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Thursday, June 20, 2013 - 6.06 GMT
Return home as the country is now perfectly stable Prof. Peiris tells Tamil refugees abroad


Minister of External Affairs Prof. G. L. Peiris asked Tamil refugees living abroad to return to Sri Lanka as the country is now perfectly stable, with an economic boom in the once devastated northern Tamil regions running at three-times the national average.

"Sri Lanka is today a land at peace, it is a perfectly stable society. The northern province is developing at about 22 per cent, when the average population of the country is between 6 or 7 per cent," Prof. Peiris currently visiting Australia told Fairfax Media in an exclusive interview.

He also said of the thousands of people who fled during the last months of fighting in 2009, the country was ready to welcome them home.

"My message to them is they ought to come and return to Sri Lanka. We are today in a situation where a lot of people who left the country in search of greener pastures abroad but now increasing numbers are coming back to teach in our universities, to engage in their professions."

To work in their own country, to be surrounded by their own people, that is a natural human instinct," he said.

Prof. Peiris warned smugglers sending record numbers of Sri Lankans by boat to Australia were making unconscionable profits and cared nothing for the people they put on unseaworthy vessels.

He said those arrives in Australia by boats were not economic refugees but economic migrants, and claims of abuse had no relationship to the reality on the ground in Sri Lanka.




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Last modified: June 20, 2013.

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