Speaking in Parliament today on bringing forward amendments to the United Nations Regulations 1 and 2 of 2012 promulgated under the United Nations Act Number 45 of 1968, Minister of Foreign Affairs Mangala Samaraweera drew the attention of the House to a matter related to the he UN regulations discussed in Parliament.
He referred to the the Gazette notification of 21 March 2014 when 424 individuals and 16 entities were listed as terrorists or terrorist organisation.
He further went on to say, “this was done to build up the hysteria about the LTTE regrouping in the run up to the Presidential election. They banned several Sri Lankan Tamil diaspora groups under these provisions for their alleged links to the LTTE.
However, most of the organisations listed may have merely been vocal proponents of Tamil rights. There was hardly any tangible evidence to link them to the LTTE. Some of the individuals listed had even been dead for some time.”
Calling for a review of the ban, he also said “the Government of President Maithripala Sirisena is seriously committed to expedite the reconciliation process.
In doing so, the Sri Lankan diaspora whether it be Sinhala, Tamil or Muslim, has am extremely important role to play not only in taking the reconciliation process forward but they have an important role to play in taking Sri Lanka forward as a nation.
Some of the world’s best doctors, scientists, lawyers, musicians, writers and even world class chefs, and other professionals, who our nation can be proud of as Sri Lankans, make up this diaspora.
We must enable them to take part in our journey to make Sri Lanka a truly multi-ethnic, multi-cultural, multi-religious and multi-lingual democracy.”