Daily Archives: June 4, 2007
The LTTE has launched an attack ahead of the Vauvniya Forward Defence Line (FDL) on Sunday around 9.00 a.m and the attack has been reportedly continued till last morning.
According to the Media Center for the National Security (MCNS), after successfully repulsing the attack, the Army retaliated against LTTE positions. The LTTE has suffered heavy losses including 52 deaths. A large number of LTTE cadres were reported to be injured.
It is also reported that the terrorists have involved child soldiers in the attack. It is also reported that unable to counter the Army, the LTTE carders have fled from the battlefield leaving a haul of arms and ammunition behind.
According to Security sources, 10 security personnel have been killed and 20 sustained injuries.
Army is conducting search and clear operations in the areas ahead of the FDL.
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Text of Speech by Hon. Rohitha Bogollagama, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sri Lanka at the Fourth Plenary Session on “Securing Regional Waters: How Much Progress” at the 6th Shangri La Dialogue, 3rd June 2007
Sri Lanka is indeed happy to be participating for the first time in the Shangri-La Dialogue – one of the foremost security forums in the world, where countries in the region have an opportunity to focus on security challenges, with key international players representing States, non-governmental organisations as well as the academic community. It is a forum, which seeks to address challenges in order to make our region a safer place to live, to do business in and to explore the full potential of our respective states.
Addressing you in this session “Securing Regional Waters: How Much Progress”, I trust it would be pertinent to present Sri Lanka’s perspective on maritime security in the region and its relevance to the world. This seems pertinent since Sri Lanka is at the crossroads of the Indian Ocean which lies in the midst of 3 continents.
Today the world is menaced by terrorism both global and regional. Most countries have had to deal with this scourge at some time or other, resulting in death and destruction and for some of us it is a daily challenge. In Sri Lanka, unfortunately, since 1975, we have to grapple with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), a ruthless, fascist organization which seeks to carve out a separate mono-ethnic state by dismembering one third of the land mass and two thirds of the country’s coast line. In the process the LTTE has left behind a trail of atrocities. Among its some 60,000 victims are Prime Minister Shri Rajiv Gandhi of India, President Ranasinghe Premadasa of Sri Lanka, as well as two generations of Tamil and Sinhala politicians and academics of Sri Lanka including former Opposition Leader A. Amirthalingam, Tamil intellectual and constitutional expert Dr. Neelan Thiruchelvam and Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar, whose only fault was their refusal to yield to the tyranny of the LTTE and abandon the democratic path. Today the Tamil community of Sri Lanka has been left bereft of moderate leaders due to the methodical process of elimination adopted by the LTTE during the past three decades.
The LTTE’s state of the art international propaganda, fundraising, procurement and shipping networks, have been able to procure both war and war related equipment with relative ease. The organization boasts of having maintained a vast global network since the mid-1980s with political/propaganda offices and cells in some 54 countries. It generates annual revenue of US $ 10-30 Million per month largely through extortion of the over 1 million strong Tamil diaspora and clandestine operations carried out in host countries. However, unlike most terrorist organizations, the LTTE is one of the few terrorist organizations in the world with proven maritime capability, owning a substantial number of ships sailing across the oceans under the flags of different countries which, alongside traditional trading activity, engages in smuggling of military hardware. The LTTE has also established a naval combat unit known as the ‘Sea Tigers’.
Thus Sri Lanka confronts what Terrorism expert and Chief Scientist at the Centre for Asymmetric Threat Studies at the Swedish National Defence College Dr Magnus Ranstorp has described as “[LTTE is] probably the most sophisticated terrorist organization in the world.”
Sea Tigers’ : A Regional Threat Read the rest of this entry
Indian Defence Minister A. K. Anthony assured Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama, that the Indian Government was agreeable to conduct coordinated patrols of the maritime boundary between India and Sri Lanka in the Palk Straits.
Modalities for this deployment will be worked out between the two sides. In March 2007, in a letter addressed to the Prime Minister of India, President Mahinda Rajapakse had proposed such a mechanism in order to prevent attacks on fisherman by the Libetarion Tigers of Tami Eelam (LTTE) in the area and the transporting of material supplies to the LTTE.
The matter was also taken up during Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapakse’s visit to New Delhi last week.
During the meeting, the two Ministers discussed current developments in restoring normalcy in the East, as well as in the Jaffna Peninsula. The Indian Government said that it will resume construction of the Kankesanthurai harbour following Minister Bogollagama informing that the security situation in the Peninsula had improved considerably. The Minister said that the development of the harbour to its full potential will facilitate the transport of supplies to the Jaffna Peninsula, including directly from India.
The two sides also discussed developments that had arisen since the recent air attacks by the LTTE. The Indian Defence Minister assured that his government will continue to strengthen Sri Lanka’s air defence capability and noted that an Indian team was currently in Sri Lanka for this purpose.
Minister Bogollagama also referred to recent reports appearing in the media on comments made regarding arms purchases by Sri Lanka. Minister Anthony said India appreciated Sri Lanka being transparent in the purchasing of its defence equipment.
The Foreign Minister also briefed Minister Anthony on the present status of negotiations at evolving a southern consensus for the settlement of the present conflict. He observed that the All Party Representative Committee (APRC) was presently working on developing a consensus proposal for this purpose, taking into account concerns expressed by all parties.
last Saturday (June 2), Minister Bogollagama held a meeting with the British Minister for Armed Forces Adam Ingram. Minister Ingram appreciated the efforts being made by the Government to counter the terrorist threat posed by the LTTE. Minister Ingram, who had previously been the Secretary for Northern Ireland, supported the British endorsement that the search for a political settlement should be found to resolve such problem.
Referring to the recent British House of Commons debate on Sri Lanka, Minister Bogollagama told the British Minister that regrettably many who spoke failed to appreciate the complexities of the Sri Lankan situation. Ingram said he would personally appraise Members on the recently formed group of Sri Lanka’s perspective on the issue, and encouraged that the Government of Sri Lanka does so as well. …via Upali Newspapers
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Foreign Minister urges governments to remain focused on the complexities the Government of Sri Lanka faces in grappling with LTTE terrorism
Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama on Sunday (3 June 2007) appealed to Defense Ministers and Military Commanders attending the Annual IISS Asian Security Summit – The Shangri-La Dialogue, to ensure that their governments remain focused on the complexities the Government of Sri Lanka faces in grappling with terrorism of the LTTE and not to permit the LTTE to use their territories or waters to continue to terrorize the people of Sri Lanka.
Leading the Sri Lanka delegation which was participating for the first time in this influential defense forum which is being held for the 6th time, the Minister underscored the threat posed to Sri Lanka, countries in the region and maritime users of the Indian Ocean by the attacks of the LTTE. Referring to the arms smuggling activities of the LTTE carried out using a number of LTTE ships flying under different flags, the Minister asked, “How are they able to bring these to Sri Lanka ? They pass through several ports. There are loading ports, discharging ports and transiting ports. They sometimes come in containers.” He said “This chain has to be arrested, and towards this end Sri Lanka needed international and bilateral cooperation from other countries which could destroy the worldwide activities of the LTTE’’. The Minister said the LTTE’s supply chain and funding must be severed to end the conflict in Sri Lanka.
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