'Economic recovery depends on permanent solution' -Sampanthan
[TamilNet, Tuesday, 20 August 2002, 21:35 GMT]
"The economy of the country will be improved only when the interim administration starts functioning with necessary powers to develop the Northeast province following the Thailand peace talks scheduled to be held in mid September," said Mr.R.Sampanthan, leader of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) parliamentary group when addressing the fifth and final day of the 'Yuga Thekma' industrial exhibition held in Trincomalee esplanade.
"There is no room for economic recovery until a just and permanent solution to the Tamil national question is found," Mr.Sampanthan further said
"Some raise questions as to whether to give priority to economic development or to the peace efforts. Since there is cessation of hostilities some feel that it is time to give priority to the economic development of the country. True economic recovery can only be achieved by ensuring a permanent, just and durable solution to the national question through peace talks," said Mr.Sampanthan.
Mr.Sampanthan added that the war broke out in Sri Lanka when a section of the population were deprived of their just and reasonable rights. That led to the destruction the country's economy, he said. Noting that war and economic setback are interrelated, Mr.Sampanthan added, "War played a key role in the destruction of the economy of the country."
Peace talks scheduled in Thailand for next month should pave way for the establishment of an interim administration that should result in rapid development of the northeast, Mr.Sampanthan reiterated.
Industries Minister Mr. Rohitha Bogollagama and Trincomalee district parliamentarian Mr.M.A.M.Maharoof also spoke at the function. Tamil National Alliance national list parliamentarian Mr.K.Thurairetnasingham attended the final day event.
The 'Nitharsanam' audio and video unit of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam rented out a stall in the 'Yuga Thekma' industrial exhibition and sold video copies of the successful military operations of the LTTE such as Oyatha Alaigal (Unceasing Waves) and Jayasikuru. Sinhalese members of the government security forces were seen among the people waiting to buy LTTE video copies, sources said. LTTE sources told TamilNet that more than two thousand audio and video copies were sold during the exhibition.