The agreement to set up the Office of Missing Persons (OMP) has been formulated to be effective to the future only. It wall not have any retrospective effect, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said.
“No one will be able to file cases regarding the Ekneligoda, Tahajudeen or other past incidents under this OMP agreement,” the Prime Minister said.
Although Civil Society organisations questioned them as to why the Thajudeen and Ekneligoda incidents were not included, they were not in a position to change the law of the land in the implementation of the Constitution, the Prime Minister said.
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe made this observation at a meeting held to mark the opening of a new school building at the Polpitgama National school on September 16.
The Minister said it was to develop the country that the two main political parties joined hands to form a national Government under the leadership of President Maithripala Sirisena. Their objective was to jointly develop the country and contest elections separately.
“This is a system found in counties such as Germany,” the Prime Minister said.
The Prime Minister said he opened two school buildings and a Divisional Secretariat building during his visit to Polpithigama. They hoped to focus more attention on Wanni Hathpattuwa during their development programme in the Wayamba.
“The people should thank state Minister T.B. Ekanayake and Achini Lokubandara for the interest shown in developing the Wanni Hathpatthuwa,” the Prime Minister said.
He said the Kurunegala District had been lucky to have two Education Ministers representing it. The line Minister of Education and the Provincial Minister of Education both represented the Kurunegala District.
The Prime Minister said Education and Health are two important aspects of development.
“Free education should not be confined to the world only. The background should be laid to provide education to every citizen in the country. The gap between city and village schools should be eliminated,” the Prime Minister added.
“A large amount of work was done by the Health Minister and through Provincial Council to develop the health services in the country. The government’s endeavour was to ensure a healthy life to all citizen” the Prime Minister said.
“Public Administration should be properly conducted to ensure solutions to peoples problems. It is with this idea in mind that Minister Vajira Abeywardene provided a spacious building to the Polpitigama Divisional Secretariat to enable it to carry out it work more efficiently,” Prime Minister Wickremesinghe added.
“Another important factor was the maintenance of law and order. Everyone should be treated equally before the law,” the Prime Minister said.
Since the war ended in 2009, the government signed the OMP agreement in December 2015 and passed the relevant legislation in Parliament.
“According to Section 70 of the Constitution, it would be operational from the date of certification by the Speaker,” the Prime Minister said. “Although it is operational for the future it would not have any retrospective effect,” the Premier added.
“Although Prof. G.L. Peiris had maintained that this agreement would have retrospective effect. It would not be so according to Section 13:6 of the Contribution relating to fundamental rights,” the Prime Minister added.
“The government would not allow any Sri Lankan citizen to be taken before an international court. We have the potential to resolve our problems by ourselves”, the Prime Minister said.