Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Economic and Social Progress in Sri Lanka during Post-War Period

By Sunil Wimalawansa
(The writer is a Professor of Medicine based USA)
(March 01, Washington, Sri Lanka Guardian) Now that the physical eradication of Tamil-tiger terrorism (LTTE) is nearing its end, the country must focus on infrastructure and rehabilitation development programs. The economic bases – agriculture, infrastructure, tanks and irrigation systems – that were destroyed by terrorism need to be rebuilt. Sri Lanka lost the opportunity she had following the tsunami to build purpose-designed new cities in the affected area. This is the second chance for the government to plan and build well-designed energy efficient and pollution free (unsubsidized alternate energy programs) brand new cities and settlements in the North and Eastern regions in Sri Lanka.

The latter is critically important in these areas in order to accommodate those who fled the LTTE violence, and for those who are willing to relocate in these areas to get on with their lives. However, this needs to go hand-in-hand with the creation of job opportunities and the physical and psychological rehabilitation of those civilians and the armed force personnel who were injured and traumatized over the years of violence, as well as the surrendered terrorists.

Bastiaan Korner, The Hague Netherland’s former Ambassador to Sri Lanka (1992-96), on February 9th, 2009 stated that “it should be pointed out that in the past many efforts for peace and peace negotiations have been tried with the Tamil Tigers, but that they all have been violated and/or thwarted by the Tigers, a very ruthless terrorist organization, quite comparable to the Taliban.” It would be a sigh of relief and the beginning of a new era for all those involved in this conflict. Nevertheless, for the past few weeks, we have witnessed a wave of intensified fighting, while the desperate terrorists are using unusual and unexpected tactics including killing their captives to blame the armed-forces and forcefully using civilians as suicide bombers.

Several key international-NGOs are continuing to exaggerate the situation, yet doing very little to help those who are in need. There are multiple examples in Sri Lanka where I-NGOs have overstepped their humanitarian mandate and supported the LTTE terrorists who led Sri Lanka to this gruesome war killing thousands of innocent. Sri Lankan government must consider taking these INGOs either n local or international courts for violation of human rights in conjunction with the LTTE. It has been estimated that now there are currently estimated 40,000 civilian hostages that have been forcefully taken by the LTTE who are refusing to release them (External Link). They, together with fewer than 1,000 of LTTE carder, are now confined to a small area of about 50 square miles in the North Eastern part of Sri Lanka. In spite of LTTE brutality and captivity, many civilians have begun to escape from the terrorists who have kept them against their will in this jungle terrain.

Read More: Sri Lanka Guardian