Sept 17, 2007 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s top business chamber wants to create a lobby group to push for peace but at the same times has acknowledged the necessity for a limited military campaign against Tamil Tigers. Mahen Dayananda, Ceylon Chamber of Commerce chairman, said its leaders had recognized it was almost impossible to separate business from the issue of peace on the island.
Ceylon Chamber business leaders had met last Friday morning to look for a positive way forward for a negotiated political settlement acceptable to all to end the ethnic conflict.
Among the important features to emerge from their talks was a view that “we should try to build broad national alliance of like-minded stakeholders to take the message of peace forward in a positive manner,” Dayananda said.
“There is need to achieve national consensus in the short and medium term as opposed to long term,” he told the 153rd annual general meeting of the Planters’ Association, representing plantations firms responsible for Sri Lanka’s main tea, rubber and coconut export crops.
“It was also discussed that limited military engagement should not be ruled out, with a definite emphasis on the word ‘limited’,” Dayananda said.