The European Parliamentary Delegation, which is on a visit to Sri Lanka, expressed concern over the military presence in the North and the involvement of the military in economic activities there.
Jean Lambert, who heads the Delegation for Relations with Countries of South Asia, noted that this excessive involvement would endanger international trade agreements since military involvement would indicate an unfair competitive advantage.
“We feel that the role of the military in economic activities has hampered the growth of the economy in the North and this would have direct implications on Sri Lanka from a trade perspective, due to military involvements in civilian economic activities,” Ms. Lambert said.
She said there were concerns with regards to the job opportunities in the North and articulated the need for greater training in those areas.
The announcement comes in the backdrop of an announcement by Army Commander Jagath Jayasuriya, earlier in the week that the Army was awaiting cabinet approval to form an entity that could venture out into profit-making business.
Despite commending the government on reconstruction in terms of infrastructure the delegation was sceptical on the progress made in more sensitive areas.
“There has been much growth in terms of physical reconstruction, however there needs to be more done on issues of accountability and we feel that the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission Report is the best roadmap for that process,” Ms. Lambert said.
She said the issues of disappearances both ongoing and historic were an area of concern, while comparing the situation to the aftermath of the conflict in Northern Ireland.
The Delegation said the Northern Provincial Council Elections was an area of great importance to the EU and did not disregard the possibility of Monitors from the EU arriving in the country, if such a request was made by the Elections Commissioner. During meetings with the Elections Commissioner the Delegation had queried on issues of voter identification and free and fair campaigning.
The delegation was comprised six members from the European Parliament. They visited the Northern and Central Provinces, during a five-day visit that began on Monday. They met several leading Government officials including Economic Minister Basil Rajapaksa, External Affairs Minister G.L. Peries and members from the civil society. (Dianne Silva )
Mind your own business. What is your Military doing in Afganistan, Iraq, Mali ? Fishing?
Rohan Sunday, 21 July 2013 07:55 AM
You've got the wrong end of the stick. Keep your opinions to yourself but don't come out with silly comments. Did you know that Northern Ireland has British forces fighting the South. Tamil terrorists were criminals and GOSL should protect the civilians in Sri Lanka.
san Saturday, 20 July 2013 05:54 AM
Millitary in big scale development activities is should be welcomed, but military competing with local farmers will definitely impact the life of the farmers as well as in the other sectors too.
Harry Potter Saturday, 20 July 2013 10:51 AM
It's not the military but the way they are handled is the problem.
Mason Saturday, 20 July 2013 07:40 AM
The government wants to decimate the Tamils, hence the military presence in the north.
Muniyandy Saturday, 20 July 2013 07:57 AM
As stated by the Head the Delegation for Relations with Countries of South Asia why not GOSL withdraw the Army from the North fully so that Tamil people can look after their affairs without interference..
Critic Roshan Saturday, 20 July 2013 07:58 AM
If our own defense forces could help liberate the North from the deadly LTTErs, and do help clear landmines from the entire north for the benefit of northerners, and actively involved in other humanitarian activities throughout Sri Lanka, why can't they be involved in most important economic activities as well? The government can't pay the monthly salary to security personnel and simply keep them in Barracks!! EU, please understand..
hello Saturday, 20 July 2013 08:04 AM
OK, will you do in the south too, stifling private enterprises? Nihal want us to become like Myanmar!
Rohan Friday, 19 July 2013 01:50 PM
Well I hope Jean understands the input from the Military for economic growth where there is tremendous problems in the EU with their own economy. It is a tactic used in order to maintain economic growth, using civilians or military is immaterial it is personnel and Sri Lankans which is important. Jean should know this is a developing country unlike the EU. I hope she has discussions with other members of the government before her thinking goes wild with an army commander's announcement.
nimal Saturday, 20 July 2013 08:06 AM
EU/UN is trying to help TNA to create a separate state. How can they say what to do with our Army? it is totally a internal matter and hope government will not bend down in front of LTTE helpers. Why not appoint a team to investigate all these war crimes and this team should comprise 1 member each from China, Russia, Latin America, Africa, one Saarc member, one member Sri Lanka military, One Sri lankan Civil servant, one EU.
Lokka Friday, 19 July 2013 01:51 PM
Our Army, Our country why we cannot use them to grow our country economy.
DAVID Monday, 22 July 2013 07:32 AM
YOU ABSOLUTELY CORRECT MADAM. YOU SHOWED TO THE WORLD THE CORRECT PICTURE OF THE NORTHERN SRILANKA. THANK YOU VERY MUCH.
Expat Saturday, 20 July 2013 08:33 AM
Since there is no war now, what does she expect the Army to do.?. Just eat and sit around ?. As one other reader stated, this is a developing country and we cannot afford to feed so many people to just sit around. We have to get some work done by them.
Ambarella Sunday, 21 July 2013 02:03 PM
They are just drummming up excuses for their support to the LTTE rump. This over-eating fatso should mind her own business such as slimming down.
Bucket Harry Saturday, 20 July 2013 04:28 AM
Ms Jean Lambert, Can you provide jobs for those excess military men ?
Lakputhra Saturday, 20 July 2013 08:56 AM
Well , the good lady needs to understand that this territory was in the hands of a terrorist group. The army has been doing a great job, helping the civilians. Any credit at all?
Bushel Perera Saturday, 20 July 2013 08:59 AM
Jean has nothing else to find fault. So everything else is fine
nihal Saturday, 20 July 2013 04:43 AM
Myanmar military government began its development the same way as Sri lanka heading towards profit ventures by the army.
xlntgson Saturday, 20 July 2013 09:05 AM
Security forces doing business? Who can compete with them and what worth is selfless service? Equity and fairplay compromised who will be the watchdog?
Amila G Saturday, 20 July 2013 09:27 AM
please don t make such commence you are not getting any where .
Vas Saturday, 20 July 2013 04:43 AM
Our army our country should ave nothing to do with ordinary citizens going about their lives - that's called civilisation.
Vijay Saturday, 20 July 2013 09:49 AM
does it need a team from EU to say this obvious truth
jlk cadiramen Saturday, 20 July 2013 09:58 AM
With regard to your comment, you have no ghost of an idea about the meaning of the word Civilisation. Check the dictionary before writing stupid silly comments. It seems that you are presently living out of civilisation.
AL-AMBRILLA Saturday, 20 July 2013 10:12 AM
"Military stifling growth in North: EU" Sri-Lanka's NORTH... RIGHT ?(Not IN EU North)? Any Other Questions...?? Get the F..Out.. Who paid for the crap..?
Sri-Lanka"s NORTH... RIGHT ?(Not IN EU North)? Any Other Questions...?? Get the F..Out.. Who paid for the crap..?...')" type="button" class="btn btn-outline-secondary btn-sm" style="padding-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 2px">Reply
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