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SL seeks international help in post-war phase

world Updated: May 31, 2009 13:54 IST
Sri Lanka seeks international help in post-war phase

Sri Lanka on Sunday appealed for international assistance to rebuild the country after the military defeated Tamil separatists to end a three-decade civil war.

"We have overcome terrorism, and Sri Lanka is poised for an economic takeoff," Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama told a multilateral conference on Asian security in Singapore.

"This post-conflict phase is crucial in restoring confidence in people whose lives have been torn apart by this terrible conflict," he said. "The international community has a role in this endeavour."

Speaking to diplomats and policy makers of 27 countries, he said the post-war period would focus on rehabilitation, resettlement, economic empowerment and free elections.

The government said nearly 280,000 people had been displaced by the civil war.

The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) fought for more than 25 years for an independent homeland for Sri Lanka's Tamil minority.

Government troops reclaimed the last rebel strongholds in the northern part of the island in mid-May, killing their leader Velupillai Prabhakaran and ending the war.

"Sri Lanka will no doubt enter the annals of history as a classic textbook example of a nation that successfully prevailed over the scourge of terrorism," Bogollagama said.

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