Minister S.B. Dissanayake says former President Mahinda Rajapaksa had failed on the Geneva issue when he was in power.
Dissanayake, who was a Minister in the Rajapaksa Government, said that the Sri Lanka Freedom Party and the United People’s Freedom Alliance did not agree on the stand taken by the former President on the human rights issue.
Sri Lanka continued to face pressure at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva when Rajapaksa was in power for failing to address serious human rights concerns.
Speaking to reporters in Kandy today after meeting the new Chief Prelate of the Asgiriya chapter, Dissanayake said that following the end of the war Rajapaksa had failed to win the hearts of the Northern Tamils.
He says the former President also angered India who had helped Sri Lanka at the most crucial time of the war.
“The former President had a snap Presidential election this year with the hope that he will win and will be able to stand strong in Geneva in March. But things did no go as planned,’ Dissanayake said.
He also said that some members of Rajapaksa’s cabinet did not agree with the decision taken just before the January Presidential elections to appoint Tissa Attanayake as the Health Minister.
“Some of the issues including the Geneva issue could have been resolved. Even we tried to advise the former President,” Dissanayake said.
Dissanayake said current President Maithripala Sirisena was able to counter the pressure in Geneva by getting both the United National Party and the Sri Lanka Freedom Party to work together in the Government.
“President Sirisena won the confidence of India and Europe. He also won the support of the US and gave assurances to the UN,” Dissanayake said.
The Minister meanwhile said that once the 20th Amendment to the constitution is approved, the Sri Lanka Freedom Party will contest separately at the Parliament elections and look to form the new Government. (Colombo Gazette)