ECONOMYNEXT – A reconciliation process agreed with the United Nations has enhanced the sovereignty of Sri Lanka and its people, compared to 2014 when the international community brought a resolution against the country, State Minister Eran Wickramaratne said.
He said lies were being spread that the attorney general or judges will be replaced by foreigners but even the last administration had accommodated foreigners in their processes dealing with Sri Lanka’s civil war.
The UN proposal had four main pillars. One was finding out what happened to the disappeared. Another was compensating and rehabilitating those who suffered losses.
There had to be a reconciliation process. The last was a mechanism for justice involving a judicial process.
The last regime had also initiated several proceses, Wickramaratne said. Different regimes had come up with mechanism due to perceived shortcomings with Sri Lanka’s judicial system.
The Maxwell Paranagama commission had foreign experts from several countries he said. It also sought to find the fate of the disappeared and find out who was responsible.
"Why was this done? Was it done as eye wash? To mislead our people or the international community?"
The LLRC commission had shown the lessons to be learnt from the conflict, he said.
He said the UN process was nothing new, though some were trying to make it look like it.
"During the last regime a proposal came from the UN against the country," Wickramaratne said.
"It came by force against our country. That was the time when our sovereignty was at the lowest. The current regime had re-established sovereignty."
The concept of ‘state sovereignty’ of a so-called Westphalian nation-state beloved of nationalists and statists come from Europe after the signing of the Treaty of Westphalia in 1648, students of history say.
However true sovereignty does not rest with the state or rulers but with individuals. A country where individuals are sovereign is truly free, liberty advocates say.
But unless there is knowledge of how to restrain an European style state with its tools of a legislating national assembly, a well-armed standing army and police and later a popular vote, individuals may even have less freedom and their lives and liberty and property would be at a greater threat that even under a feudal system activists warn.
Wickremaratne said the current administrations had also enhanced the sovereignty of the citizens for their benefit.
"Our administration had helped re-establish democracy and rule of law," Wickremaratne said. "The freedom to protest, the freedom to speak their mind oppose, has been given back."
The new administration had already lifted a fishing ban by the EU and restored GSP+ which would bring economic benefits to the people, he said.