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Diaspora unable to cope with LTTE’s defeat

Minister of External Affairs, Prof. G.L. Peiris, expressed his regret that unfortunately sections of the Diaspora that cannot accept the military defeat of the LTTE is now conducting a campaign to vilify Sri Lanka and harm it economically by trying to disrupt tourism and trade.Prof. Peiris while addressing three separate groups of British parliamentarians on Wednesday urged them to visit Sri Lanka and form their own judgments of post-war developments.”Go wherever you want in the country and see for yourself. We believe that transparency and visibility is the right approach to dispel the falsehoods that are told about the country by those who wish to spread ill-will,” Minister Peiris told the MPs.Among those he addressed was a 10-member all party delegation of parliamentarians led by Labour MP Baroness Roberta Blackman-Woods, due to visit Colombo for the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) conference this week that will draw some 600 parliamentarians and officials from across the Commonwealth.He said that a group of British MPs, mainly from the governing Conservative Party, who visited Sri Lanka recently were able to appreciate the magnitude of the problem faced by Sri Lanka in the post-war period and the progress made by the government to deal with these issues in the brief three years since the end of the war.Prof. Peiris pointed out that while the country’s economy was growing at a rate around 8.2%, in the war-affected North economic growth was 22%, which was proof enough of the surge in activity that is benefiting a people that had laboured under the diktats of the LTTE.He urged British companies, which are all too familiar with Sri Lanka for historical and cultural reasons to avail themselves of this boom in economic activity in the North.He called on British parliamentarians to be fair-minded and objective. They should visit post-war Sri Lanka and gain personal experience of the measures taken for reconstruction and reconciliation.Several British parliamentarians and civil society opinion-makers later said they had a much better understanding of the situation because of the ring of conviction that surrounds the Sri Lanka story which had hitherto been distorted by those intent on blackening the country’s image.They said that the regular interactions they have had with High Commissioner Dr. Chris Nonis had also enabled them to see the whole picture and take a more balanced view.Minister Peiris also met Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma to discuss next year’s Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) due to be held in Sri Lanka and the preparations already made by the government which were very much appreciated by the Secretariat.He also had a luncheon meeting with Mohan Kaul, chairman of the Commonwealth Business Council which will play an important role on the sidelines of CHOGM.

Author: TELO Admin