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
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.