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‘Separatism is still alive’ warns Sri Lankan president

Sri Lanka’s president warned that the belief of separatism still exists in Sri Lanka and in international forum, calling on more to be done to tackle it.

“Today, we are gathered here because deep down we know that we have a problem in this country,” he told a convention in Colombo this week. “The ethnic and religious conflicts in this country resulted in a 30-year war. The war was ended through a military solution.”

“Our Forces were able to defeat a separatist terrorist organisation but we have not managed to defeat the beliefs that led to it,” Mr Sirisena said, adding that “though the idea of separatism has not been openly dealt within the country.”

Daily News reported Mr Sirisena as stating that separatism “was very much alive in international fora”.

The Sri Lankan leader’s comments come as talks on a new constitution for the island continue. A debate by Sri Lanka's Constitutional Assembly that was due to be held this week was postponed after MPs failed to arrive.

The Interim Report was initially debated in October amid criticism from Sinhala political groups, Buddhist clergy, military personnel and the Sri Lankan Bar Association regarding the process of formulating a new constitution, arguing that it will pave the way for federalism.