U.S. has no right to decide on Army Chief – Dr. Rajapakshe
Posted on August 21st, 2019

By Methmalie Dissanayake  Courtesy Ceylon Today

Condemning the statement of the US Ambassador in Sri Lanka regarding the appointment of Army Commander, Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva, UNF Parliamentarian, Dr. Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe (PC) yesterday (21), told Parliament the US had no power to order Sri Lanka as to who the Commander of the Army should or should not be. 

“We have signed the UN Convention that we are a sovereign country. It is true that we are a small country compared to countries such as the US. But that does not make us any less than them. We have independence and sovereignty as a country. We are equal as any country. The US and the US Ambassador in Sri Lanka have no right to meddle with our internal affairs. These countries think that we are a colony belonging to them. What will happen if the Sri Lankan Ambassador in the US gives instructions to US President, Donald Trump on appointing military heads?” he questioned. 

Elaborating further, Dr. Rajapakshe said, the US brought a proposal against Sri Lanka on alleged human rights violations during the war to the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC), “But the US withdrew its presence from the same entity, saying that they did not trust international human rights organisations.

In this backdrop, how can the US Ambassador in Sri Lanka speak against the appointment of the new Army Commander, based on alleged human rights violations? They do not have any right to tell us who the Army Commander should be. That right is exclusively vested with the President,” he added. 

Furthermore, Dr. Rajapakshe alleged that it was the weak decisions taken by former Foreign Ministers that paved the way, for countries such as the US to meddle with Sri Lanka’s internal affairs. 

He said, “Instead of standing up for our war heroes, former Foreign Ministers who did not have a backbone, co-sponsored the Geneva Resolution against Sri Lanka. Decisions such as these paved the way for countries such as the US to meddle with our internal affairs. The Chinese Ambassador in Sri Lanka did the same. He went to all the Government ranks until we sold the Hambantota Harbour to China.”

The Government should announce its official stance on the US Ambassador’s announcement regarding the appointment of the Army Commander, Dr. Rajapakshe noted. 

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