No need for public apology for July’83 pogroms - Peiris
[TamilNet, Friday, 25 July 2003, 15:52 GMT]
Though the July 1983 pogroms against the Tamil people in Sri Lanka have left an “indelible scar,” no purpose would be served by making a public apology or regret by the United National Front government for it, said Mr. G. L. Peiris, the Sri Lankan Cabinet spokesman, in response to a question from a foreign correspondent in Colombo, the Jaffna-based Tamil daily, Uthayan, reported Friday.
The journalist had asked Mr. Peiris that, in the current environment of peace, would it not be appropriate for the UNF government to make a public apology and assuage the victims? Mr. Peiris added in his reply that only financial compensation might assuage the victims, and that mere words would not provide anything constructive, the Uthayan said.
Press reports have widely said, however, that a vast majority of the victims of the 1983 pogroms have not received any financial compensation for their loss.
Meanwhile, the Sri Lanka Army’s Chief of Staff, Major General Lohan Gunawardene, has said that the SLA will recruit 5000 additional soldiers next month, the Uthayan reported on Friday, quoting press reports.
According to the Chief of Staff, there is currently a vacancy of 17,000 soldiers, and after recruiting the first batch of 5000 soldiers next month, new recruitments will be made to fill the vacancy periodically in the future.