Friday, August 19, 2022

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Two sides of the coin in military operation of freeing presidential secretariat

President Ranil Wickremasighe has expressed his unofficial concern to several heads of foreign missions in Sri Lanka over their twitter and other messages issued in a haste of Sri Lnkan army and the police action to evacuate illegal occupants forcibly taken over the presidential secretariat in Colombo.

The president briefed the actual facts behind the police and army operation to free the office of the president located at Sri Lanka’s old parliamentary building, one of the country’s heritage buildings, from unlawful occupants who were disrupting official functions of the head of state.

He informed them that the protestors had been informed by the police to vacate the area by 6 am on Thursday 21 but the protestors had refused and instead provided an alternative time which was not accepted by the authorities.

President noted that protestors continued to occupy the area despite a court order and they continued to occupy the Presidential Secretariat illegally.

At the meeting with heads of foreign missions and representatives of US ,EU, Canada, France,UK,Japan and Australia, President Ranil Wickremasighe has asked them as to whether their authorities would allow strugglers to forcibly occupy such nerve centers in their countries.

He mada clarian request from foreign diplomats not to issue twitter messages or statements condemning the state based on social media reports without verifying actual facts from relevant government authorities.

This was the first time in the history of the island nation that foreign diplomats in Sri Lanka have issued statements condemning the government without even considering the damage caused to country’s valuable assets, heritage buildings disrupting the normal functions of the president and the prime minister, several foreign affairs analysts claimed.

They noted that these foreign diplomats should visit these historic buildings vandalized by illegal occupants and several persons among hundreds of thousands of visitors to those places during the last few days to get a glimpse of damages caused to public property.

They added that before issuing statements,they should have at least study the photographs published in newspapers and prominent local news websites and international press to get some understanding about the difference between peaceful demonstrators and unlawful occupants and strugglers who invaded the country’s heritage buildings.

Several local foreign affairs officials asked for an explanation as to what action that the US administration would take if a group of protestors took over the white house and continued to occupy it.

At the meeting US Ambassador US Ambassador Julie Chung expressed her deep concern on brutal violence used by the army and the police against protesters.

Replying to this allegation, the President reminded the US Ambassador of similar action taken by security divisions to free the American Capitol building from protesters in accordance with US law.

In a lighter vein the President noted that he was dismayed on the attitude of the Ambassador and other foreign diplomats for not issuing any statement condemning the looting and setting fire to his personal residence, the ancestral house when he was holding the post of Acting President of Sri Lanka .

Intervening at this instance the Canadian Ambassador noted that they have taken into consideration not only the facts highlighted by social media but also the view of other persons including statements issued by the Bar Association President Saliya Peiris .

In reply the President told him that he and Foreign Minister Ali Sabri were also members of BASL and if he wants he could have been easily checked with him before issuing a statement against the country

Moderate Sri Lankan experts of foreign relations were of the view that these heads of missions should inform the public as to whether these statements of condemnation were issued on behalf of their respective countries or their personal views.

Other wise people of this country will take it for granted that all those countries are supporting the protesters and the new administration would find it difficult to restore law and order as well as peace and stability in the country they pointed out.

They commended the wait and see attitude of Asian, African and Middle Eastern country diplomats in Sri Lanka specially heof missions of India , China Pakistan and Bangladesh his sensitive issue relating to the present social turmoil in the country

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