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Wednesday, 27 October 2010

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Consequences of ending internal conflict :

Sri Lanka’s achievements not adequately recognised

Sri Lanka’s achievements in constraining the negative consequences that arise in the aftermath of the internal conflict has been inadequately recognized by the world, said External Affairs Minister Prof G L Peiris delivering the keynote address at a workshop at Taj Samudra Hotel yesterday morning.

The theme of the workshop held under the auspices of the Centre for Security Analysis (CSA), Chennai and the Regional Centre for Strategic Studies (RCSS), Colombo was ‘Conflict in Sri Lanka: Internal and External Consequences’. Though ending such protracted internal conflicts cause a series of consequences over a wide geographical area, Sri Lanka has handled an extremely complex situation in a way that gave rise to minimum consequences, he added.

There has not been any proliferation of arms in the neighbouring countries, or an influx of refugees to them or active collaboration among insurgent groups in different countries in the region or a threat to the sea lanes in the neighbouring ocean as it usually happens in such instances, the Minister pointed out.

“It is not fortuitous or accidental but the result of properly structured policies”.

Sri Lanka has rehabilitated the war affected refugees in record time. In a matter of 17 months 257,000 of them have been resettled with only 18,000 remaining in welfare centres at present. Of them 11,000 daily move in and out.

Of the 11,700 ex-combatants the Government has already rehabilitated 5, 700 and legal proceedings will be initiated against another 1,400 who have been involved in various criminal acts.

The Government has been carrying out a multifaceted and humanitarian strategy in which the first priority was given to the resuscitation of the economy in the North and East, the Minister noted. He thanked the foreign governments, and particularly India which provided funds for the purpose. The second feature of the strategy was the healing of wounds for which purpose the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission has been established, he said. In this reconciliation effort the Government is reaching out to the Tamil Diaspora and has received an encouraging response from it. The third feature of the strategy is political and the Government is proceeding towards it on the basis of the achievement of the economic resuscitation process, the Minister noted.

The Minister also called for a re-modulation of the conceptualization of International Law on conflict situations. The present law conceptualized in the context of wars between sovereign States is unsuitable today when the context has changed to asymmetrical wars between sovereign States and insurgent groups where the latter is at an advantageous position. Internationalization of conflicts brings difficult problems before sovereign States and they should be empowered to deal with their own problems, the Minister said.

“Gone are the days of the colonial attitude,” he said.

 

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