TOKYO, May 19, 2009 (AFP) – Japan, Sri Lanka’s largest aid donor and the holder of two thirds of its foreign debt, on Tuesday “welcomed the end of the civil war” in the island-nation, the prime minister’s office said. Prime Minister Taro Aso spoke by telephone with Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse, who had earlier announced the final defeat of the separatist Tamil Tigers, the Japanese premier’s office said in a statement.
“Prime Minister Aso welcomed the end of the civil war between the Sri Lankan government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE),” it said.
Aso had said that “it is now important to help internally displaced people and their resettlement as well as to start showing improvement in the political process towards peace-building,” the statement said.
Rajapakse had said his government would start removing landmines in the northern region and build new infrastructure, the statement said.
“Aso outlined that poverty was one of the factors that create fertile ground for terrorism and said he would like to see Sri Lanka build infrastructure, adding that Japan would support Sri Lanka’s efforts as much as possible,” it said.
The telephone talk was held at the request of