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Sri Lanka Criticised For Absent In Action On Nuclear Weapons At UN

The Friday Forum has these days criticised the government of Sri Lanka for not supporting the call for the total elimination of nuclear weapons. &#8220Opposition to weapons of mass destruction in general, and nuclear weapons in certain, has been a nicely-known position in Sri Lanka’s foreign policy.&#8221 the Friday Forum said in a statement.

G.L. Peiris - Minister of External Affairs

G.L. Peiris &#8211 Minister of External Affairs

One hundred and fifty five governments, led by New Zealand, presented a joint statement at the United Nations First Committee on the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons use. In 2013, in Very first Committee, a similar statement obtained the signatures of 125 governments. Both last year and this year, Sri Lanka refused to sign these statements.

We publish beneath the statement in dull

Absent in action: Sri Lanka on nuclear weapons

Sri Lanka&#8217s foreign policy has not too long ago been the target of much criticism and 1 can cite a litany of scandals and questionable departures from professionalism and our traditional Non-aligned stance.

These are now overshadowed by the glaring lack of principle and consistency recently observed in the Very first Committee of the present UN Basic Assembly sessions where Disarmament and Safety concerns are discussed and voted upon. 1 hundred and fifty five governments, led by New Zealand, presented a joint statement at the United Nations Initial Committee on the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons use. In 2013, in Very first Committee, a equivalent statement obtained the signatures of 125 governments. Each final year and this year, Sri Lanka refused to sign these statements.

Opposition to weapons of mass destruction in basic, and nuclear weapons in certain, has been a properly-known position in Sri Lanka’s foreign policy. Previous Governments signed and ratified the Treaty for the Non-proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) the Outer Space Treaty banning the placement of nuclear weapons in outer space, and the Seabed Treaty banning the placement of nuclear weapons on the seabed and ocean floor. The Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) has been signed, but the present Government is inexplicably holding off on its ratification, which luckily does not affect the entry into force of the Treaty. Sri Lanka has held prominent positions in Disarmament Conferences, and is a member of the sole multilateral disarmament negotiating physique, the Geneva-primarily based Conference on Disarmament.

As a founder member of the Non-aligned Movement (NAM), Sri Lanka has supported the get in touch with for the total elimination of nuclear weapons. Certainly it was at the 1976 Fifth NAM Summit in Colombo that the historic Initial UN Unique Session Devoted to Disarmament was mooted exactly where the priority of nuclear disarmament was clearly established. Accordingly as lately as 2012 when the 16th NAM Summit was held in Tehran the 120 NAM nations agreed at para 151 of its Final Document: “The Heads of State or Government reaffirmed the Movement’s principled positions on nuclear disarmament, which remains its highest priority, and on the associated issue of nuclear non-proliferation in all its aspects. They stressed the significance that efforts aiming at nuclear non-proliferation should be parallel to simultaneous efforts aiming at nuclear disarmament. They stressed their concern at the threat to humanity posed by the continued existence of nuclear weapons and of their achievable use or threat of use.”

The joint statement now issued at the UN by the 155 countries led by New Zealand warns humankind but again that

&#8220It is in the interest of the quite survival of humanity that nuclear weapons are by no means utilized once more, under any circumstances. The catastrophic effects of a nuclear weapon detonation, whether or not by accident, miscalculation or design and style, cannot be adequately addressed”.

The contact to action tellingly concludes on the responsibility that lies on us as citizens:

&#8220By raising awareness about this concern, civil society has a essential part to play side-by-side with governments as we fulfil our responsibilities. We owe it to future generations to perform collectively to do just that, and in performing so to rid our planet of the threat posed by nuclear weapons.&#8221

Will Sri Lanka return to decency and NAM principles?

Jayantha Dhanapala                             Professor Savitri Goonesekere,              Suriya Wickremasinghe,

For and On Behalf of the Friday Forum

Mr. Jayantha Dhanapala, Professor Savitri Goonesekere, Ms. Suriya Wickremasinghe, DrG. Usvatte-aratchi,

Mr. J.C. Weliamuna, Mr. Tissa Jayatilaka, Professor Ranjini Obeyesekere, Mr. Faiz-ur.Rahman,

Professor Arjuna Aluwihare, Ms. Damaris Wickremesekera, Dr. Selvy Thiruchandran, Professor Camena Gunaratne,  Dr. Deepika Udagama, Rev. Dr. Jayasiri Peiris,  Ms. Manouri Muttetuwegama, Rt. Reverend Duleep de Chickera, Dr. A. C. Visvalingam, Professor Gananath Obeyesekere, Mr. Pulasthi Hewamanna, Mr. Danesh Casie Chetty, Mr. Ranjit Fernando, Mr. Dhammapala Wijayanandana, Mr. Saliya Pieris, Mr. Chandra Jayaratne

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