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We have the ability to rise as one nation - Minister

Lakshmi De SILVA

It is understandable that people are overjoyed at the defeat of the terrorist group as they had undergone immense pain of mind and suffering over the past three decades. This reawakening should be enjoyed by people of all groups, casting aside ethnic or religious differences and without hurting the feelings of anyone, Mass Media and Information and Enterprise and Investment Promotion Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa said. “We have the ability to rise as one nation and we have the political leadership to make our country a paradise,” he told the Cabinet press briefing at the Ministry auditorium yesterday.

“We have closed one chapter and the next one to be opened is rapid economic development. Any problem could be solved by discussions but when anyone takes up arms to solve problems they are vanquished by the gun as we have seen now,” he said.

He said the Government had its own mechanism to solve IDPs’ problems and already a competent authority and a three-member committee had been appointed.

“Our IDP camps are the best in the world. These people who are in the camps were hostages of the LTTE for the past several years.

There were child soldiers who were abducted or dragged out of their homes or schools and were given the gun forcibly and depriving them of their childhood and education. Among the IDPs were some terrorist cadres,” Minister Yapa said.

“The Government will provide food and other requirements to the IDPs, INGOs and NGOs have to work with Government authorities as we are a democratic and free country. But we had seen what some INGOs and NGOs had done in the past like providing vehicles and other equipment to the terrorists,” he said.

“We will also resettle all IDPs after the UN clearance of landmines as it is a mandatory requirement which will take some time. We cannot resettle them now,” he said.

“Many countries including China, Russia, and USA praised us for defeating terrorism. We are now addressing the next step in the national question. The All Party Representative Committee continues to meet to find a solution but as the President said it will be home grown one acceptable to all ethnic groups of the country and sustainable,” the Minister said.

 

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