Rajapaksa claims victory in isolating Tigers Internationally

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 07 November 2007, 14:33 GMT]
Claiming that Sri Lanka has managed to curb overseas operations of the Liberation Tigers of Tamileelam (LTTE) with the assistance of many countries, the Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, presenting the 2008 Budget in the Sri Lankan parliament Wednesday, vowed to "completely eradicate terrorism," if an environment in which a "political solution upholding human rights" in the interest of those who are "still in the grips of terrorists" is to be created. This could not be achieved by taking a divided approach by defaming each other [in the south], by neglecting the needs of the security forces or by ignoring their advise, Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa told the Parliament.

Extracts from the Sri Lankan President's address follow:

Mahinda Rajapaksa on his way to present the budget speech
Mahinda Rajapaksa, delivering budget speech in the Sri Lankan parliament
"Despite the armed strengths and the brutal actions of terror, we were able to rescue the entire Eastern Province, including areas that were in the control of terrorists’ consequent to the so- called ceasefire agreement, through a successful humanitarian operation. We were also able to control the smuggling of arms into the country and restrain illegal fund raising activities undertaken by the LTTE, by strengthening the legal framework. We also managed to curb overseas operations of the LTTE with the assistance of many countries."

"With the attack launched on the Anuradhapura air force camp, the terrorist who are desperate and confined to their camps after having faced continuous defeats, again demonstrated that they will never be ready to surrender arms and agree to a democratic political settlement. In this background, we have no alternative but to eradicate terrorism, if an environment in which a political solution upholding human rights in the interest of those who are still in the grips of terrorists is to be created."

"As a developing country which has faced bitter experiences of brutal terrorism, we cannot underestimate the imminent impact on the stability of our country if we relax road barriers, exposing our intelligence services to be vulnerable, neglect the needs of our security forces or ignore their advise. We have witnessed that the cost of ill effects and destructions laxities outweigh the cost of inconveniences and sacrifices."

"We need to forget personal animosities arising from jalousies and the associated political rivalries when it comes to national security and economic development."

"It is not possible to rectify the mistakes of 30 year and to eliminate associated destructions and enter a path that would help to address the needs of the nation within a short span of time or by taking a divided approach and by defaming each other."

"We must engage in a political process especially to find solutions to the problems faced by the Tamil and Muslim communities who live in the North as well as in the East, parallel to the progress made by our security forces who are engaged in protecting our motherland and liberating Tamils, Muslims and Sinhalese, from the grips of terror."

"I wish to emphasize that the fight against terrorism is not a fight against the Tamil people. It is our duty and responsibility to protect and preserve democratic rights of Tamils, Muslims and Sinhalese in all parts of the island."

"I therefore invite all of you in the opposition to join hands with the Government to move toward with common agenda in the interest of our motherland."



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