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Cabinet meeting: Weerasekera raises display of LTTE flag in UK parliament square

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‘We should clarify matters with BHC in Colombo’

By Shamindra Ferdinando

Public Security Minister Rear Admiral Sarath Weerasekera, during Monday’s Cabinet meeting, has raised the issue of the UK promoting the separatist ideology by allowing the display of LTTE flags at the British parliament square.

 Minister Weerasekera pointed out that LTTE flags were displayed alongside the Union Jack much to the disappointment of those who cherished the eradication of LTTE terrorism. British nationals of Sri Lankan origins displayed LTTE flags at a protest to mark the conclusion of the war on May 19, 12 years ago.

 Minister Weerasekera told The Island Monday night that he stressed the responsibility on the part of the government to seek a clarification in that regard from the British High Commissioner in Colombo Sarah Hulton. “Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena endorsed concerns raised by me”, he said.

Referring to the front-page The Island story headlined ‘Display of LTTE flags at UK Parliament Square: BHC says law enforcement is matter for police’ on May 21, 2021 edition, Minister Weerasekera regretted the UK continued to promote separatism. What is quite unsettling is the justification of their failure to thwart high profile agenda pursued by the LTTE rump and those comfortable with Prabhakaran’s ideology.

When The Island last week raised the issue at hand with the BHC, its spokesperson said the law enforcement against proscribed organizations and management of demonstrations is a matter for the police.  According to the BHC, the investigation and prosecution for all criminal offences, including whether an actual offence has been committed, is a matter for the police and Crown Prosecution Service.

The Island

submitted the following query to The BHC: “LTTE flags were displayed in London during a protest on Tuesday (18). Would the UK take action against those responsible as the LTTE remains a proscribed organization in the UK?”

The BHC spokesperson says the UK government’s position on the LTTE has not changed and the group remains a proscribed organization.

UK based sources told The Island that the government turned a blind eye to separatist propaganda activity in spite of specific laws to deal with those who wore clothes in public indicating support for proscribed organizations or displayed any other article (in this particular case LTTE flag).

Sources said that in terms of the UK legislation, the publication of such images, too, was punishable by law. The law stipulated a prison term, not exceeding six months and a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale or both.

Minister Weerasekera emphasized that the recent Canadian recognition of genocide of the Tamil community in Sri Lanka would have a catastrophic impact internationally. The former Navy Chief of Staff said that the Canadian move came as quite a surprise and was likely to be repeated all over the world, especially at the Geneva-based United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC).

 The Minister alleged that Commonwealth heavyweights, the UK and Canada, having backed terrorists throughout the conflict until the very end, were vigorously backing the separatist agenda. Asked whether the government was prepared to face the growing Western challenge on the war crimes front, especially against the backdrop of UNHRC adopting a fresh resolution against Sri Lanka, Minister Weerasekera said that the government was committed to protect those who risked their lives for the country.



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Employees’ Trust Fund Act No. 46 of 1980 to be amended

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The Cabinet of Ministers approved the proposal presented by the Hon. President in his capacity as the Minister of Finance, Economic Stabilization and National Policies to instruct the legal draftsman to prepare a bill to amend the Employees’ Trust Provident Fund Act No. 46 of 1980 enabling to provide health insurance similar to Agrahara health insurance to private sector employees.

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Cabinet nod for MOU between the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka and the Republic of Maldives on Cultural Cooperation

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The Cabinet of Ministers approved the proposal presented by the Minister of Buddha Sasana, Religious and Cultural affairs to sign a cultural cooperation agreement between the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka and the Maldives. (The draft agreement has received the clearance of the Attorney General and the approval of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs).

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Outgoing Bulgarian Ambassador calls on the President

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(pic PMD)

Mrs. Eleonora Dimitrova, Bulgaria’s Ambassador to Sri Lanka, met President Ranil Wickremesinghe at the Presidential Secretariat on Monday (06), before departing for her home country upon completing her tenure in Sri Lanka.

 

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