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Monday, June 16, 2014 - 06.33 GMT

President in Bolivia Explains Sri Lanka’s Reality to World Leaders

 

President Mahinda Rajapaksa currently visiting Santa Cruz in Bolivia to attend the Golden Jubilee of the G77 held bilateral discussions with several world leaders at the Expo Cruz Export Center on Sunday (June 15) and explained Sri Lanka’s actual situation to them.

Prime Minister of Gabon Mr. Daniel Ona Ondo, President of Uruguay Mr. José Mujica and President of Equatorial Guinea Mr. Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo met President Rajapaksa for bilateral discussion.

President Rajapaksa explained the mayhem carried out by LTTE terrorists who were engaged in a separatist war by assassinating political leaders, civilians and officials, and destroying public property. Terrorists killed a Sri Lankan President, an Indian Prime Minister, almost all the democratic Tamil political leaders and civilians belonging to all communities. They did not even spare children. The property damage was enormous, he said.

Every government attempted to find a solution to the problem through negotiation, and delegates of my government also went to Geneva and Oslo for peace negotiations, the President noted. However, the terrorists were not willing to give up separatism. Thus, my government was able to defeat them through a military strategy, President Rajapaksa explained to world leaders.

“Following the end of the conflict, we embarked on a journey to develop the country rapidly,” President Rajapaksa said. “We have resettled internally displaced persons. We rehabilitated and reintegrated around 12,000 ex-combatants. All the ex-child soldiers have been handed over to their parents. There is a remarkable progress in the fields of education, health, infrastructure development and livelihood in the former conflict-affected areas. The overall economic growth in the country is 7.5%, where as it is 22% in the North.”

The government has set up Commissions including the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission and the Presidential Commission to Investigate Complaints Regarding Missing Persons to achieve national reconciliation.

Even though there is much progress being achieved by Sri Lanka, certain external forces are trying to destabilize the country again with accusations of human rights violations, President Rajapaksa added.

Leaders of Gabon, Uruguay and Equatorial Guinea expressed their gratitude to President Rajapaksa for apprising them of the real situation in Sri Lanka. This enlightenment will be truly helpful when taking future decisions, they said. “Even my country is being subjected to external influence,” Uruguay President Mr. José Mujica said.

During these discussions, attention was drawn to enhancing bilateral relations between Sri Lanka and said countries in the fields of economy, trade, investment and tourism.

President Rajapaksa also met with Cuban President Raul Castro who assured the President of Cuba’s continuous support to Sri Lanka at international forums.

"We like to work with leaders like you,” President Castro said. “Fidel wanted me to convey his regards to all friends of Cuba. You are one of our friends.”

President Rajapaksa thanked Cuba for its support.

“We feel comfortable when you are there,” President Rajapaksa said. “We know we have a friend who understands us.”

Minister of External Affairs Prof. G.L. Peiris, Monitoring MP of the Ministry of External Affairs Mr. Sajin de Vass Gunawardena, Secretary to the President Mr. Lalith Weeratunga, Secretary to the Ministry of External Affairs Mrs. Kshenuka Senewiratne, Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Dr. Palitha Kohona and Sri Lanka’s Ambassador in Cuba Mr. Sarath Dissanayake were also present at the discussions.


 
 
 
   
   
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Last modified: June 16, 2014.

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