Prof. G.L Peiris, Minister of External Affairs as one of the major guest speakers at the opening session of the ‘Defence Seminar - 2012’, titled ‘Towards Lasting Peace and Stability’ on Wednesday (8) morning, attributed the conduct of the seminar to a very timely initiative of the Army at a time a great deal of false assumptions and misinformation were doing rounds about the status quo with regard to Sri Lanka’s post-war recovery.
“The Army worked not for the Army but to salvage hundreds and thousands of civilians that had been used by LTTE as canon fodders in the Nanthikadal lagoon. The nature of the Army anywhere in the world provides a vibrant and comprehensive scope to the implementation of any government’s policies and Sri Lanka Army, needless to repeat, did that in an impressive manner interacting with the desperate people, provided them with basic shelter, food, medicine and all other amenities in the best possible manner. Accurate information and ground realities did not flow in the way it ought to have done and the very same elements are engaged in misinformation campaigns, without having witnessed all what the government has done in the aftermath of the war,” Prof. Peiris told the gathering.
Minister Peiris lamented the international community’s failure to fathom out the degree of economic renaissance and nation building has gone into war-affected areas with the active support of the Army on the directives of the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, HE the President Mahinda Rajapaksa.
It is quite obvious that any military outfit soon after a conflict is needed to fill a large lacuna, created by the absence of the link between the civil society and the administrators. The Sri Lankan Army was not for the Army and they carried out the responsibilities, irrespective of any sort of discrimination in the North, the Minister stressed.
Attempts by some quarters with the clear motive of imposing economic embargos or restrictions on Sri Lanka would therefore serve no purpose because it is the same post-conflict beneficiaries who would be adversely affected in the event of such international moves. Instead, the IC should be more exposed to the roles and tasks being performed at ground level in the North, the Minister explained.
Minister Peiris thanked the Army and Ministry of Defence for organizing a mammoth international symposium of this nature, through which all the participants are enabled to have transparent and interactive dialogues on Sri Lanka’s post-war gains.