There is never going to be another civil war in Sri Lanka: GL PeirisMay 21, 2011, 7:32 pm
BY S VENKAT NARAYAN
Our Special Correspondent
NEW DELHI, May 21: A confident External Affairs Minister Gamini Lakshman Peiris has said that there is never going to be another civil war in Sri Lanka. Speaking to a select group of New Delhi-based journalists representing the world media during his visit last week, Peiris declared: "There is never going to be another civil war in Sri Lanka. Never again."
The kind of ethnic war that ravaged the island-nation in general, and its North and East in particular, for three decades and ended two years ago will never happen again, he proclaimed.
Peiris said this when a reporter asked him how he could be so sure that the ethnic war has ended for good with the killing of LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran on the banks of the Nanthikadal lagoon on 19 May 2009, when Osama bin Laden’s killing in Abbotabad in Pakistan on May 2 this year did not mean an end to al Qaeda?
The minister conceded that there may be some remnants of the LTTE lurking at home or amongst the Sri Lankan Tamil diaspora abroad. However, such elements are simply in no position to cause ethnic tensions in the island any more.
He said only 10,000 of the 270,000 internally displaced Tamils remain to be resettled. The rest have already gone back to their respective villages and towns and are in the process of rebuilding their lives.
He denied claims made by the United Nations’ advisory panel in its recent report on the last stages of the war that tension persists between the island’s majority Sinhalese and minority Tamils and Muslims.
He pointed out that the number of Tamil-speaking Sri Lankan Hindus and Muslims living outside the North and the East is much more than that living in those two war-damaged provinces.
Large numbers of the million-strong Tamil diaspora have been visiting the island on a holiday or to meet their friends and relatives. They are taking an active interest in the reconstruction and rehabilitation of the North and East, Peiris added.
He also pointed out that large sums of money are being spent on rebuilding the North and the East and on repairing ports, roads, airports, railtracks and other infrastructure that were wilfully destroyed by the LTTE during the bloody war.
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