Tuesday, 24 October 2023 08:30

Refrain from commenting on SL’s internal affairs   Featured

The Parliament's Sectoral Oversight Committee on National Security has recommended informing US Ambassador Julie Chung, urging her to refrain from making statements regarding the internal affairs of Sri Lanka in the future.

This recommendation comes in response to the ambassador's remarks following the incidents that occurred on May 9, 2022.

Two weeks ago, the Committee convened at the Parliament complex, with Committee members, the Defense Secretary, three forces commanders, the Police Chief, and other government officials in attendance, to discuss matters pertaining to national security.

In a letter addressed to the State Defense Minister last week, the Chairman of the Sectoral Oversight Committee, Retired Rear Admiral Sarath Weerasekera, who is also a Member of Parliament, expressed concern over the American ambassador's statement concerning the aforementioned incident.

He emphasized that the ambassador had advocated for a transparent investigation into the shooting of unarmed protesters and had stressed the importance of safeguarding the people's right to peaceful protest.

Rear Admiral Weerasekera questioned the ambassador's understanding of whether actions such as burning tires, blocking highways and railway lines, destroying petrol stations, slashing tires of oil bowsers, and throwing stones at the police constitute a protest or peaceful acts. He asserted that the ambassador, being an adult, should possess this comprehension.

Furthermore, Rear Admiral Weerasekera raised doubts about the underlying right of individuals to issue statements regarding the rights of peaceful protest. He argued that by stating that "Police shoot unarmed protestors," the ambassador, who is currently residing in our country, is sending a highly unfavorable message about Sri Lanka to the rest of the world.

He also noted how the US Army quelled protesters who breached the Capitol Hill building in America and inflicted damage, highlighting the ambassador's experience in her own country. He accused her of directly supporting acts of sabotage against the government through her statements.

Rear Admiral Weerasekera pointed out that, according to the Vienna Treaty, an ambassador cannot interfere in the internal affairs of another country. Such interference can have implications for national security. Consequently, he recommended informing US Ambassador Julie Chung, urging her to abstain from making unnecessary statements of this nature in the future.

(Sunil Jayasiri)

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