SRI LANKA’S RESPONSE TO GENEVA BALLET

While applauding Marapana for his speech, had he been genuine, he should firstly, not have permitted the meeting summoned by Mangala S on 6 February in the Finance Ministry, certainly not with representatives from the sponsor countries in attendance.Furthermore, he should not have attended. Besides, why did he not take his Foreign Secretary? DG/UN who did attend was none other than Maheshini Colonne, the former spokesperson who belittled Naseby’s revelations. She is also the sidekick of former pro-US Foreign Secretary Prasad Kariyawasam who has now been appointed Foreign Relations Advisor to Speaker Karu Jayasuriya, the Speaker, and darling of the western embassies in Colombo (also one of the three possible UNP candidates in Presidential elections – why does a Speaker need a Foreign Relations advisor???).

The fact is, both Prez and Mangala are stating partial truths. Prez was told on 8 February by Mangala and Marapana; the government was seeking two additional years to implement 30/1 which he had acknowledged. However, Mangal and Marapana did not give Prez a copy of the Resolution which was 2015 all over again. Constitutionally, the Prez is in charge of foreign relations but if the poor man does not understand the subject, what does one do? After the 2015 30/1 fiasco, why did not Prez place a caveat requiring his approval on all matters related to 30/1 (and all other foreign projects such as the East Container Terminal which Ranil promised to Modi of India without Sirisena’s concurrence)?

I feel all this is political grandstanding in the run-up to elections. Unfortunately, we do not have a single political party to politicize the Geneva Resolution and take it to the villages, explaining in simple language to the people. That is the only way to mobilize the rural vote and get the mandate roll-back (not roll-over!) the Geneva Resolution. That is the only way to make lackeys of the west such as Mangala irrelevant.

The campaign to roll-back 30/1 must start now and put to a floor test in 2021. But who will give leadership and direction to such a move? None of them are sure of being in office beyond another one year. That is why I feel, after all the congratulations and back slapping has subsided, it will be back to business in the same ld way of doing nothing

RAJEEWA JAYAWEERA

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