External interference undermines moderates -GL
Delay in political settlement:August 10, 2012, 9:33 pm
By Shamindra Ferdinando
External Affairs Minister Prof. G. L. Peiris asserted that external interventions, on behalf of those still pursuing separatist sentiments, could jeopardize national reconciliation efforts.
Addressing the second army-organized seminar, ‘Towards Lasting Peace and Stability’ at Hotel Galadari, Colombo, Prof. Peiris pointed out that a section of the Tamil Diaspora couldn’t realize the irreversibility of the LTTE’s battlefield defeat. The minister alleged that post-war external interventions had given them hope that eelam could be achieved with the help of the international community, though the military option was no longer viable.
The Colombo based diplomatic community and military representatives from about 40 countries are in Colombo for the confab.
The LTTE was brought down to its knees on May 19, 2009 on the banks of the Nanthikadal lagoon.
The External Affairs Minister said that those who couldn’t stomach Sri Lanka’s victory over LTTE terrorism derive strength from decisions taken in Geneva and New York. One-time GoSL’s chief negotiator for talks with the LTTE, Prof. Peiris stressed that internationalisation of the issue would be a severe impediment to the national reconciliation process. According to him, foreign interventions on behalf of extremist elements and hardliners had brought undue pressure on moderates.
Briefly explaining President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s decision to appoint a Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) to make recommendations to facilitate the national reconciliation process, Prof. Peiris said that hardliners obstructed the process as they still remained confident that Western powers could impose a solution on Sri Lanka on their behalf.
Professor said that the separatist campaign was continuing, though suicide bombers were no longer available to cause mayhem.
The minister emphasized that hardliners couldn’t achieve their goal with the help of the international community. He urged the international community not to give hope to extremists as such a course of action wouldn’t be in Sri Lanka’s interest.
Having briefly explained the circumstances under which various military leaders influenced the decision making process, he discussed the relationship between the GoSL and the military. The minister reminded that Sri Lanka’s battle wasn’t with foreign elements, but with a local threat.
The External Affairs Minister said that the LTTE could have been wiped out much earlier if the military didn’t take the civilian factor into consideration.
Commenting on emerging threats, the minister alleged that Tamil hardliners had been trying to undermine the economy even at the expense of their own people. ‘
Prof. Peiris said that efforts to boycott Sri Lanka could hurt all people hence affecting rapid economic growth in the Northern and Eastern Provinces. "A kind of war is being waged against us," Prof. Peiris said, adding that one major cause of terrorism was dire poverty. The minister described the ongoing all-out propaganda effort as an assault at the very heart of economic revival. The minister suggested that the LTTE was trying to make a situation conducive for revival of terrorism.
Speaking to The Island, on the sidelines of the conference, Prof. Peiris said that those dealing with various Diaspora elements should examine their role during the conflict. Had they at least issued media statement urging the LTTE to release civilian human shields on the Vanni east front? They remained mum as the LTTE launched suicide attacks on civilians fleeing the battle zone, the minister said. The media and human rights watchdogs, too, largely ignored LTTE atrocities as long as they felt the LTTE could emerge victorious at the end, Prof. Peiris said. But today they were playing a different tune, he said.
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Last Updated May 23 2013 | 10:49 pm