(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) – Sri Lankan President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa told a visiting European Union delegation that Sri Lanka, which as the oldest democracy in the region and has never been a dictatorship or a totalitarian government in any period of its history, will solve the problems through a democratic system.
The President, who just returned home this morning after attending the United Nations General Assembly in New York, made this observation during a discussion with the EU delegation at his private residence in Mirihana this morning (04).
During its visit, the five-member EU delegation is expected to review Sri Lanka’s compliance with the agreements already agreed under the EU GSP + system, working with Sri Lanka and the European Parliament’s view on Sri Lanka.
Representatives of the European Union, who paid special attention to the Prevention of Terrorism Act, pointed out the need for a time-based solution.
The delegation noted that the European Commission and the European Parliament will have the opportunity to submit a formal report based on the findings of the visit and stated their support for Sri Lanka.
The President said the necessary committees have been appointed and the Minister of Justice and the Attorney General have been instructed on the basis of their reports and immediate steps will be taken to amend the provisions of the Prevention of Terrorism Act.
The President also stated that he would abide by the conventions on human rights in the world today.
The President also pointed out the impact of the Covid epidemic on the economy and the obstacles that the government faced in fulfilling its full plans. Despite this, the President explained the steps taken by the government to address many of the problems caused by the protracted war and to establish democracy as well as development in the North and East.
He pointed out that steps have been taken to provide relief to the families of the missing and to pay compensation to the families for the missing.
The President noted that at the UN General Assembly he called on the need for Tamil political parties, members of the Tamil Diaspora and all parties abroad to work together to resolve the country’s internal problems and move the country forward.
The President said that his government would work with civil society organizations through mutual understanding and seek their support for reconciliation and development in the country.
President Rajapaksa pointed out that he has instructed not to use batons, water cannons or tear gas for protesters at any time during the past two years and that a separate area was set aside for protests in front of the Presidential Secretariat.
He further said that although no attention is paid when the government acts in a democratic manner, it was unfortunate that various parties were creating misconceptions based on small incidents.
The President pointed out that steps are being taken for the public and private sectors to work together, improve the private sector and contribute to the development of the country and to adapt technological strategies in developed countries for quality public service.
The President explained the potential of the country to achieve economic development by obtaining technical and training assistance for the promotion of agriculture, the country’s main livelihood.
The European Union delegation thanked the President for his lengthy explanation of the Government’s plan to move the country forward.
Nikolaos Zaimis, Senior Adviser to the European Commission, Director General for Trade and Sustainable Development, GSP and the Environment Action Program; Ionnnis Giogkarakis Argyropoulos, Head of European Commission External Operations Service, South Asia; Denis Chaibi, Ambassador of the European Union Delegation in Colombo; Guido Dolara, GSP Trade Concession Coordinator; Monika Bylaite, Policy Officer for Sri Lanka and Maldives, and Sri Lanka Foreign Secretary Admiral Prof. Jayanath Colombage participated in the discussion.