Sri Lanka war was not against Tamils: Rajapaksa

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Colombo, June 18: President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Wednesday said the war in Sri Lanka was never against the Tamil community but against terrorism.

The president said this when he met Asian Development Bank (ADB) president here, Xinhua quoted Rajapaksa's office as saying.

Rajapaksa briefed Nakao on Sri Lanka's development after it militarily crushed the Tamil Tigers in 2009.

The president explained how the government immediately attended to the resettlement of the thousands of Tamils displaced from their homes because of the war between the government and the Tamil Tigers.

"The war was never against the Tamil community, it was against terrorism," Rajapaksa said.

Rajapaksa provided Nakao details on the development projects the government undertook after the war to develop the war-ravaged Northern Province, the main war theatre.

"You must go and see the development yourself," the president told Nakao.

Sri Lanka joined the ADB as a founding member in 1966. According to the ADB, from then until the end of last year, the bank has provided $6.17 billion in lending and $358 million in grants.

The ADB supports Sri Lanka in the sectors of energy, roads, water supply and sanitation, education and skills development, post-conflict reconstruction and water resource management.

"Sri Lanka's social indicators are among the best in South Asia, " the ADB states on its website. "The country has achieved near universal literacy, and has a comparatively low poverty level."

Economic growth has been steady since the military conflict ended, but slowed in 2012. Growth had, however, picked up strongly again by the third quarter of 2013.

IANS

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