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Minister G.L. Peiris invites Singapore Deputy Prime Minister Shanmugaratnam to visit Sri Lanka

The Minister of External Affairs, Prof. G L Peiris, visited Singapore last week.

During his visit, the Minister called on Mr. Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Finance, Minister for Manpower and Chairman of the Monetary Authority of Singapore and conveyed President Rajapaksa’s message of congratulations on his new appointment.

Minister Peiris briefed the Deputy Prime Minister on the current situation in Sri Lanka and the Government’s initiatives in respect of reconciliation and steps taken toward economic development.

He pointed out that the numbers of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) have been drastically reduced and added that the overwhelming majority of ex-combatants have been reintegrated into society. He pointed out that the Government was keen on arriving at an agreement with the Tamil political parties on appropriate constitutional arrangements. Minister Peiris emphasized that the Government encourages the Tamil Diaspora to involve themselves actively in developmental activities. Minister Peiris invited Deputy Prime Minister Shanmugaratnam to visit the country and see for himself the new developments in Sri Lanka.

Minister Peiris met with Lim Hng Kiang, Minister of Trade and Industry of Singapore, and congratulated him on his reappointment to the new Cabinet of Singapore. Prof Peiris said that Sri Lanka is very keen to expand the scope of existing relations for mutual benefit.

The Minister of External Affairs stated that the BPO/KPO sector in Sri Lanka is a fast growing area where ample opportunities are available for Singaporean business entities, seeking outsourcing. This will enhance employment opportunities in Sri Lanka, he said. Minister Peiris highlighted that Sri Lanka’s tourism which had never grown earlier at the pace it is now growing is a sector that responds fast to the growing dynamics in the renaissance period that began with the conclusion of the 30-year long conflict.

The Singaporean Trade and Industry Minister said that the trajectory of the Sri Lankan economy is very positive and the culture and the talents of citizens of a country are key to the success of its development. He further mentioned that the Sri Lankan High Commission in Singapore has been actively working with organizations such as IE Singapore and the Singapore Business Federation to further increase awareness of emerging business opportunities in Sri Lanka among Singaporean businessmen.

Prof. Peiris was invited by the Institute of South Asian Studies of the National University of Singapore to deliver an address on the topic ‘The Current Situation in Sri Lanka and The Way Forward’.

Minister Peiris briefed his audience of diplomats, academics and officials on the current situation in Sri Lanka, stating that after almost three decades, the Government has been successful in restoring peace, stability and security in all parts of the country. The Minister stressed that the first priority of the Sri Lankan Government after the war, was the addressing of humanitarian concerns in order to ensure resettlement and reconciliation, including early return of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) to their respective homes. He pointed out that 95% of the displaced have been resettled in their original places of domicile or in new homes. “The very small number remaining in the camps stay there willingly. They visit relatives and return to the camps of their own free will”, the Minister stated.

Another crucial part of the humanitarian efforts made by the Sri Lankan Government was the integration of ex combatants into society. Minister Peiris said that this was more a human story than a political story, emphasizing that 140 of these young ex combatants have been successful at the GCE A’level Examination.

Referring to the political aspect of the current situation in Sri Lanka, the Minister of External Affairs stated that the Government has embarked on negotiations with the elected representatives of the Tamil community and has already completed 5 rounds of talks with Tamil political parties. On the Tamil Diaspora, Prof Peiris stressed that Sri Lanka was engaged in talking to some sections inviting them to take a hand in the country’s economic and social development and help improve the livelihood of people in the north and east. “We encourage the Tamil Diaspora to involve themselves in developmental activities”, he stressed.

The Minister also visited the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies of the Nanyang Technological University of Singapore which is devoted to research into political violence and strategies with regard to counter-terrorism. Statement by Ministry of External Affairs, Colombo


  1. Md says:

    When will Sri Lanka have a Tharman Shanmugaratnam? Never in the history. The forthcoming military show in Colombo on the 27th May shows that.

  2. Priyanka says:

    it is shame for Sri Lanka, a Tamil have never been appointed as deputy Prime Minister or a leader of mainstream parites. It shows the countries racial attitudes.

  3. Punchinilame says:

    The most important aspect of the so-called –
    “We encourage the Tamil Diaspora to involve themselves in developmental
    activities”, he stressed…. is the stopping of dual-citizenship for
    35,000 pending applicants (95% of them being Tamils – and because they
    are T A M I L S! by MR. The Immigration Dept. is clueless as to WHY.

    GLP may not be even aware of this situation. No other country in the
    world has this sought of outstanding figures, I guess.

    They will eventually take a decision to increase the Fees three-fold
    to discourage the numbers as well as make an Income over it?

  4. Kalum says:

    Priyanka, Sri Lanka’s late (former) foreign minister “Lakshman Kadirgaman” (an ethnic Tamil) would have been our present Prime Minister if LTTE did not assassinate him in 2004. Think before you talk (or write)…!!!

  5. jk says:

    hey guys dont forget we got ready made PM in hand so dont bother about the deputy,in SL it may happen if our {T}NA represent for whole sri lankans but the way it goes its end up in T-Nadu.

  6. raji says:

    Now you Majorities are begging the minorities. What a shame. Why you can do in the sri lanka.
    When the Sinhalese politicians change their attitudes only the country come first in Asia.

    Bring well educated tamils in good government power and show the world how you treat tamils equally to sinhalese.
    Abolish the discrimination against your own citizen.
    Bring the new generation in politices. Get rid of Rajapaksa regime and Ranil Regime.
    In my view Ranil and Rajapaksa are acting to cheat our citizen same as like Tamilnadu former chief minister

    Dear our countrymen think and decide for your future
    Our country gone backward 100 years Why??? Why can’t you solve the problems???

  7. Kanda says:

    “Minister Peiris invited Deputy Prime Minister Shanmugaratnam to visit the country and see for himself the new developments in Sri Lanka.”

    Ha,ha! GLP is a 21st century jester in international politics.

  8. Gamini says:

    Yes we would have had ten such Tamil statesmen had it not been for the LTTE. Neelan, Kadir etc.

  9. SriLankan says:

    Please take him to the Wanni and show the displaced people.

  10. Justice & Fairplay says:

    They had the chance in Kadirgamar and blew it.

  11. Hela says:


    Lukshman Kadirgamar was a potential candidate who had a huge acceptance in all comunities. In fact it is being said that JVP proposed Kadir for the PM job. It was Tamil terrorists who eliminated this Tamil leader. Acceptance of the larger population cannot be gained by following separatist politics like most of the Tamil leadership do. So you might need to blame the Tamil policians themselves for the situation.

  12. Samuel says:

    Singapore ministers are chosen for their academic excellence in their fields of responsibility,impeccable record of public service,honesty and integrity.
    They are a part of the government elected by the people, at free and unflawed elections.
    Sri Lanka will do well to do the same.

  13. Mayu says:

    Kadirgamr was not a political leader; he was not elected by Tamil public at anytime. He was nominated MP most of the time.

    It is not the race in which he was born but it about what political ideology he demonstrate matters. And more importantly he should be elected by that section of the public to represent their political background.

    Here we are talking about appointing a political leader, who was elected by Tamil public and represent their political view. Would Sri Lanka accommodate this situation?

  14. peacelover says:

    Minister Peiris,
    It is shame on you as an intellectual and to be part of the government, which killed thousands of innocent thamil civilians and for you to shake your blood soaked hand with another thamil who has blood relationship with those killed in Srilanka.

    Singapore was developed to be an inclusive country by its great visionary leader Lee-Kuan-Yew and what he recently said about Mahinda Rajapakse, in whose cabinet, Peiris is a foreign minister
    Rajapaksa extremism cannot be changed: Lee Kuan Yew. Singapore’s Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew

    Smart people like Shanmugaratnam, know the state of thamils within Srilanka and people like him doesn’t need any briefing. He grew up in Lee-Kuan-Yew’s camp.
    Srilanka lost many more people like “Shanmugaratnam” due to its discriminative policies. Pool of such talented people contributing so much to their adopted home countries and to international development. They are very well recognized in those countries for such contribution by appointed to high offices in those countries.
    Obama a black American is walking equal with Queen of England, which was unimaginable a decade ago. Black were treated so badly during White Apartheid government in South Africa, walking free in their own land. A thamil Canadian migrant became a Federal MP in Canadian Parliament within a very short period of Thamil’s history in Canada began in 1983 after the thamil pogrom in Srilanka. In coming years many more thamils will be holding high offices in Canada. Several first or second generation thamils holding important Ministerial positions in Singapore.
    On the other hand, even though thamils are natives of Ilankai (called as Srilanka by sinhalese), they have been denied equal opportunities in Srilanka for the last 62 years since the so called independence from Britain. As a result Thamils have been abandoning Ilankai. Srilankan armed forces consist 99% sinhalese, not even a single thamil holding high ministerial position in Srilankan parliament. None of the high positions in public sector held by thamils.


    By planting bodhi trees, erecting Buddhist temples, building new military camps, government assisted planned Sinhala settlement in thamil areas, changing thamil street names to Sinhala names in Northern and Eastern provinces of the island, what are you trying to achieve?

    Is this what you called as “reconciliation”?

  15. peacelover says:

    Don’t talk rubbish,
    By carrying a thamil name doesn’t mean the person can understand thamil’s issues and represent thamils of North, East or Upcountry in the parliament. They have to be elected by Thamils to represent them in the parliament. Kathirkamar or Neelan grew up among elite society and mingle only with such people. They never ever could have understood several issues faced by ordinary thamil living in North, Esat or Upcountry.

  16. Sir John says:

    Was Kadirgamar elected to parliament from Kandy or Colombo South becoming a Minister ?

    I knew JR was elected from Colombo South number of times. Sugathadasa and Premadasa were elected from Colombo too.

    I was told Singapore Ministers are elected by the people to become MPs first and then to be Minsiters.

    In Srilanka the maximum a Tamil MP went was as an opposition leader even then he could not continue long as an opposition leader.

  17. victim says:

    Poor GL Peiris why does he have to lie at his age and loose his dignity!!!

    what Peiris ommitted to say is as follows:

    95% of the war victims are settled under trees in the Vanni, having tarpauline and pieces of old sarees over their heads and allowed to fend for themselves, without even clean water or transport or without any livelihood. Their potential livelihood and farmlands have been grabbed from them and given away free to the murderous army and their extended families. The money donated by other countries are distributed to the thugs aligned to the government in order for the present governnmnt to remain in power for “ever and ever” followed by their progeny for eternity!!!

    Most of the LTTE members are “made to depart from this world” “Suspected” LTTE cadres are released on condition that they become “paramilitaries” force to be aligned to the government in order to check on any Tamil who dare to question the lawlessness of the Government or their quislings!!This is a ploy to get the Tamil killing the Tamil!!!

    We are requesting the diaspora Tamils to come and invest in Sri lanka, on “certain conditions” if they don’t comply with conditions in the future there is always a “risk to their life and limb and their investments!!!

  18. tmorgan says:

    LTTE may have killed Dr. Neelan but it was Sinhalese politicians who diluted and then discarded the GL-Neelan package.

    The current majority attitude towards a real solution in Sri Lanka still favours brute force over genuine ethnic reconciliation.

  19. Pubudu says:

    For what?

  20. sangam says:

    who assacinated Kadir? were any one convicted? Ltte or else??

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