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Sri Lanka must uphold democratic values: Chandrika

Meera Srinivasan
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Chandrika Kumaratunga.— photo: afp
Chandrika Kumaratunga.— photo: afp

Sri Lanka should uphold democratic values in order to protect itself from international interference, the former President, Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga said.

“If Sri Lanka wants to save itself in Geneva, the Sri Lankan Government and its people have to conduct themselves in accordance with universally accepted democratic norms and standards. They will save themselves automatically if they do this. That is how we can help them,” she said responding to a query soon after her meeting with Leader of Opposition Ranil Wikramasinghe at his office here on Tuesday.

The former President met Mr. Wikramasinghe, Sri Lanka’s former Prime Minister who currently leads the United National Party in the Opposition, in connection with her initiative – through a forum for interfaith dialogue — aimed at religious harmony in Sri Lanka.

Over the last few months, the South Asian Policy & Research Institute (SAPRI) – a Colombo-based think tank she heads – has been organising consultations and talks pertaining to religious harmony, where religious leaders and intellectuals came together to work on recommendations for achieving religious harmony in Sri Lanka.

Ms. Bandaranaike’s Tuesday meeting with Mr. Wikramasinghe was to hand over the recommendations. On what significance she attaches to the issue of religious harmony figuring in the draft of the United States-sponsored resolution to be soon tabled in Geneva, Mrs. Bandaranaike said: “It is important, yes…because whether it is the U.S. or any [other] country is not important. What is important is that it has been presented to the United Nations organisations and its relevant authorities.”


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