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MR rejects Wimal’s offer to resign

[DailyNews.lk, Friday, 9 July 2010 23:49 No Comment]

Adding to the drama surrounding Minister Wimal Weerawansa’s death fast outside the United Nations office in Colombo, he yesterday sent a letter to President Mahinda Rajapaksa announcing his resignation from the Cabinet.

However when contacted by Daily Mirror the president’s office said the president had refused to accept the letter of resignation and as such Mr. Weerawansa continued to be a cabinet minister.

President Rajapaksa was told of Mr. Weerawansa’s decision when a delegation from the National Freedom Front (NFF) met him.“The extremist and foreign forces in the country are using my cabinet portfolio to put pressure on the president.

Since I want to continue with the death fast I announce my resignation,” Mr. Weerawansa said in his letter. “If my portfolio is a barrier in my struggle to protect my motherland I choose to give up my portfolio.

NFF spokesman M. Muzzamil told a news conference from the site of the fast that the President had rejected Mr. Weerawansa’s resignation from the Cabinet.

However he will continue with his fast till the UN Secretary General withdrew the experts’ panel.

NFF seeks Russia’s support

By Supun Dias

National Freedom Front (NFF) yesterday handed over a letter to the Russian Ambassador seeking Russia’s support to change the United Nations Chief Ban Ki-moon’s decision to appoint

the UN experts’ panel on Sri Lanka.

The NFF said the party also hoped to garner the support of the international community for Minister Wimal Weerawansa’s death fast.

Mr. Weerawansa is into the third day of his fast outside the UN office in Colombo demanding the withdrawal of the panel.

His brother Sarath Weerawansa said the minister’s health had deteriorated slightly since yesterday and medical specialists were standing by. The Russian ambassador had told the NFF representatives he would inform his government about the NFF request.

The ambassador had told the NFF that Russia always supported Sri Lanka and would continue to continue to do so.

The members of the NFF and the Patriotic National Movement went on a peace march to the Russian Embassy in Flower Road and handed over the petition. The march began from near the UN compound.

The NFF in its letter referred to article 100 of the UN Charter which states that the UN Chief and the staff shall not seek or receive instructions from any government or from any other authority external to the organization.

It said that instead of appointing an expert panel on Sri Lanka the UN should have appointed a panel of experts to draw lessons from Sri Lanka’s experience in defeating terrorism.

“Due to the change in the global geopolitical power-balance and the emergence of a uni-polar system, it is quite clear the UN has been fast aligning itself with the superpower and their allied forces callously disregarding the true spirit and meaning of the principles enshrined in the UN charter,” the NFF said in its letter.

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