Pressure affecting reconciliation process

The government says the reconciliation process is facing serious challenges partly due to external intervention by countries that have perused a diplomatic crusade to whim individual interests upon the island nation.

A statement by the Defence Ministry said that a few hard-line elements are also hell bent in a belief of the reincarnation of a mono-ethnic, separatist spree of violence.

However the Defence Ministry said that the government has so far not given in to any outside pressure and continues to maintain peace.

The Defence Ministry also denied claims of ‘Nazi type’ military occupation, land grab, forced demographic changes and occupation of coastal villages for strategic purposes.

“All such lobbying of extremist fundamentalism by the terror proxies are shades of a protracted programme at isolating the Sri Lankan reconciliation process and distancing away the radars of international media, rights groups and foreign government agencies from the ground realities of rapid progress of resettlement, demining and rehabilitation in the North and East,” the Defence Ministry said.

Cabinet has approved a Prescription (special provisions) Act providing absentee land and property owners in the once war ravaged north and east to reclaim ownership.

Any person who has become displaced or disadvantaged at any time during the period starting May 01, 1983 and ending December 31, 2012 shall be deemed, for the purpose of the new law, to be a displaced or disadvantaged person, the Defence Ministry added.

It also said that the security forces and the government are continuing with its demining efforts in the North and the military presence in Jaffna remains in only a portion which has been turned into cantonments. (Colombo Gazette)