Reconciliation "imperative" to Sri Lanka's future

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Maithripala Sirisena. UN Photo/Cia Pak

The reconciliation between former foes in Sri Lanka is "imperative" to the future of the country according to the island nation's president.

Sri Lanka is recovering from more than 25 years of civil conflict in which an estimated 70,000 people died.

Daniel Dickinson has more details.

The long and deadly civil war pitted the majority Sinhalese ethnic group against the Tamil minority in the northeast.

The conflict ended in May 2009.

A UN report published in September identified patterns of what it called grave violations in Sri Lanka between 2002 and 2011.

The report suggested that war crimes and crimes against humanity were most likely committed by both sides to the conflict.

Speaking through an interpreter during the high-level debate of world leaders in the UN General Assembly in New York, Sri Lanka's President Maithripala Sirisena, said reconciliation must go hand in hand with development.

"Our new vision for the country involves achieving the twin objectives of sustainable development and reconciliation. A fundamental requirement in this context is dealing with the past honesty and building a modern Sri Lankan Nation.  It is imperative that Sri Lanka adopts a new social, economic and political approach to rise up to the challenges of the 21st century."

Parliamentary elections took place in August this year.

The UN Secretary-General recognized the people of Sri Lanka for their peaceful and broad-based participation in the election process.

Daniel Dickinson, United Nations

Duration: 1'27"

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