Published On: Thu, Sep 27th, 2018

President at UNGA: “SL capable of resolving own issues”

President Maithripala Sirisena, addressing the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York, earlier today (26), called on the international community to allow Sri Lanka to resolve its issues. It was an implicit call for the international community not to exert pressure on Sri Lanka to investigate and prosecute alleged war crimes.

“As an independent country we do not want any foreign power to exert influence on us. We appeal to the international community to give us the room to resolve the problems that we are facing so that the right of the Sri Lankan people to find solutions to their problems is respected,” he said.

Sirisena called upon the international community to look at Sri Lanka with a fresh perspective and consider the tremendous progress made by the Government towards reconciliation, restoration of democratic freedoms, human rights and the rule of law and extend the fullest support to the build a progressive, democratic, free and equal society.

Addressing the 73rd Session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York on 25 September (26th morning SL time), he said Sri Lanka is taking action to consolidate peace and forge ahead to develop the economy, and such a nation deserves the support and understanding of the international community. “I urge the international community to allow Sri Lankan people to solve their problems on their own,” he said.

The President said the Government is working to eliminate fear and suspicion among different communities.

Quoting from the Buddha’s preaching in the Sallasutta of Samyuktha Nikayein Thripitaka, he said, “if a man is pierced with a dart, he will suffer physical pain. When he worries about it, he suffers more pain. Hence, there are two kinds of pain suffered by the man. When it comes to Sri Lanka, it is the people who suffered pain due to war and they continue to feel pain when they think about it. Therefore, I take this opportunity to call upon your support and cooperation.”

The President pointed out that the exodus of refugees is a major issue in international politics and urged the United Nations to play a bigger role due to the paramount importance of the issue.

Sri Lanka is following a non-aligned policy. In fact, Sri Lanka hosted the Non-aligned Summit in 1976 and it was the most successful summit. Sri Lanka has a policy of friendship with all and the country does not have any enemy nation in the world, he added.

President Sirisena said that Sri Lanka’s Executive President had been vested with more powers than any other leader in the world, and he had curtailed those excessive powers of the Executive Presidency and transferred those powers to the Parliament.

President Sirisena emphasized the need to eradicate poverty. At present, the whole world is engaged in an attempt to free itself from poverty and he said the United Nations must play a bigger role in this endeavour.

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