The UNP leader has started talking about violations of human rights today, but during the UNP regime of 1988, young people were being killed by the dozen and burnt in public on highways making people turn their faces away. Some heads torn off from corpses were stuck on fence sticks and exhibited, but today there were no such extra judicial killings or violation of human rights in the country, Bandula Gunawardene, Minister of Trade and Consumer Services said yesterday (18) at a press conference of the UNP Democratic Group at Kirulapone.
During that period, the then government was guilty of the violation of human rights though other terrorist groups were also responsible for some of the gruesome killings. But today the government cannot be accused of violation of human rights. There were no such violations.
During the 1988-89 period, no one dared open their doors or even windows after dark for fear of the `Unidentified Gunmen` who killed lawyers, professors, intellectuals or society leaders with impunity. But today there were no state sponsored violation of human rights although there is a conspiracy of the UNP leader to allege human rights violations, he said.
The UNP`s plan was to stage public protests against the cost of living in April but that failed. The next attempt was to bring out a human rights issue and put fear into the minds of people, but that too has failed. The other attempt was to demand the resignation of Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapakse and say that the President`s brothers were running the government, but all these strategies of the UNP have failed and UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe will have to remain in the Opposition for the next 20 years, he said.