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Sri Lanka now plans elections in LTTE-held areas

June 21, 2009 18:21 IST

Sri Lanka plans to hold elections in the country's north -- formerly controlled by the defeated LTTE -- within four months to ensure "legitimate" political leadership in the Tamil-dominated area which was "destroyed" by Tiger chief V Prabhakaran.

"One of our tasks is to ensure legitimate political leadership among the Tamil-dominated area and the proposed local government elections within the next four months will help in that task," Sri Lanka's Minister of Export Development and International Trade Prof G L Peiris has said.

Peiris, who was in London on his way to the US, told PTI "the LTTE Supremo V Prabhakaran had destroyed the Tamil leadership in the country".

Describing terrorism as a thing of the past, Peiris said government's priority now is to address the humanitarian concern where 270,000 people are in the rehabilitation camps.

"First of all, we have to address the humanitarian concern. About 270,000 people are in rehabilitation camps, which means providing one million meals a day. The idea is to shorten their stay and restoration of their livelihood and resuscitation of political process," he said.

Referring to the recent visit to Colombo by Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon and National Security Advisor M K Narayanan, Peiris said, "India has also announced assistance for the rehabilitation of the displaced people."
India has announced Rs 500-crore assistance for the purpose.


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