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Sinhala nationalists fume over US resolution and demand Sri Lankan action

Bandara at a protest in 2014, outside the US Embassy in Colombo.

A spokesperson for the Sinhala extremist National Patriotic Movement (NPM) warned that a recently proposed US Congress resolution calling for an independence referendum was “far worse” than Canada placing sanctions on the Rajapaksas for war crimes, as he demanded the Sri Lankan government take action.

NPM spokesperson Wasantha Bandara demanded the Sri Lankan government “explain how it intended to counter the powerful Eelamist lobby… with the help of the US, a self-appointed world policeman,” according to a report in The Island.

Bandara spoke on the resolution which was introduced in US Congress last month and calls for an independence referendum for Eelam Tamils and for Washington to recognize the genocide committed against them by the Sri Lankan state.

Bandara reportedly said that “successive governments, including the current dispensation, should be ashamed of their failure to counter unsubstantiated war crimes allegations”.

“The US move, unless countered, could be far worse than the Canadian declaration of Tamil Genocide Remembrance Day on May 18 and sanctions on former Presidents, Mahinda Rajapaksa and Gotabaya Rajapaksa,” he continued.

His remarks come as support for the resolution continues to grow with more US Congress members formally backing the move.

Whilst the resolution has been praised by Tamils across the globe, it has sparked ire from Sinhala extremists, including Sarath Weerasekera, the Chairman of the Sectoral Oversight Committee on National Security. The former Public Security Minister told reporters in Colombo that members of Congress had been “bought over with money” by the Tamil diaspora and called for an extension of a ban on several US-based groups.

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