Uplifting people’s livelihoods will resolve North, East problems - President | Daily News


Uplifting people’s livelihoods will resolve North, East problems - President

Uplifting livelihoods of the people in the North and the East will resolve many of their grievances, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa said.

The President was speaking to the heads of the media at the Presidential Secretariat yesterday.

He said that many of the political issues of the people of the North and the East have derived from economic problems.

“My belief is that the answer to their grievances is to uplift their living conditions. There was no ethnic issue at the beginning and the problem was that they did not receive the economic dividends enjoyed by the people in other parts of the country. But this is not a problem limited to Jaffna. For example, 1971 insurgency occurred in the South over the same reason. Access to education, university education, jobs and healthcare are common problems to all Sinhala, Tamil and Muslim people. If one wants to divide the ethnic communities, he or she can bring out many political issues,” he said.

The President said that recovering bodies at the battle field, may it be of Tamils or of soldiers, was difficult. “About 4,000 soldiers are considered missing. There can be specific cases, but those should not be generalised to say that the Army or the Government was responsible for them. We need to march forward concentrating on the future,” he said.

The President said that he does not agree that there are “political prisoners” in the country.

The President said the country’s position on the withdrawal from the UNHRC resolution was well-explained to the western countries during the session. He added that freedom and independence of the country could not be betrayed at any cost. “The US withdrew from the UNHRC stating it was a ‘cesspit’. The people gave me a mandate to withdraw from the resolution, and it was done. The international community will understand it. Why should we fear to express ourselves at the forum?” he questioned.

The President said a comprehensive security programme has been launched jointly by the military, police and national intelligence services to combat the religious extremism. He said the recommendations of the Parliamentary Select Committee and the Presidential Commission to probe the attacks will be implemented once the probes are over.

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