Singapore Foreign Affairs and Law Minister, K Shanmugam, who is now in Sri Lanka, said the recent election in the country’s Northern Province was a positive step for its reconciliation and peace process.
Speaking at the Commonwealth Foreign Ministers Meeting ahead of the Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), Mr Shanmugam said Sri Lanka had honoured its commitment to hold elections in the Northern Province in September — with the election being deemed credible by observers.
Mr Shanmugam said political reconciliation cannot be imposed by external parties, and isolating Sri Lanka will not automatically result in improvements in the welfare of its citizens.
He said: “We need to help the Tamils on the ground through constructive engagement by focusing on development projects, which is what we do. We try and do it, we encourage others to do it and at the same time, the government of Sri Lanka, the people of Sri Lanka need to be engaged by other countries, constructively.”
Mr Shanmugam said the growth of Asia is and will remain a fact, and Sri Lanka is poised to take advantage of this.
He also encouraged member countries of the Commonwealth to cooperate constructively with Sri Lanka to help in its reconciliation process with the Tamil population, as well as help it grow economically and distribute the proceeds of that growth to its citizens. (CNA)