MR says he is committed to human rights

President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Monday reiterated that he stands committed to protect the human rights of his people.

Speaking at the launch of the annual report of the country’s Central Bank, President Rajapaksa said that the government is also keen to ensure the peace which was achieved after 30 years of war is sustained.

Sri Lanka will in May celebrate three years since the LTTE was defeated by the military after a bloody final battle which saw thousands killed on both sides.

A UN report however accused the government of violating humanitarian laws in its efforts to defeat the rebels which resulted in thousands of civilians being also killed.

The Sri Lankan government has refused to give in to pressure to allow an international independent investigation to take place in Sri Lanka on the final war.

“The solution to our problems will be a domestic solution. Our commitment to protect the human rights of our people is second to no other country,” the President said.

Rajapaksa said that 30 years of war saw Sri Lanka’s economy taking a beating but with the end of the conflict the economy has grown to record levels.

He said that while the world economy was suffering, Sri Lanka’s economy had grown to 8.3 percent last year and this included rapid economic growth in the war affected north and east of the country.

Among the most notable factors in the Central Bank report was the improvements seen in the tourism sector last year.

The Tourism industry expanded substantially in 2011 both in terms of arrivals and earnings, major international hotel chains are being established in Sri Lanka while several reputed airlines have added Sri Lanka among their destinations.

Over the medium term, the industry is poised to achieve the target of attracting over 2.5 million tourists and the tourist spending target to USD 150 per night by 2016 by facilitated high end tourists and infrastructure.

Following many notable achievements during the past two years, the Sri Lankan economy is likely to experience a year of moderation and consolidation in 2012, the bank said in the report. (Colombo Gazette)