Int'l opportunities coming our way must not be sacrificed for narrow gains - G.L.
Joining the Budget Debate -2012 in Parliament on 29th November 2011, Minister of External Affairs, Prof. G.L. Peiris observed following.
I was deeply saddened over the attempted speech of Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe in this House today. It had been agreed that the Commonwealth Heads of States Meeting in 2013, should be held in Sri Lanka. All Commonwealth countries excepting one country, had supported this proposal. So, these international opportunities that our country receives, should not be politically victimized for narrow minded gains. Even though the Opposition Leader removed his Commonwealth tie, he cannot change the will of 56 Commonwealth States.
There had been attempts to produce Sri Lanka before the Geneva Human Rights Council where President Rajapaksa and I were attending the UN sessions during that time. We could explain the position of the country very clearly and win the support of many foreign countries to our side.
Therefore, the attempt had been successfully defeated. Even during the SAARC Summit, member countries had stated very positively and strongly that the defeat of terrorism in Sri Lanka was not only a gain limited to our territory, but was a regional achievement which provided relief to many countries.
Today, the people in the Northern and Eastern Provinces are regaining their normal life and the development growth in the Northern Province alone, has exceeded 22 percent. We have been taking measures to promote reconciliation, national integration and accountability of the country.
We are reaching out to the international community and I stress that the support of the majority of 193 countries in the world is with Sri Lanka. These countries will stand by our country during needy times.
Source: Daily News (30 November 2011)