‘MOMENTUM’ Asia’s largest synchronized professional forum Organized by ‘Professionals for a Stable Sri Lanka’ was be held on Wednesday 17th December, 2014,held simultaneously at Cinnamon Grand, Cinnamon Lakeside, Hotel Galadari and JAIC Hilton Colombo Residencies. The forum featured top professionals in business and social sectors, sharing their insight on the significance of stability on the business and economic landscape of Sri Lanka.
Speaking at the event Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Secretary to the Ministry of Defence and Urban Development said
Sri Lanka’s potential for rapid economic growth in the years to come is immense. Many experts within and outside Sri Lanka maintained that the LTTE could not be defeated militarily, and therefore needed to be somehow accommodated.
Instead of becoming weaker, the LTTE grew stronger and stronger. Over time,it became firmly entrenched in the North and East of Sri Lanka. The LTTE maintained its own bunker line. Neither the Sri Lanka Police nor the military could enter this region, which was controlled by the LTTE. The rest of Sri Lanka was also under its threat and paralysed by fear. LTTE attacks were indiscriminate and not even places of worship were spared.
Terrorism had many other repercussions on Sri Lanka far beyond the fear it spread everywhere. Members of LTTE linked groups also built significant pressure on the Government of Sri Lanka to stop the Humanitarian Operation. They intensively lobbied foreign governments, organised large public protests, and used their influence with the international media to make various allegations against the Sri Lankan military.
Because of all this hard work undertaken by Government during this time, however, Sri Lanka has recovered from the ravages of the conflict in record time. There is no doubt that the defeat of the LTTE and the dawn of peace in May 2009 was the pivotal event in Sri Lanka’s recent history.
Although the Government has successfully foiled all attempts to resume violence in Sri Lanka, the activities of the LTTE network in the international arena still continue. Intelligence agencies were able to uncover a covert LTTE group run with the support of the LTTE’s international network. Gopi was a senior LTTE cadre who had fled the country during the war but had returned illegally earlier this year to restart LTTE activities in Sri Lanka. Similarly, the possibility of interference in Sri Lanka’s internal affairs by external forces remains a very real threat to our sovereignty.
Sri Lanka’s sovereignty could be gravely affected unless the Government remains strong and stable. Sri Lanka must strongly and consistently maintain its principled rejection of the international investigation. As long as the Government remains strong and stable, actions detrimental to Sri Lanka cannot be easily carried out through international processes.
Peace exists in Sri Lanka today as a result of the Humanitarian Operation. The most critical thing for Sri Lanka today is the maintenance of stability. Between 2006 and 2009, the Government’s focus was on ending terrorism and bringing peace to Sri Lanka.
As a result of the concerted efforts by the Government since 2009, each of these post conflict challenges has been systematically overcome. Much work has also been done to ensure the creation of a macroeconomic environment conducive for development.