SL should find political solution that benefits all: Pranab

SL should find political solution that benefits all: Pranab


Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, who is visiting Sri Lanka, said the country should also ensure that the political solution to the ethnic problem does not come at the cost of any particular community.

"While a military victory has been achieved, there is also a great victory to be achieved in the political arena when every stakeholder owns the process and gains something from it," Mukherjee told a gathering here.

"A political settlement can only mean one thing —- a victory for all people of Sri Lanka irrespective of their religion, ethnicity, numbers or race," he said in his address at the fourth Kadirgamar Memorial Lecture yesterday.
Mukherjee said it was important for all communities of Sri Lanka to realise that a political settlement "is not a zero-sum game".

"It need not and should not come at the cost of another," he said, citing India's experience of a multi-religious and multi-cultural society.
He said through effective devolution of powers, equal status before constitution and equal access to opportunities, India had ensured that divisive tendencies were addressed in an open and democratic manner.

"Clear separation of powers, rule of law, social justice, secularism, free press and vigilant citizens and civil groups have ensured that threats to your sovereignty from within and without are tackled with an inner strength that can come only through the ballot," Mukherjee said.

On the economic front, Pranab said the Sri Lankan economy was showing a growth path, witnessing a decline in inflation and narrowing of the trade deficit.
At the lecture titled "Economics as a Driving Force of International Relations," the Finance Minister said the Lankan economy had exhibited considerable resilience in the first few months of 2009 despite shocks from the global recession and the resultant slowdown in domestic economic activity.

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