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Sri Lankan gov't pledges to protect against separatist elements at upcoming elections


19:30, July 16, 2013

COLOMBO, July 16 (Xinhua) -- Pending elections in the former war-torn northern part of Sri Lanka will not be used as an opportunity to divide the country, pledged a minister here on Tuesday.

Technology, Research and Atomic Energy Minister Champika Ranwaka addressing a gathering of soldier families recalled the sacrifices made by their family members to winning a three decade war in Sri Lanka.

In 2009 government forces militarily defeated the Liberation Tamil Tigers of Eelam (LTTE) and the former war-torn north is now preparing for its first provincial council election in decades.

However, Ranawaka insisted that the government would not allow political parties that were supportive of the LTTE's divisive policies to triumph at the upcoming elections.

"The way to honor war heroes is not only by remembering them but also by protecting what they fought for, which is the sovereignty of this country. We pledge that we will not let other organizations destroy this country and bring about what the LTTE tried to do for 30 years. That determination should be converted into a national determination," he stressed during his speech.

He also called on the masses to support the government's push for economic development so that the results of the peace can be enjoyed by everyone.

"We are already a middle income country. By 2016 we have targeted to become a country with a per capita income of 4,000 U.S. dollars. This is a very difficult task. For that we need an economy that produces innovative products and services, which can create niche high end markets and increase the amount of exports from our country," he added.

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