Reconciliation, the way forward now – PM

Ranil Wickremesinghe - Prime Minister of Sri Lanka

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said people now recognise that there is reconciliation in the country and said the nation must now forge ahead together.

The PM speaking at a progress review meeting held in Killinochchi yesterday noted that there were cases filed against police personnel and even LTTE personnel and military where there was evidence and the government had been able to take these cases forward.

“However, we cannot be filing charges alone, there must be reconciliation. We need to speak the truth, seek forgiveness where required and reconcile and create unity. That is what they did in South Africa. They never filed charges against everyone as if these cases are to be taken up all the time, there will be no end.Now both sides have filed the charges against each other.Now its time to accept responsibility for certain crimes and faults, apologise for the wrongs committed and think of the future,” the PM said.

The greatest destruction was caused to the North during the war.The area was completely destroyed and even the country was destroyed.Many people died and even innocent people died due to the war, he said during the progress review meeting yesterday.

“A president from our party was also killed during the war.The General Secretary of our party was also killed and even our Presidential candidate Gamini Dissanayake and Lalith Athulathmudali was killed. Many were killed due to bomb blasts.That was the past and I have no animosity with the Tamil people but the LTTE. I can fight the LTTE but no one is left to fight with. During the war they not only killed the leaders of the UNP, but even those from the TNA were targeted. Such leaders as Amirthalingham, Yogeswaran and Sidharthan’s father were killed by them and the members of the LTTE too suffered great losses at the hands of the LTTE,” he said, adding that even former President Chandrika Bandaranaike escaped a bomb attack. “However, my good friend C.V. Gooneratne and his wife were killed in a bomb attack.We have all suffered, but we must forget the past and move forward,” he added.

PM Wickremesinghe noted that ten years ago it was the military that forced their way into terrorist held territory and fought the war.But now it is the military that works for the people much better than any other government servant. In ten years, he hoped that most of these issues would be resolved, but said that everyone has a right to know what happened to their people and to know the truth. Therefore, the Prime Minister called on everyone to forget the past and move forward. “We need to rebuild the country and we must end these issues and forge ahead,” he said.

(Source: Daily News – By Camelia Nathaniel)