A true friend of Sri Lanka | Daily News

A true friend of Sri Lanka

Lord Naseby Michael Morris or Lord Naseby, as he is known in Sri Lanka, a longstanding friend of this country, both in fair and foul weather, has once again spoken out in Sri Lanka’s interest. In the wake of the current political developments and President Maithripala Sirisena’s decision to appoint as the new Prime Minister former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Lord Naseby has gone to great lengths to defend Sri Lanka against the voices in his country critical of the move.

He has urged the British Government not to be hasty in condemning the President’s decision which was purely an internal matter in the domestic political scene. This was after some members of the House of Commons from the Conservative Party took up the issue of Sri Lanka during its regular sessions and described the President’s move as unconstitutional. He (Lord Naseby) airing his views by a Tweet was of the opinion that it was not for foreigners to interpret the Sri Lankan Constitution and that he was certain that President Maithripala Sirisena, as the President, acted in the best interest of the country.

“As far as I can see, nothing unconstitutional has happened. It is unusual, yes but we have had unusual things in the UK. We were supposed to have a five year fixed term, but it was cut short,” he tweeted. He also condemned the action of a junior Member of UK Parliament, Hugo Swire for raising the issue of Sri Lanka in the UK Parliament. “It is not up to a foreigner to decide whether it is constitutional or not. I am unhappy that a British junior minister stated it was unconstitutional. That is not the role of UK Parliamentarians,” he asserted.

Hopefully, Lord Naseby’s position with the regard to the political developments in Sri Lanka would persuade the critics in the West to observe things in better perspective. We are a sovereign nation and this should be respected by those who are seeking to interfere in the country’s affairs.

Obviously, Lord Naseby has not lent his opinion on the Sri Lankan issue at random but after closely studying the developments and also taking into consideration expert opinion given in this regard. As a close Sri Lanka watcher he, no doubt, would be receiving his own inputs and has aired his views weighing all the pros and cons. That he has been continually keeping his pulse on the happenings in Sri Lanka was amply explained from the manner in which he debunked the charges in the Darusman report that claimed that as much as 40,000 civilians could have been killed in the war by the Forces.

Lord Naseby’s stand on Sri Lanka should be viewed in the context where the country has always been a target of the West. The West has always made it its business to harangue this country on alleged human rights violations, practices of good government and now, if some British MPs’ conduct is anything to go by, the constitutionality or otherwise of the appointment of the new Prime Minister. It is a matter for regret that none of our envoys in the Western countries has been up to the task of setting the record straight and giving the true picture to the outside world. This was clearly seen during the war years where they signally failed to defend the country against blatantly false allegations spread by the LTTE.

It was left to a British national in the form of Lord Naseby to perform the task of our paid diplomats to wash off the black stains attached to this country. It appears that presently too this task has been undertaken by him, at least in his own backyard. For that all Sri Lankans, irrespective of political affiliations, should be grateful to Lord Naseby for, as a British subject, he is fighting for the cause of Sri Lanka in his own country.

Like he opined, it is not for Britain or British MPs to dwell on the Sri Lankan Constitution unless our former colonial masters still harbour the belief that the Sun has not set on the Empire. This is not the first occasion that foreign interference in Sri Lanka’s domestic politics had been witnessed. There was the famous Gladstone incident in the early nineties. David Gladstone, Britain’s High Commissioner to Sri Lanka went to extent of entering a polling booth while the Local Government election was in progress apparently to elicit proof that the election was being rigged by which he hoped to portray to the world that democracy was being undermined in this country. Quite rightly he was shown the door by President R. Premadasa.

Of course the British MPs’ attacks in the House of Commons are certain to be sweet music in the ears of the UNP leader whose pro-Western stance is only all too well known. Lord Naseby would certainly not win a popularity contest with the Greens who are now hell bent on enlisting the support of all Western Governments to bail out their beleaguered leader.


 

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