The President, who responded to a question on whether the country is being sold off, emphasized that working with foreign economies does not mean that the country is being sold off, but it means that the country’s economy is being developed.
“We are working with foreign economies, not only Western but also Eastern like Japan, China, and Korea. Working with them does not mean that we are selling off the country. It means that we are developing the economy”, he added.
“It’s just sort of a debate that goes on in Sri Lankan politics. They have not been able to reply,” he said, referring to the accusations by opposition groups.
Responding to another question raised during the discussion whether Sri Lanka will satisfy the demands of the Tamils for an international probe into the war crimes, the Head of the State expressed that the South African style Truth and Reconciliation Commission has been agreed by all and that’s one of the conditions that the Geneva Human Rights Commission has also taken up.
“It [the commission] was drafted some time ago, but after I became the president, I have been talking with South Africa about establishing the commission. I will get it passed in parliament by August.”
The President assured that the legislation of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission is likely to be enacted by August.
“In my view, the legislation will be enacted by August”, he said.
Commenting further on the Tamils, President Wickremesinghe expressed that the economy and social standards of the Tamils, especially the Tamil people living in the Hill Country are needed to be uplifted.
“They are of course taking part in the politics and they have members serving in the central cabinet”, the President mentioned.
President Wickremesinghe was also questioned whether there will be any investigations into former President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa regarding his role during the war, where he replied that he would like any allegations to come before the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, adding that anyone else can go before the commission and that they can call anyone, even the former president before the commission.
He further highlighted that no one can say the Truth and Reconciliation Commission is covered-up, as there will be foreign observers.