A home-grown solution vital
The people in the North and the
East have begun to reap the dividends of peace. The Government has given
priority for infrastructure development projects in the two provinces to
provide better living conditions for over half a million people who were
rescued during the humanitarian operations.
A colossal sum of over Rs 3 billion has been allocated for
development projects which are now in progress in the Northern and
Eastern Provinces. This is more than double the amount that the
Government had spent on the other seven provinces in the country.
Those hapless civilians who had been subjected to untold misery are
ever grateful to the valiant Security Forces who rescued them from the
jaws of LTTE terror.
Certain countries and international organisations which now raise
their voices to the high heavens remained taciturn when these civilians
went through hell before they were liberated from the clutches of LTTE
terrorism. Though LTTE projected themselves as the champions and the
sole representative of the Tamils, they did precious little for their
The civilians, who were kept forcibly by the LTTE as a human shield
and later rescued by the Security Forces, yearned for peace. They did
not harbour political or social problems as portrayed by the LTTE and
certain Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) who thrived on foreign
funding. Their fervent plea was for a peaceful environment for all
communities to live in harmony.
President Mahinda Rajapaksa said last week that a political solution
which fulfils the needs of the people in the North with a common Sri
Lankan identity will be provided to them sans foreign influences.
He said that discussions are under way to finalise the political
solution for people in the North. Any solution to address the genuine
grievances of the people in the North should bear a common Sri Lankan
President Rajapaksa has said that finding a political solution is
within Sri Lanka’s reach and no foreign force could thwart it. Although
there was praiseworthy support from friendly countries, Sri Lanka fought
its lone battle to rescue the country from LTTE terrorism.
In similar vein, Sri Lanka is capable of finding its home-grown
solution for the grievances of those living in the North and the East.
Is there any need for foreign godfathers to hatch “eggs” for a
President Rajapaksa vowed that he never agreed to what the LTTE
attempted to win through an armed struggle even at a negotiating table.
Whatever agendas the INGOs seek to put in motion in the guise of a
so-called political solution would never see the light of day under
President Rajapaksa’s illustrious leadership.
A political solution cannot by any means be given forcibly as it
should emerge from the hearts of the people both in the North and the
The solution should emanate from discussions between political
leaders in the North and the South. Although these discussions are now
in progress, some recalcitrant groups are making demands akin to what
the LTTE terrorists wanted. Such preposterous demands would never be
granted under any circumstances.
People living in the North and the East look upon development work as
the number one priority and the need of the hour and not a so-called
political solution as demanded by the rump LTTE and a section of the
Tamil diaspora, who have not made any tangible contribution to uplift
the living standards for their Tamil brethren rescued in the North.
People in the North were denied the right to information and speech
after the LTTE terrorists destroyed the Kokavil transmission tower.
However, through the Government’s painstaking efforts to restore
almost everything that was destroyed by the LTTE apart from human lives,
a new multi-transmission communication tower was commissioned in Kokavil
Infrastructure is being developed and those living in the North enjoy
the right to know what is happening in the South. This no doubt will
help strengthen the bonds between the two major communities.
The Government’s priority is to restore the pristine glory of the
Jaffna farmer. The aim of the Government is to strengthen the economy of
the North and the East and increase the purchasing power of those living
in those provinces.
These two provinces could make a worthy contribution to the national
coffers. If this could be achieved, maintaining an economic growth of
over eight percent is certainly within Sri Lanka’s reach.
The Government’s target is to increase the per capita income to over
US$ 4,000 within the next four years. These creditable economic
indicators would pave the way for a prosperous Sri Lanka.
The Board of Investment of Sri Lanka last week recorded the highest
ever quarterly FDI inflow in the first quarter of this year. The inflow
of US$ 236 million from January to March this year is an increase of
almost 160 percent, compared to the corresponding period in 2010.
The annual average FDI of the past five years was US$ 668 million
which accounts for approximately two percent of the GDP. The ultimate
goal is to increase the FDI target to US$ 2.5 billion by 2015, which
would result in an FDI/GDP ratio of approximately four percent, thus
achieving an economic growth rate of 8-10 percent.
This strong performance is a result of investments in the booming
tourism sector which accounted for US$ 132 million. The major
contributory factor to this relatively high value is the investment in
Colombo and Hambantota by the luxury Shangri-La hotel chain.
This unprecedented investment in the tourism sector has been made
possible due to the peaceful environment prevailing in the country after
terrorism was eradicated. The country would leverage the strong momentum
by achieving a record inflow of one billion US dollars this year.
The immense benefits of such development and economic growth would no
doubt be passed on to the people in the North as well as those in the
The masses should not be swayed by the sinister campaigns of those
who fear Sri Lanka’s unprecedented economic growth. If people across the
length and breadth of the country are united, no force on earth could
stop Sri Lanka’s forward march to become the “Wonder of Asia”.