People of Germany and for that matter even the international community though are willing to help Sri Lanka, they ask the question as to why should support countries that spend more on arms than on schools and hospitals. This was stated by Ambassador of Germany in Sri Lanka Jurgen Weert at the 15th Business for Peace Forum of the Business for Peace Initiative of the Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry in Sri Lanka (FCCISL) on the theme Maintaining the Balance of Peace Building and Economic Growth in Sri Lanka: The German Perspective ,
The German Ambassador further said that Germans have decided to concentrate the support on those countries which are focused on their country s welfare and building better future for all its citizens and to determine whether this is the case, they have established a number of benchmarks such as respect for human rights, the rule of law and all that entails participation of citizens in the political process a market economy framework that pays attention to social needs a government policy and action that is geared to building a better future for everyone.
He said that foreign investors would not be interested in Sri Lanka when Sri Lankans themselves have lost faith in their own country. Mr. Weerth said Many Sri Lankan business people are investing in Bangladesh so how can you convince us to invest here?
The German Ambassador also said that European countries disagreed with the Sri Lankan government on two grounds.
We do not believe in a military solution for the present ethnic conflict but only in a political solution and no compromise on human rights. The war is popular and many political ideas are based on winning. Thus they cannot convince tax payers at home to give consistent support to uplift this country if they believe that democratic values do not continue to be shared.. EU is disappointed and sad at the misery of this country and the solutions were in the hands of Sri Lankans themselves. All your partners are standing by your side, but we are in hibernation waiting for things to develop as we will not interfere. .
Sri Lanka does not exploit its potential resources and manpower as they should. The manpower in Sri Lanka is extraordinary and they can do so much better Mr. Weerth reiterated.
He said that the key to prosperity and development of Europe is due to the linkage between economics and politics. This model worked so well that countries soon wanted to work together in other areas. Cooperation steadily intensified. Today, the European Union has 27 member states and a population of 500 million people. It accounts for a quarter of the world s GNP and plays a constructive role on the world state.
Mr. Weerth said that unity is the key lesson that they have drawn from more than half a century. To be successful, you have to do certain things together. That was true in 1950 and it is even more true today at a time of rapid globalization. In Europe, we have achieved major successes, but there is also another side of the story. It is important to understand that there are great differences between the member states.
He said that conflict prevention cannot be looked at in isolation. Matters of conflict prevention and peacekeeping are inextricably tied to issues of entrenching peace and stability, good governance, the deepening of democracy and concrete efforts towards sustainable social and economic development.
The strengthening of democratic governance is not simply a matter for the state, but it is important for civil society in its NGO s and organizations of the people and of course the private businesses to ensure that democracy is living reality and that political freedom is a right that is protected and asserted.
He pointed that wherever violent conflict exists, human poverty, income poverty and social exclusion are on the rise. Poverty and conflicts feed on each other and inevitably worsen the governance situation. Wars do cause enormous damages physical, human, economic and social.
He said that Europe needs to do more than in the past to open up their markets especially to agricultural products and need to eliminate own agricultural subsidies. We cannot call on our Asian partners to open up their markets and liberalize their economies and at the same time keep our own markets closed to the products that you can produce better or at a lower price. Free access to the markets of OECD countries would mean for the developing countries an estimated USD 100 billion in additional revenues. Those countries deserve more than a future as commodity suppliers.