Former Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera says former US President Barack Obama used to call Sri Lanka the ‘good news country’.
He said that Sri Lanka was celebrated by all the countries in 2015.
“I still remember in 2016 when we attended the G7 summit in Japan. After the main meeting, President Maithripala Sirisena was invited and we went in and sat down in advance before the other world leaders arrived. I was seated behind President Sirisena and it still brings me tears when I recall how every leader who walked into the room and once they saw President Sirisena, they walked up to him and shook his hands and then went to their seats. Obama, Cameron, Merkel, Trudeau, Abe and all the leaders of the G7 first came right up to the Sri Lankan head of state and shook his hands and then started talking about the issues,” Samaraweera said.
Samaraweera also insisted that the 2015 resolution on Sri Lanka at the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) was approved by then President Maithripala Sirisena.
Speaking at a media briefing today, Samaraweera said that claims Sri Lanka sponsored a foreign resolution is an utterly misleading lie.
“Each and every word in that resolution was approved by President Sirisena. For example, President Sirisena’s speech from February 4, 2016 and I quote, “I clearly state that we are facing these resolutions to protect the pride and dignity of our country, our people and our security forces and also to make our tri forces to be internationally renowned armed forces. We should face these resolutions with patience, discipline and decorum so that our country should be respectfully recognised by all international organisations including the UNO and all states in the world”. These are the very words of our president and as a result, Sri Lanka got the friendship and the support of the whole world,” Samaraweera said.
He also noted that when the joint resolution was presented in Geneva in September, not one country opposed it.
“Now this time when an investigation was initiated in Geneva, Pakistan and China got up and opposed that. However, all power blocs supported us in 2015. We had the support of the USA, the European Union, the UK, Japan, India and most of all China and Russia. Forgive me for saying so but I believe this was one of the golden moments in the history of foreign policy in this country. Whatever anyone says, I will challenge them anywhere to argue that this was actually a golden moment where we stuck to our words carrying out a balanced foreign policy which all countries appreciated,” he said.
The former Foreign Minister urged the public to use their intelligence and to listen to what others are saying and then decide who the real traitors are and who the true patriots are. (Colombo Gazette)