The government says despite the end of the war four years ago, a part of the LTTE is still at large and its members will try very hard to restart the conflict in Sri Lanka.
Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa said that it is for this reason that the government will not compromise when it comes to providing security to the nation.
He said this while making the keynote address at the Pakistan – Sri Lanka Joint Seminar on ‘Political and Diplomatic Challenges Faced by Nations during and after Conflict Confined to Borders’ at the Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute of International Relations and Strategic Affairs today.
“Although the LTTE’s military leadership was destroyed during the Humanitarian Operation, it is important to understand that this was only one part of the LTTE’s vast organisation. The rest of the organisation is still at large, and although it has adopted a democratic face in its international dealings, there is no doubt that its members will try very hard to restart the conflict in Sri Lanka. This is a threat that must be guarded against. That is why the Government of Sri Lanka will not compromise when it comes to providing security to the nation,” he said.
He said that the objective of the government in the long term has to be to bring back stability to the country and keeping some degree of security measures in place is essential.
“Especially in countries such as Sri Lanka where the conflict has dragged on for many decades, it would be foolish to expect the situation to normalise completely overnight. At the same time, the government is very keen to remove whatever restrictions had to be in place during the war so that the people feel the benefit of peace as fast as possible. Balancing these two conflicting imperatives-ensuring adequate security and bringing back normalcy as fast as possible-is one of the greatest challenges that a state has to face after a conflict,” he said.
He said that by using modern telecommunication technologies including the internet, activists can reorganise, regroup and pose a threat to the nation’s security once again.
The defence secretary also said that the issue of human rights has become one of the most critical topics in the relationship between states.
He said that the large number of Tamils who migrated to Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and many European nations over the last three decades now comprises a powerful lobby in those countries.
“Because of the many LTTE activists amongst these Tamil expatriates, an incorrect picture about what took place during the Humanitarian Operation is conveyed to their Governments. These Governments in turn exert pressure on Sri Lanka at various forums, including the United Nations Human Rights Council over the last few years. This is a major challenge that the Government has to face not just today but in time to come,” he added. (Colombo Gazette)