera to the Commonwealth Secretary General