Special Advisor to the President and newly sworn in MP, Basil Rajapaksa told the Daily Mirror that any prorogation of Parliament would not be a move to avoid appointing committees on several controversial issues
The government yesterday expressed concern over its future, while maintaining it was not proroguing Parliament to annul some of the Parliamentary committees and preclude the appointment of certain select committees on controversial matters.
`Even if Parliament is prorogued those appointed will continue. Prorogation is the right of the President. This is not a new thing. In the past the Governor used to do that every year. There is a special power offered to the President. He has to address Parliament some time. But all these are very much under the powers vested in him. President Premadasa did it when the no-faith motion was on.
`We are not worried but we are concerned,` he said, when asked if the government was worried about its future.
The Government faces the appointment of select committees on the MiG deal, the alleged electoral deal with the LTTE and the no-confidence motion against Minister Milinda Moragoda.Mr. Rajapaksa expressed the hope that the JVP would consider the future of the country and vote with the government on the upcoming budget.
`I hope they won`t merely look at the numbers and decide, but think of the people and the future of the country.The vote will decide the future of the government and that will decide the future of the country,` he noted.
Refuting international claims that there was increasing trend towards torture, he said that maintenance of human rights should not be at the cost of the sovereignty of the county. `Certainly, we are very concerned about rights -- but not at the cost of sovereignty,` he said. `We agree that torture has to be stopped, but no country has come to a zero level on it. The government is very committed to doing this. Both the legal mechanisms and our religious background make it necessary. We just need a Sri Lankan way to stop it.
`This is our problem and we have to find our way to solve it. We have a responsibility towards the people to do this. The President is very much a humanitarian and a rights activist. He is doing his best towards this. I don`t think any outsider can come and make reports like this,` he added.
Mr. Basil Rajapaksa also denied reports that abductions had reached a high under the Karuna cadres in the East.
`If you can show me one person abducted in the East, I can talk about it. There must be some names that we can check on. I was there recently. When you go there you find it is not true. `There are incidents and we have routine discussions with the security forces, but although there are cases of threats, there are no abductions taking place` he said.