The United National Party (UNP) has called on the Government of Sri Lanka to pressure Myanmar to resume democratic governance.
Issuing a statement, the UNP urged the Government to address the necessity to revert to the democratically elected President, State Counsellor, and Parliament, with the Myanmar delegation scheduled to visit Sri Lanka later this month.
The delegation from Myanmar, including its Foreign Minister, is set to visit Sri Lanka to attend the Ministerial Meeting of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC).
The UNP said Sri Lanka has enjoyed relations with Myanmar dating back to the 4th Century.
“Using this close relationship, the Government must continue to push for an immediate halt of the ongoing violence, and the resumption of office by the legally elected officials,” it said.
The UNP pointed out that back in February, it had condemned the military coup that saw the arrest of leading members of Myanmar’s Government.
The increasing violence between the military and the protesters does not reflect well on a nation that purports to practice Theravada Buddhism. The UNP unequivocally denounces the ongoing violence and suppression of democracy in Myanmar, the party said.
The UNP further said, recognising that Sri Lanka has international obligations as the Chairperson of BIMSTEC to extend an invitation to all member states, the party urges the Government to privately engage the Myanmar delegation and pressure them to reverse their ongoing military coup.
Sri Lanka faced severe backlash in Myanmar, with #ProtestSriLanka trending on social media, after an invitation was extended to the incumbent military-appointed Foreign Minister to attend the BIMSTEC events to be held in Sri Lanka on 31 March and 1 April 2021. (Colombo Gazette)