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The motion brought by the United National Party against the Minister of External Affairs seemed a heaven sent opportunity for the government to clarify a number of issues regarding the External Relations of this country over the last few years. In particular it made clear the erosion of what might be termed the international agenda of the principal opposition, a factor of great importance since, though the most dangerous threat facing this country, that of terrorism within our shores, has been defeated, the external threat still looms.

In Sri Lanka itself terrorist excesses were easy to identify, though this does not take away from the enormous effort needed to overcome them, and the singular contribution of our armed forces. Abroad however we were never quite sure from where blows would fall. Some of these came from terrorist supporters, a few of them still sadly incorrigible. However we can now hope that many are willing to work together with government to improve the lot of the Tamils who suffered in the 1980s from the racist excesses of the Jayewardene government, and then the worse enslavement of the Prabhakaran totalitarianism.

We also had to suffer the criticism of those foreigners, well-meaning ones as well as insidious purveyors of self-interest, who confused the Tigers and the Tamils. And then, worst of all, we had to struggle against the relentless belittling of the elected government by the opposition and its agents, a programme that at least some elements in the United National Party wish to revive, as seen by this motion.

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Rajiva Wijesinha

October 2010
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