Tamil-dominant areas being developed tremendously: Lankan Interior Minister

Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala), Feb.10 (ANI): Sri Lanka is determined to devote all resources in developing Tamil dominated areas in the Emerald Island on social and infrastructural levels.

Sri Lankan Minister for Public Administration and Home Affairs, W D J Senevirathene, currently on a state visit to India stated this while addressing a news conference at Thiruvanthapuram over the weekend.

"I think India also must have noticed the steps that are being taken in order to improve the human rights situation in Sri Lanka. I think that if you get the opportunity of visiting the north and the east where the disturbances prevailed in our country, you will find the vast developments that have taken, not only in relation to the infrastructure, even in relation to their social developments of the people of those areas, their education, health facilities and various other community facilities are tremendously developed in those areas," said Senevirathene.

Commenting on the issue of trade, he said that commerce between the two countries was strengthening with each passing day.

"India has become one of the major exporters to Sri Lanka. Indian goods are very much on increase now in Sri Lanka and last year we crossed the five billion dollars mark, as regard to the trade between the two countries. So, the trade between the two countries has been there for a long time, and day by day it is improving," added Senevirathene.

Further he stated that it was important to boost bilateral ties.

"The strengthening of the intimacy, the strengthening of friendship between Sri Lankans and Kerala, must be taken up, and perpetuated further, that should be done. I think the association would be very easy between the two nations," said Senevirathene.

Sri Lanka has rejected a UN report that more than 70,000 civilians were unaccounted for when its war with Tamil Tiger rebels ended in 2009, calling its findings 'erroneous and replete with conjecture and bias'.

Released on November 14, 2012, the report said the United Nations failed to call proper attention to the plight of hundreds of thousands of Sri Lankan civilians during the bloody final stage of the three-decade war.

The report cited an earlier estimate of 40,000 civilians killed in crossfire between government and rebel forces after they were trapped on a sliver of coastline.

The report reinvigorated calls from human rights groups and expatriate ethnic Tamils for an international investigation into suspected war crimes towards the end of the conflict with the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

Sri Lanka's government has repeatedly rejected allegations that it committed war crimes and also rejected suggestions in the report that it had intimidated U.N. officials. (ANI)