Missing Persons Commission, NGOs serve intn’l LTTE interests – President

The Missing Persons’ Commission and certain NGOs exist to serve the interests of the remnants of the LTTE’s international network and not those of the Sri Lankan State, President Maithripala Sirisena said.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the Migahathenna Police Unit on Wednesday (27 March), the President accused unnamed NGOs of providing the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) with fake information at its most recent sessions. This misinformation campaign, he said, contributed negatively to some of the decisions made by the Council.

“The Government is prepared to accept the objectively right pronouncements made by the UNHRC, but we reject anything that isn’t accurate,” he said.

Denying allegations made by United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet in her recent report that the Army had yet to release land currently being utilised for military camps, Sirisena said the Government is not going to allow foreign judges to investigate Sri Lankan citizens. The Commander in Chief was adamant that the UNHRC Chief had made these allegations based on the fake information fed to her by NGOs, which he did not name.

“There is no place for them in our Constitution, we are not going to do anything beyond what’s laid out in our Constitution,” he said.

Sirisena also complained that it was without his knowledge or permission that some parties in the Government had come to an understanding with the UNHRC and signed their report. Calling this a betrayal of military personnel, the people, and the nation, he added that, on 25 February, the Sri Lankan Ambassador had signed it in Geneva, without the knowledge of the Foreign Minister or even the Ministry.

The President faced much criticism recently due to his decision to appoint his own handpicked individuals to represent in Sri Lanka. In his speech, he used the allegedly betrayal to clear his name, claiming it was the reason he had decided to changed the delegation to Foreign Minister Tilak Marapana, Minister Sarath Amunugama, Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe, the Foreign Secretary, and the Governor of Northern Province.

“The speech they were about deliver was completely different, but we all got together and wrote the speech for Minister Tilak Marapana,” he said

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