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Lankans praised for firm stance against terrorism

CALIFORNIA: “Sri Lanka is nearer to peace more than any period before and the Sri Lankans should be praised for the firm stand in voting and supporting a Government that fights terrorism,” said US expert on Global Terrorism and Security Aspects, Prof. Peter M. Leitner of the George Mason University and Higgins Counter-terrorism Research Centre.

Prof. Leitner was speaking at the 59th Independence Day celebrations of Sri Lanka organised by the Sri Lanka Patriots in Los Angeles, California at a memorial auditorium devoted to war veterans.

Professor Leitner said, this is in sharp contrast to Spaniards who voted their Government out of office for consenting to send combat troops to fight terrorism. “The terrorists hide behind a veil of freedom fighting which they try to sell to the west and commit the most inhumane atrocities to all citizenry”.

“Terrorism in any part of the world is directly or indirectly linked to other acts of terrorism taking place anywhere. The suicide bombings and other attacks from improvised mechanisms by groups such as the LTTE terrorists are copied and developed for sophistication by other terrorists in the region.

“The terror groups should be made to understand that their methodologies would not succeed. However it is up to the Government to offer redemption to the brainwashed LTTE fighters and convince them that there is a greater life than terrorism,” the Professor said.

The western federalism as practised in US is quite different from that which is expected by Federalists in Sri Lanka. The important powers are retained at the center in US.

He said that considering the size, nature and the location of the country, Sri Lanka should continue to be a unitary State to ensure a meaningful sovereignty.

The professor said the aspirations of a nation cannot be identified in terms of ethnicity.

“The Government must offer redemption to the LTTE fighters and convince them that there is a greater life than terrorism. The enemies of the world wars, Japan and Germany are present day great allies of the US. Military operations should be furthered only towards a political solution, where the hearts and minds of a people rest,” he said.

Ven. Dr. Beligalle Dhammajothy Thera of the Ruhunu University described the survival of Lanka in the face of many invasions from South India and the 450 years of western domination prior to independence.

“We are a nation who fought for self-defence and to safeguard the essence of our culture.

“We are still a nation of a proud heritage, which is adequately written, expressed and spoken of by eminent scholars inspite of mass scale plunder and destruction of our wealth and assets, the Thera said. The organisation honoured outstanding Lankans who have performed selfless service to the Lankan expatriate community at large and who have consistently stood by a unitary Lanka.

The criteria for the award was the transcendence of one’s individuality towards the betterment of others, said Sri Lankan Patriots Secretary Ven. Aparekke Punnyasiri Thera.

The awardees were Rev. Fr. Flavian Wilathgamuwa, Journalists Walter Jayawardhene and late Deeptha Leelarathne. The late Leelaratne’s son Sahan Gamage accepted the award.

 

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