Sri Lanka business chambers urge unity among politicians

Oct 29, 2008 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s top business chambers have called for political unity to back government efforts to devolve power to minority Tamils and defeat Tiger rebels. The call came in a statement which also urged the government to do more to help civilians displaced by fighting between government forces and Tamil Tigers.

The statement was issued Wednesday by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, National Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka and Ceylon National Chamber of Industries which represent the island’s formal business sector.

They said the government should present its own proposals to solve the ethnic problem, saying any more delay in talks among political parties could create doubts about government intentions.

“The country is currently at a momentous point in its history, where the ethnic strife and terrorism that has plagued it for a nearly three decades has now reached a decisive stage,” the statement said, referring to the military campaign against the Tigers.

The military has advanced deep into Tiger-held areas, inflicting heavy losses on the rebels and forcing them to retreat.

But the Tigers struck back on Tuesday night with two air raid