(Press conference held at the head office of the JVP on 21.02.2020)
“This media conference is held today to reveal correct information in connection with the fabricated lies regarding the JVP Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa has stated in an announcement.
A canard that the JVP too supported the resolution co-sponsored by Sri Lanka forwarded to the UNHRC in 2015 during the previous government has been published. We totally reject this fabricated statement and vehemently condemn the vile act of publishing fabricated lies.
The irresponsible statement states the situation in which present Army Commander Shavendra Silva has been banned from entering the USA surfaced due to the resolution forwarded to UNHRC in 2015 and the JVP and the TNA had supported the UNP in forwarding the resolution.
We are not in a position to speak about others. However, the views Mr Mahinda Rajapaksa has expressed in connection with the JVP are blatant lies. While expressing our objections, we condemn the vicious statement. We do not believe that Mr Mahinda Rajapaksa forgot the five years ago history.
We believe he is being knavish though he remembers this history well. When UNHRC met in Geneva in 2015, the USA presented its resolution co-sponsored by then-existing alliance government of Sri Lanka. The JVP was not a shareholder of the government. On the other hand, we protested against the government’s move to co-sponsor the resolution. The media institutions would still have the recording of views we expressed at the press conference held to protest the move.
WE held the first press conference in connection with the issue on 22nd September 2015 and explained the serious error the government was committing in co-sponsoring the resolution. We told the country the move would create several serious threats. Holding a second press conference on 4th October 2015, we emphasized the danger to the country. Besides, we also held a seminar at the Public Library auditorium on 13th October under the theme ‘Geneva – yesterday & tomorrow’. Furthermore, our Members have spoken against the move in Parliament. In all these instances, we expressed our stand broadly and vividly.
Mr Mahinda Rajapaksa irresponsibly stating the previous government that co-sponsored the US resolution was a government in which the JVP was a party and the JVP approved the move does not suit his position and his age, and we yet again condemn the sordid attempt to sling mud at the JVP.
We, explaining our position to Mr Mahinda Rajapaksa’s government that existed at the time the war was ended and the alliance government that came to power later and the way the country could move away from adverse resolutions the UNHRC creates against Sri Lanka. We stated that immediate action should be taken to protect human rights, defend democracy, listen to those who were affected due to the war and mend the wounds created by the war. We demanded the government to locally investigate any human rights violations and take legal action against perpetrators under Sri Lanka’s laws but not to allow interferences by foreign forces in our matters.
As such, we have not been a party to sign any such agreement. We protested against establishing hybrid courts. We, as a party, studied all avenues the imperialist forces, including the USA, would use to interfere in internal affairs of the country and pressurized the existing governments to prevent such interferences. Mr Mahinda Rajapaksa and those around him should try to remember the past. What was the composition of the government that co-sponsored the resolution with the USA to UNHRC in September 2015? We ask Mr Mahinda Rajapaksa to think about it at a time when he is in his right senses. Who was the President then? It was Mr Maithripala Sirisena. Mr Ranil Wickremesinghe was the Prime Minister. Many members in that cabinet are with Mr Mahinda Rajapaksa at present.
When Mr Maithripala returned to the country after addressing the UN General Assembly, most ministers who are with Mr Mahinda Rajapaksa today welcomed him as the ‘leader who saved the country’. That President is now the president of the political party Mr Mahinda Rajapaksa and his supporters have created at present. Mr Mahinda Rajapaksa is the leader and the second in command is Mr Maithripala Sirisena. Also, the whole batch that was members of the cabinet of that government including Nimal Siripala de Silva, S.B. Dissanayaka, Duminda Dissanayaka, Mahinda Amaraweera, Dilan Perera, Dayasiri Jayasekera is with Mr Mahinda Rajapaksa now. They were the ones who approved the resolution.
All of them are in the alliance Mr Mahinda Rajapaksa has set up recently. If what they did then was a betrayal, giving them positions in Mr Rajapaksa’s new alliance and accusing the JVP that did not have any connection with the resolution is a very serious matter. It is a political rascality. Mr Mahinda Rajapaksa and those who write on behalf of them should be reminded that it was the likes of Mr Mahinda Rajapaksa who took the first steps to pave the way for foreign interventions in the country. It was Mr Mahinda Rajapaksa who invited the then UN General Secretary Ban Ki-moon to Sri Lanka immediately after the war ended. Accordingly, the General Secretary visited Sri Lanka. On 22nd May Mr Mahinda Rajapaksa signed a joint agreement with him. In this joint agreement, an invitation was made to then President of UNHRC Navanetham Pillai to visit Sri Lanka.
In the joint agreement, several conditions including protecting human rights in Sri Lanka, to find the truth regarding the events during the last days of the war and affirm democracy were included. However, Mahinda Rajapaksa government did not fulfill any promises made to Ban Ki-moon. As a result, Darusman committee was appointed to find out why the promises were not fulfilled. Darusman committee released a report harmful to Sri Lanka. It was the likes of Mr Mahinda Rajapaksa who paved the way for releasing such a report. They continued to break the promises made to the UN General Secretary. This situation was used by imperialists including the USA as well as the UNO against Sri Lanka. The alliance government that came to power after Mr Mahinda Rajapaksa’s government continued the same policy. Without carrying out measures to cure the wounds committed during the war, the alliance government allowed the USA and imperialists to interfere in our matters. This is how Mr Mahinda Rajapaksa’s government paved the way for continuous foreign interventions in the country. The alliance government too did not mediate to cure the wounds created by the war and continued giving opportunities for imperialist institutions to interfere in the affairs of our country.
The JVP is being accused after burying the whole history not because Mr Mahinda Rajapaksa has lost his senses. It is for another political gimmick. Despite pulling out of the co-sponsored resolution to protest against banning Mr Shavendra Silva from entering the USA, the resolution would not be void. Already, the USA has withdrawn from the Human Rights Council. Pulling out of the resolution would not abolish it. We challenge Mr Mahinda Rajapaksa to reveal to the country the process they adopt to withdraw the resolution. Also, instead of issuing statements to protest against the USA, we challenge Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s family to renounce their US citizenship. We challenge Mr Basil Rajapaksa and members of his family to renounce US citizenship. They are the moves that would hurt the USA. President’s family members would never renounce US citizenship. Mr Basil Rajapaksa, who is the General Secretary of their party, would not renounce his US citizenship. While preserving their US citizenships, they try to become pseudo heroes by coming out with various canards.
Or else, is Mr Mahinda Rajapaksa prepared to tear down the ACSA agreement as a protest against the US action to ban Mr Shavendra Silva’s entry to the US? It was Mr Gotabaya Rajapaksa as the then-defence Secretary who signed ACSA with US Ambassador Robert O Blake in March 2007. The UNP extended this agreement after ten years. It is due to ACSA we are bound to provide our land and facilities to the US if they get involved in any military engagement in the region. This is why it is necessary to tear down this agreement. Also, we ask them to state that MCC agreement would not be signed as they made a big hullaballoo during the election campaign against the MCC. Why don’t they say they would not sign the agreement? They are marking time to sign this agreement of betrayal though they accuse the JVP. Isn’t this political rascality?
The government is looking for a new stratagem for the forthcoming general election. The bunkum uttered during the presidential election has been boomeranged. A massive anti-Muslim campaign was carried out before the presidential election. However, they are registering Madrasas and maintain Sharia universities. A gazette was issued announcing the Seindamaridu Urban Council. However, it was later withdrawn temporarily. Despite promising Rs 1000 daily wages for estate workers, it has not been implemented. People have not been given any relief. As all promises made during the election campaign have been broken, they are attempting to use Mr Shavendra Silva’s incident when UNHRC meets in March to bring to the surface an old incident to bring out pseudo patriotism and get an advantage at the general election. Mr Mahinda Rajapaksa and his supports won several elections using pseudo patriotism and the electric chair. Saharan’s Easter attacks or the MCC agreement will not have any effect hereafter. As such, slandering the JVP is their latest stratagem. For this, they have planned to show the JVP, the UNP and the TNA as one group. They have planned to appear to the country as patriots and to put the JVP into the UNP group and show us as traitors. We would like to tell these gentlemen that they are free to work with the UNP but don’t attempt to put us into that group. The JVP has never been and would never be with the UNP. We have an entirely different political journey.
However, after taking those who were with the UNP for five years to rule the country and those who flourished as rulers to their side and attacking us who have never had any dealings with the UNP is really an attempt to find stratagem targeting the forthcoming general election. The JVP is coming forward with the NPP. The working masses whose pension has been denied to them, salaries have been slashed and who want to save the EPF are rallying with us. A propaganda campaign, together with certain media, has been started to prevent the masses from rallying with us. In fact, groups that have betrayed the country have banded together to appear as patriots and sling mud at the JVP and the NPP. We haven’t forgotten the history though they attempt to do so. We, yet again, condemn the statement Mr Mahinda Rajapaksa has made in a bid to get an advantage for the general election. We call upon the masses in this country not to be misled by the bankrupt ideology of those who have received US citizenship after declaring allegiance to that country.
There is a group that insulted Mr Maithripala Sirisena when he resigned from the SLFP to contest the presidential election. All of them have now forgotten this history. There is also a group that insulted Mr Mahinda Rajapaksa and his family when Mr Sirisena was elected the President. Some said he would be made to walk on the road if a new political party is established. Now, all those groups have got together without any shame. It is not only Mr Mahinda Rajapaksa and Mr Maithripal Sirisena who are without any shame. Even those who sang hosanna to them have lost their shame. Their political culture has made them shameless. The people have a responsibility to build the political culture that has been destroyed by these shameless individuals. If a culture that points out a wrong and appreciates good is not established in the country this tragicomedy will continue. They will always try to conceal their impotence by slinging mud at others.
We emphasize that the JVP has never done anything to harm the sovereignty and the independence of our country. We have worked for the country with sacrifices of lives. Our stand is that all communities should have equal rights, and their rights should be protected. While standing for justice for all, we shall act unconditionally against any move that harms the country. We call upon the masses in our country to reject heinous, deplorable mudslinging by those who have signed agreements harmful to the country, plundered and sold country’s resources but rally with the truth.”