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Wimal’s query Over National Reconciliation Task Force

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said in Parliament yesterday that he was not aware of an institution by the name of Task Force for National Reconciliation.

He said so in answer to a question by National Freedom Front leader Wimal Weerawansa, who demanded to know whether an institution by the name of Task Force for National Reconciliation had been set up with former President Chandrika Kumaratunga appointed as its head.

Prime Minister Wickremesinghe: "I am not aware of such an institution.

You said that former President Kumaratunga was the head of that institution. You can give her a call and ask yourself. She was your old friend. Can’t you remember you joined her to form a government sometime back? If you cannot ask her I would ask her on your behalf."

NFF Leader Weerawansa: "I raised a question and expected a responsible answer. This is not a comedy. You tell me that I am a friend of Chandrika Kumaratunga. Our friendship is over. You are the new friend of hers. There were media reports to the effect that Chandrika Kumaratunga was heading such a task force. Are those reports false?

Prime Minister: Chandrika and I have been good friends since childhood. We went to dancing class and learnt dancing together. I have not seen such media reports. My question is whether you are against reconciliation?

NFF Leader Weerawansa: "You are asking questions from me. It is the role of the opposition MPs to ask question and government ministers including you should answer.

Prime Minister: It was President Mahinda Rajapaksa who agreed with Ban Ki-moon to set up a war crimes tribunal. You supported him. You all opposed it only when you got cold feet that you, too, would be hauled before that court. That is the true story. You are against our efforts to bring about reconciliation.

NFF Leader Weerawansa: It was President Mahinda Rajapaksa who brought about reconciliation by ending the war. His government never agreed with anyone to set up a war crime tribunal.

Prime Minister: President Rajapaksa was planning to set up a war crimes court using military personnel. That plan went away as President Maithripala Sirisena came to power. We are all for reconciliation. You are against it. That is the situation here.

NFF Leader Weerawansa: Yes …yes. Anyone can understand that situation and the nature of reconciliation that you are trying to bring about. We can experience the dividends of so-called peace and reconciliation. Sinhala students in the University of Jaffna are being assaulted and chased away. There is no point in asking questions from a prime minister like you. Nowhere in the world can we find such a pM.
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