LTTE hindered economic growth and development: Rajapaksa

Decades of LTTE insurgency deeply hindered Sri Lanka`s economic growth, with the country failing to realise its potential as a trans-shipment hub of the region, President Mahinda Rajapaksa has said.

Updated: Mar 29, 2010, 15:23 PM IST

Colombo: Decades of LTTE insurgency deeply
hindered Sri Lanka`s economic growth, with the country failing
to realise its potential as a trans-shipment hub of the
region, President Mahinda Rajapaksa has said.

Addressing a rally ahead of the April 8 polls, Rajapaksa
said Sri Lanka`s geographical position as a trans-shipment hub
had not been utilised in the past and the government is
developing the infrastructure to boost the economy.

"Now we have initiated power plants such as Norochcholai,
Upper Kotmale, Kerawalapitiya etc in addition five harbours,
new Airports, Highways, irrigation schemes, concreted roads
for villages, are coming up," he told the rally.

Rajapaksa said that his government took the task of
uniting the country when they came into power in 2005.

"When we took over the country (in 2005) it was severely
fragmented with North and East bearing the brunt. Two thirds
of our coastline was lost and the terrorist (LTTE) dominated
an area which was 20 times the size of Singapore," he said.

"At the time I got a Government which could not even
appoint its own Speaker. People even failed to identify a
terrorist as a terrorist out of fear. However, we did not
deter in the face of such heavy odds," he said at the rally in
the gem-mining Ratnapura on Sunday.

"We accelerated the process to save the Motherland and
enlisted the support of all like minded. We saved the country
and united the people, as was expected by them," state-owned
news agency quoted the President as saying.

Meanwhile, troops recovered a huge consignment of
explosives in Wanni. The forces recovered 80 Kg of RDX, 20 Kg
of C-4 explosives and other items in Mulliyawellai,
Puthukkudiyirippu and Udhayakattukulam on Saturday.

PTI