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Monday, March 26, 2012 - 4.56 GMT
Akashi reiterates Japan's support to Sri Lanka


The Sri Lankan government is making a positive initiative towards development in the North and East and commitment to the people of the region, Japan's special representative to Sri Lanka Yasushi Akashsi said.

Mr. Akashi said Japan as a longstanding and sincere friend of Sri Lanka, will always extend its fullest support to the country when he met Defence and Urban Development Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa in Tokyo, Japan last week.

The Defence Secretary was on an official visit to Japan where he also met senior ministers, Japanese Parliamentarians and dignitaries and held discussions on the current development activities and financial and technical assistance extended by Japan.

Discussions were also held on the initiatives taken by the Sri Lankan government on reconciliation, rehabilitation and reconstruction, following the end of a 30 year conflict with the LTTE and the dawn of peace and development in the country.

Secretary Rajapaksa informed Akashi of the ongoing development work in the country.

He explained the different processes of reconstruction and rehabilitation. Of the 11,600 former LTTE cadres who had surrendered, all have been rehabilitated and reintegrated with special skills development training for them to restart their lives and live self - sufficiently.

Efforts have also been made by the government to reduce military presence in the North and East areas where initiatives have been taken to recruit 1,600 Tamil nationals to the Police Force in the North and East.

Secretary Rajapaksa also highlighted that within the past year, over 20,000 Tamil expatriates have returned to visit the North and East region to see their families and relatives.

"More than 5,000 expatriates have visited in the last one month alone. This is significant of the fact that many Tamil expatriates who left the country at the time of the conflict are now re-visiting with the confidence that there is peace and stability in the country," he said.

Akashi said that the Japanese government appreciates the close and friendly relations shared by both nations and believes that the Sri Lankan government is making a positive initiative towards development in the North and East and commitment to the people of the region.

He said that a government which has been elected by the people of the country holds the right to take forward initiatives and implement suitable action. The processes and courses of action should be left in the hands of the country, Akashi said.

"Japan is especially pleased to see the positive course of action being implemented by the government of Sri Lanka within the past two years following the end of the conflict and believes that Sri Lanka should continue in its efforts in the implementation of the recommendations of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission," he said.





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Last modified: March 26, 2012.

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