Taliban assures Sri Lanka on security of Buddhist sites

The Taliban has assured Sri Lanka that Buddhist sites in Afghanistan will not be at risk under a Taliban-led administration.

Speaking exclusively to Daily Mirror, Taliban spokesman and international negotiator Suhail Shaheen said that the Taliban also had no links to the LTTE.

“We don’t have any links to the Tamil Tigers. We are an independent liberation force which struggled against foreign occupation for the last 20 years for the liberation of our country, Afghanistan,” Shaheen said.

Shaheen briefly spoke to Daily Mirror from Doha even as the Taliban captured major cities in Afghanistan and was at the gates of the capital Kabul yesterday. The spokesman said that they were negotiating with the Afghanistan government for a peaceful transfer of power.

The world’s tallest Buddha statue, which was located in Afghanistan’s Bamiyan valley, was destroyed by the Taliban in March, 2001. Sri Lanka was among the countries that condemned the destruction of the ancient sandstone carvings. There are now fears the return of the Taliban to power will pose a threat to Buddhist sites.

However, Shaheen insisted that Buddhist sites in Afghanistan will not be at risk under a Taliban-led administration. “Buddhist sites in Afghanistan are not at risk, I refute any claim in this regard,” he said.

He also said that Sri Lanka should not consider the Taliban as terrorists. “We are freedomfighters of Afghanistan like your ancestors who struggled for liberation of your country. But we are victims of poisonous propaganda,” Shaheen said.

The Taliban seized nearly all of Afghanistan in just over a week following the withdrawal of US troops.

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  1. Easwaran wants to help the government to divert the real issues in Sri Lanka. The LTTE has gone; does not matter anymore, if it had links with Taliban or CIA. This how Sri Lanka media works. Ask Daily Mirror to write about the politicians’ extravagant financial success, it will never say a word. Corrupt media and political leadership. This is why South Asian country will not become a developed country. Everybody fakes it with the help of Western countries. This is how the West dominate them. But in contrast the West classifieds RT and Chinese media ‘State Controlled Media.’

    Taliban was trained and equipped by the CIA to defeat Russia. The LTTE was trained and equipped by India to control Sri Lanka then the West hijacked the LTTE from India to impose the Western interests in the Indian Ocean. The Taliban and LTTE were fighting the proxy war. Gandhi didn’t fight for other countries, Nelson Mandela didn’t fight for other countries, and Martin Luther King Junior didn’t fight for other countries, because they were wise leaders. They understand the difference between proxy war and freedom fight. Only fools believe proxy war as a freedom fight.

    • Perhaps we should be more understanding of the plight of reporters in Sri Lanka. It is not pleasant being under constant threat, simply, because of your profession. Although I sometimes lament the standard of journalism in Sri Lanka, I am well aware of the need for prudence in the mainstream media

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