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    Lakshman abhorred terrorism, he was a humanitarian - Minister Mangala Samaraweera Featured

    August 26, 2015

    Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair delivered the Lakshman Kadirgamar Memorial Lecture 2015 on August 24  at the Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute.

    He spoke on the subject “Reconciliation in Sri Lanka and the Northern Ireland Experience”.The lecture was held under the auspices of the Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute of International Relations and Strategic Studies (LKIIRSS), the Chairman of which is Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera.

     

    Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera speaking on the occasion  said, "a firm believer in democracy for both developed and developing countries, Lakshman Kadirgamar cautioned the democracies of the world that terrorists were taking advantage of the very freedom and space which democracy allows, to destroy those systems."

     

    "He urged that the democracies of the world must stand together to fight this scourge, lest we would lose the values, principles and freedoms that we cherish the most. It was during his tenure as Minister of Foreign Affairs that the funding for the LTTE in western countries including in the United Kingdom in 2001, when you were Prime Minister sir, was stopped through effective legislation. That, in fact, marked the beginning of the end for the LTTE."

     

    "However, at times Lakshman has been misunderstood by some who claim that he believed in a military solution. This is far from the truth. Having had the honour of knowing him and working closely with him I can confidently say that Lakshman did not believe that there was a military solution to the crisis that this country faced. He was a firm believer in human rights and he was a firm believer in democracy. In fact he was the first person in the world in 1963 to conduct an Amnesty International investigation in a country, which was Vietnam. He always believed in a political solution and in the importance of addressing the grievances of the Tamil community."

     

    "Lakshman abhorred terrorism, he was a humanitarian. A realist but at the same time an idealist. He articulated his vision for Sri Lanka many times."

     

    Minister Samaraweera also said, "Had he been alive in May 2009 when the armed conflict ended, he would have, I am sure, prevailed upon the Government in power not to squander away the opportunity for durable peace by adopting a triumphalist approach. He would advocated a consultative, collaborative and truth seeking trajectory that is essential in our post-conflict situation. It is a pity that Lakshman did not live to see the end of conflict. We are poorer today in a sense without the benefit of his wisdom when we need it most as we embark on a journey towards reconciliation and lasting peace and we seek to set our nation firmly on the path of democracy, ethnic harmony, rule of law and good governance. "

     

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