Monday, May 21, 2007


Terrorism anywhere is terrorism, help us fight it
- says Mahinda at G-11-
Addressing the G-11 summit in Amman, the capital of Jordan, President Mahinda Rajapaksa said Sri Lanka which had suffered heavily was not only seeking to defeat terrorism but was also trying to liberate the people who had become victims of terrorism.

In this exercise, we are fully committed to safeguarding human rights and democracy. Political negotiations and constitutional reforms have been initiated to address concerns of all communities,” said Mr. Rajapaksa.
“We all are at a critical juncture in our development process. Despite the many challenges posed by terrorism, rising oil prices and natural disasters, all of us are on the verge of becoming Middle Income Economies. In fact our situation is very peculiar. We don’t belong to the Least Developed category and therefore are not recipients of specific assistance granted to those countries. We also do not belong to the Middle Income Category and do not have the per capita income levels to fuel our path of development” the President said.

“This then is the significance of the G-11 Initiative. It creates a platform for LMICs to present their case to the developed world and particularly to the G-8. What we are asking for is ‘targeted help’ and ‘result oriented assistance’ to accelerate the implementation of homegrown development programmes.
“In the 10 year Development Framework under the Mahinda Chintanaya, we have outlined several programmes to address the issues of the rural sector, placing emphasis on roads, electricity, irrigation and water supply, housing and livelihood assistance. We have launched an unprecedented rural development initiative within the medium term development framework.
It is only with a stable political environment that sustainable development can be achieved. In this context, we must deal with the menace of terrorism. Many around the table today have first hand experience of the havoc caused by terrorism.

Although confronted by many challenges, Sri Lanka sustained an economic growth in excess of 7.2 percent during 2006 – a further improvement from the growth of 6.2 percent in 2005. Unemployment declined to 6 percent. Exports grew by around 8 percent. We have attracted overseas remittances of over 2 billion US Dollars. We managed to attract foreign investment in excess of 600 million US Dollars.

“My request to you, here today, is for the G-11 to emphasize the strong bond that unites us all in responding to the challenge of terrorism. All terrorist attacks whether on Amman, Islamabad, London or Colombo, are acts that must be vehemently condemned. There can be no differentiating between them. Terrorism anywhere is terrorism. “Unfortunately, some in the developed world tend to view certain terrorist organizations with a degree of tolerance. At times, these terrorists are viewed as rebels or fighters against discrimination, as long as they do not create violence in those countries. Also some countries have permitted terror organizations to have front offices, institutions, lobby groups and charities based on the premise of democracy. By this, they have shown their indifference to terrorism,” said President Mahinda Rajapaksa.