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* Sri Lanka's post-war progress is completely ignored - Minister Peiris
Sat, Mar 15, 2014, 12:44 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Mar 15, London: Sri Lanka's External Affairs Minister Professor G. L. Peiris said it is a great pity that all of the progress Sri Lanka accomplished during the last four years after the three-decade long conflict ended, is totally ignored.

Prof. Peiris told the reporters at the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group Press Conference in London Friday that Sri Lanka faced very difficult challenges at the end of the devastating conflict and made significant progress.

"Very difficult challenges, and everything that has happened on the ground with regard to internally displaced people being resettled; ex-combatants reintegrated into society; look at the economy of the North, how it is developing; the holding of elections in the northern province after quarter of a century. All of this is ignored."

He said it is a great pity that the media assessment is totally lacking in fairness and a sense of balance.

Addressing the law and order situation in Sri Lanka, the Minister said the evidence need to be looked at and decide on the action.

"Of course law and order issues are a different matter; we have to look at the evidence, the reasons why action has been taken in a particular case, but the trajectory forward, all the progress, is by any reasonable standard pretty substantial," he said.

Responding to a media query on the arrest of Tamil activist for the disappeared in Sri Lanka and her daughter in the North, the Minister said the evidence need to be examined.

"Regarding the people arrested yesterday, we have to examine the evidence, the grounds on which it is done; that will happen in due course, against judicial scrutiny," he said.

Responding to the Channel 4 journalist on why Sri Lanka is investigating the footage of its 2009 programme if Sri Lanka claims the video is a fake, the Minister said Sri Lanka is prepared to look at anything fairly and objectively but there were very compelling grounds for Sri Lanka to conclude that the video was a fake.

He said the video, which purported to show the summary execution of bound, naked, blindfolded prisoners by Sri Lankan security forces, had been done entirely for political reasons.

"I must also mention that this kind of material has a habit of surfacing at a politically critical moment; on the eve of something that is happening that is significant for Sri Lanka. In our own minds we have no doubt that this is an orchestrated political campaign, but if there is new material that you wish to submit, we will always be willing, with an open mind, to look at it," the Minister said.

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