Business Times

NCE says UN panel report negative, could revive terrorism

The National Chamber of Exporters (NCE) of Sri Lanka has expressed disappointment over the recent report by a panel appointed by the Secretary General of the United Nations on war issues in Sri Lanka, saying one of its out comes could be the resurgence of terrorism.

It said the whole world is aware that the Sri Lankan state battled the scourge of terrorism for over 30 years with genuine commitment and its own resources. During this period, all communities of Sri Lanka and especially innocent people suffered immensely due to the inhuman actions of the terrorists. Many thousands, both members of the civil society and the Security Forces sacrificed their lives in the process and many thousands more were maimed for life, it said.

“The business community in general and the exporters of Sri Lanka in particular which the Chamber strives to serve, suffered serious setbacks during the 30-year period. Growth of exports which makes a vital contribution to the economy of the country and the well-being of the people was severely retarded,” it said.

With the massive infrastructure development programmes undertaken by the Government and the rebuilding of lives of all affected people, those especially in the North and the East of the country have begun to reap the benefits of peace, through the expansion of production activities and generation of supplies for export, the NCE said.

“In the above background, it is most shocking to witness the attempt being made to undertake a meaningless exercise to investigate human rights violations during the conduct of the war, to appease the agendas and ulterior motives of interest groups as well as supporters of the terrorist outfit, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). It is also noteworthy that the Panel Report makes an attempt to legitimize its biased conclusions by proposing that human rights violations of both the state and the terrorist group be investigated.

This boils down to an exercise which will be confined to the alleged violations by the state, because responsible leaders and core members of the terrorist outfit no longer exists to be investigated. It is appalling that the so-called protectors of human rights and humanitarian law chose to watch in silence for many years while the terrorists committed the most inhuman acts and violations of human rights,” it said.

The Chamber said any attempt to pursue an agenda to initiate an investigation at this stage will only result in the disruption of all development activities being undertaken by the Government, discourage investments in business activities both by foreign investors and Sri Lankans, create mistrust and divisions between the communities once again instead of healing them, and encourage the remnants of terrorists and those with divisive motives to regroup and rise once again.

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