The Sri Lankan government Sunday said there was never an ethnic conflict in the country but only a war against terrorism.
Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa said that all ethnic groups on the island are coexisting peacefully although historically the minority Tamil community did face some issues.
He said that the Tamil Tiger rebels, who claimed to have fought for the rights of the Tamils, had no interest in peace but instead exploited the respite given through peace talks and ceasefires to kill its opponents and strengthen its offensive capabilities.
"Although it claimed to be fighting for the rights of the Tamil community by trying to establish a separate state, its sole interest was in increasing its stronghold over the territories it dominated in order to establish its own freedom," the Defence Ministry quoted Rajapaksa as saying.
Rajapaksa said that ethnicity, language, religion, caste and gender have no bearing on people's opportunities in Sri Lanka.
"This is amply borne out by the statistics. If we look at the universities, it is evident that students from all communities pursue studies in a variety of fields. There is no discrimination with regard to the services provided by the state, nor are there any serious tensions amongst the communities living in the country, " he said.
He added that every opportunity has been given to the rehabilitated and reintegrated ex-rebel cadres to resume normal lives in society.
Many programs have been launched, including those to support them to set up their own businesses, obtain funds for self- employment and undertake farming and fisheries related activities.
Courtesy – Global Times