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News Features  


 

Normal rule of law is back – President

President Mahinda Rajapaksa addressing Parliament on Thursday (25) announcing the revocation of the state of emergency said acts of terrorism that prompted the declaration of emergency no longer existed as the LTTE terrorist group was completely defeated in May 2009. Hence the government was happy to bring back the normal rule of law to the country.

“The state of emergency that began with the Black July 1983 and the acts of terrorism that followed killing civilians and political leaders, both during 1988-89 and the violation of the terms of ceasefire accords that were signed by the intervention of international groups with the LTTE terrorists culminating in the assassination of Lakshman Kadirgamar made it imperative to continue the emergency. When I was elected President we inherited such a state of affairs,” the President said.

“When I was elected in 2005 the government had invited the LTTE terrorists for talks aimed at resolving the armed conflict but the terrorist group broke off talks and perpetrated the dastardly crime of killing villagers and later resorting to the closure of the Mavil Aru irrigation canal. It was in this background that the state of emergency had to be continued but today we have no threats,” the President noted.

“Now that the task of rebuilding the nation was in our hands it has to be emphasised that the post war challenges we faced with resettling a very large number of people in the North who were held hostages by the terrorists. Resettlement of those innocent civilians, de-mining areas strewn with landmines by the terrorists and revitalising and developing the national economy were some of he challenges we faced but I believe that we have been able to face some of the difficult challenges with the emergency regulations in force at that time,” he recalled.

“Today all the sectors like agriculture, livestock development, fishery, trade and tourism sectors are revamped with the people in all areas benefiting. Our foreign exchange reserves have risen to over two billion US dollars and the areas that were under the control of the terrorists are now demonstrating vibrant economic activity. Therefore I have to say that the government has been able to protect freedom, law and order and work under a democratic framework. Therefore this Parliament will not need to extend the emergency like in the past but work towards bringing prosperity and hope for our people,” the President said.