|Akashi commends Govt’s success in war against terrorism|
|Monday, 26 January 2009|
The Sri Lankan Government has scored greater success in its war against terrorism, Japanese special peace envoy Yasushi Akashi said.
“I believe an environment in which all could live in peace and harmony in the near future will dawn in Sri Lanka under the leadership of President Mahinda Rajapaksa,” Akashi said when he called on President Rajapaksa at Temple Trees yesterday
Akashi who commended Sri Lanka’s development blueprint, said his Government would provide its maximum support to Sri Lanka’s efforts to develop the North as large-scale development projects were implemented in the East.
President Rajapaksa said once terrorism is defeated the Government will create an atmosphere in which all communities could live in peace and harmony and to ensure development, security and economic viability benefiting all communities.
Akashi said he would propose to the UNP as well as Northern Tamil parties to assist Government efforts to restore peace in the country through the All Party Representative Committee.
Japanese Ambassador Kiyoshi Araki, Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama, Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe, Tissa Vitharana and Basil Rajapaksa MP, Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunga, Foreign Secretary, Palitha Kohona and Treasury Secretary Sumith Abeysinghe were also present.
Meanwhile briefing the visiting envoy on the situation in Sri Lanka, Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama observed that humanitarian operations were being conducted by the Sri Lankan Government in northern Sri Lanka to eliminate LTTE terror and restore democracy to achieve a sustainable peace.
Minister Bogollagama referred to the process of democratisation launched by the Government in the Eastern Province with the holding of elections.
He noted that this has enabled the Government to make democracy meaningful to the people in the Eastern Province. He highlighted the necessity to strengthen democratic institutions as democracy, peace and development go hand in hand.
Stating that the Government has demarcated a safe area for the civilians to move in, it was brought to Ambassador Akashi’s notice that a large number of people were waiting to leave the LTTE-dominated areas in the North.
The Minister observed that leaflets have been dropped into the uncleared areas giving this information to civilians to facilitate their movement to liberated areas. He added that a convoy carrying food and essential items has also been moved into the area.
Akashi expressed his satisfaction at the efforts undertaken by the Government to safeguard the civilian population in the north. He expressed his confidence in the All Party Representative Committee (APRC) as a viable mechanism through which to bring about devolution of power and to build a pluralistic Sri Lankan society.
He stated that Japan was fully conscious of the Sri Lanka Government’s commitment to finding a political solution to the conflict, and expressed the hope that the political process would continue.
Referring to the concerns expressed by the international community, Akashi emphasised that the LTTE should not be allowed to use civilians as a human shield.
He also stated that he looked forward to observing first hand the situation of the internally displaced persons during his stay in Sri Lanka.
|Last Updated ( Friday, 14 August 2009 )|
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