August 7, 2012
External Affairs Minister G L Peiris said that Tamil diasporas are still ‘rigid’ against stability in Sri Lanka even after the end of 26 years of military conflict in the South Asian nation.
“During the conflict, there was also fear of Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) among the Tamils living inside Sri Lanka,” he said while presenting a paper titled ‘Equity, Opportunity and Empowerment, A South Asian Perspective’ during a discussion in the Bangladesh capital yesterday.
Peiris claimed that more Tamil political leaders were killed than the Sinhalese leaders by LTTE during the conflicts.
From 1983, there was an intermittent insurgency against the Sri Lankan government by the LTTE (also known as Tamil Tigers), a separatist militant organisation which fought to create an independent Tamil state called Tamil Eelam in the north and the east of the island. After a 26-year military campaign, the Sri Lankan military defeated the Tamil Tigers in May 2009, bringing the civil war to an end.
The Sri Lankan minister said the main reason behind the conflict between Tamil and Sinhalese was cultural gap between the two races, not the economic disparity.
Peiris said Sri Lanka has been able to maintain 8% economic growth after the conflict.
“Our army is still involved in rehabilitation works like construction of houses and markets in the conflict torn areas,” he said.
At present, the major income generating source of Sri Lankan economy is tourism as the sector has flourished tremendously after establishment of peace, he added. (Gulf Times)