Letter sent to President Mahinda Rajapaksa by Former President Chandrika Kumaratunga on Friday (9).
H.E. Mahinda Rajapaksa,
I write with reference to a statement purported to have been made by you at a recent cabinet meeting, which was reported in a weekend newspaper. It caused me some concern because the very same proclamation was made by Minister G.L. Peiris at a press conference in April 2008.
The statement in question was that, I the former President influenced the European Union to withdraw the GSP+ facilities to Sri Lanka. This is utterly and completely false. I have had no role to play in the GSP+ issue or for that matter any of your government’s affairs since I retired from the presidency.
I wish to inform you that my upbringing, education and my values do not and will not permit me to engage in activities that would in anyway harm my country or its people regardless of who may be in government. All the harassments, insults I have been subjected to since my retirement are not sufficient to veer me away, from the principles that I cherish. I do have various involvements with the European Commission and the European Union. I have been invited to lead EU funded missions to advise various countries on good governance, building democratic institutions, human rights etc., within the framework of international organisations I work with. In March 2008, I was invited to be one of two keynote speakers at a high level meeting of women heads of state and government organised by the EC to commemorate International Women’s Day.
The other speaker was Ms. Condoleezza Rice the then US Secretary of State. I attended this function because it was a great honour not only for me but for our country.
It was after this, that Minister G.L. Peiris summoned a Press Conference and made the above stated false allegations against me. It may be perplexing and cause envy among some that I happen to be among the few Sri Lankan political leaders who has earned global recognition and is invited to address important international events. Would it be at all possible for our government to appreciate the reasons for which our former President and leader receives global recognition and be proud of this?
The GSP+ facilities were granted to the government during my presidency in recognition of our efforts to strengthen and promote democratic institutions, fundamental freedoms, press freedom and good governance including the curbing of corruption. There were certain conditions stipulated for the grant and thereafter the extensions of this facility. I understand the government has yet to fulfil these undertakings.
I shall be thankful lf you could ensure that such unfounded allegations are not made by the government.