Sri Lanka lost $200 billion due to terrorism

1 03 2009
Source: Financial Times

By Quintus Perera

Terrorism has cost Sri Lanka over $200 billion in terms of low business confidence, investors shying away and tourism suffering while, pressure exerted on the currency and borrowing has also become difficult, according to the country’s foreign secretary.

Dr Palitha T.B. Kohona, Secretary to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, making a presentation on “Sri Lanka – Progress Towards Peace and Prosperity” as the keynote speaker at the Rotary District Conference last week, said however that the country’s resilience has risen to these challenges. He said successive governments have continued the process of ensuring economic development amidst vast difficulties.

He said the country continued to advance economically and considerable success has been demonstrated in accomplishing the Millennium Development Goals, as agreed at the UN Millennium Summit in 2000 which aims at reducing poverty and improving the lives of people. He said that poverty in Sri Lanka has dropped.

Dr Kohona said that despite the adverse publicity and the determined efforts (by terrorists) to destroy the country, even from within, Sri Lanka received a record level of FDI in excess of US $ 800 million in 2007.
He observed the cynical willingness of some to accept allegations made by organizations overtly sympathetic to the LTTE and some NGOs, who have a vested interest in continuing their operations in the country which is a tourist haven.

Nalin Fernando, Governor, Rotary International District 3220, Sri Lanka elaborated on Rotary’s social and humanitarian activities carried out in Sri Lanka while Aziz Memon, Representative of the Rotary International President from Pakistan made a detailed presentation of Rotary International activities.