Bringing About Ethnic Reconciliation Is Biggest Challenge, Says Sirisena

Published: 04th February 2015 03:33 PM  |   Last Updated: 04th February 2015 03:33 PM   |  A+A-

COLOMBO: Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena has identified bringing about reconciliation between the majority Sinhalese and the minority Tamils as the “biggest challenge” facing  Lanka in the post-Eelam War IV period.

 “ The biggest challenge we face today is that of bringing together the minds of the people of the North and South, and through a process of reconciliation, bring about co-existence and national understanding,” Sirisena said in his Lankan Independence Day oration at the Parliament grounds here on Wednesday.

“North” refers to the Tamils, as they are concentrated in the North of the island nation, and “South” refers to the Sinhalese who live mostly in South Lanka.

Lankans had the opportunity to take the path of development  and bring together the minds of the people of the North and South after the defeat of the LTTE in 2009. But they were unable to make use of it, the President said.


Need for Soul Searching 

Calling for soul searching, Sirisena said: “I think it is a great responsibility and a duty before us today to ask where we have gone wrong, and how we can correct those errors.”

“As we look at the path we have trod in the 67 years of freedom, and especially since 2009 (when Eelam War IV ended)  can we be satisfied at what has been achieved after the restoration of peace?” he asked.

Sirisena promised to make the Lankan bureaucracy non partisan and to give more strength to parliament by removing the “unlimited powers” of the Executive Presidency.

On foreign relations, he said Lanka would follow the “middle path” marked by friendship with all nations, and will move towards the resolution of ethnic and economic issues “by strengthening its international relations.”

Sirisena castigated the LTTE for foisting terrorism on the country and praised the role of the then Army chief Gen.Sarath Fonseka and the heroism of the armed forces for bringing about peace. He also mentioned as one of the factors which contributed to the defeat of the LTTE, the election of  Mahinda Rajapaksa as President of Lanka in 2005.

Stay up to date on all the latest World news with The New Indian Express App. Download now


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp