Democracy the loser if terror wins -President
UK: If Sri Lanka failed in the war against the LTTE, the world will
fail in its fight against terrorism and democracy will be the victim,
President Mahinda Rajapaksa said on Tuesday.
"The LTTE is the most brutal terror outfit the world has ever seen
and defeating them requires global support. What Sri Lanka is doing is
fighting the terror outfit single handed to ensure that democracy and
respect for human life prevail in the world," President Rajapaksa told
the Oxford University Student Union on Tuesday, he said.
Calling the LTTE the main obstacle to development in Sri Lanka, the
President said it was time the world raised its united voice to express
its utter revulsion of the barbaric practice of suicide bombings and
that form of political expression, if it could be described as such is
utterly unacceptable in the civilised world.
President Rajapaksa said, unfortunately we are being challenged by
'the most brutal terrorist group in the world' as the LTTE has been
described by the FBI. Suicide killings using even women and children
have become their hallmark. It is this terror group that invented the
deadly suicide vest for the suicide killer. Having pioneered the suicide
vest they have freely given this technology to other terror groups in
the world. This has now become a global menace.
"They killed Rajiv Gandhi, the former Prime Minister of India and
Ranasinghe Premadasa, the former President of Sri Lanka.
Most recently a senior Minister of my Government, a Tamil speaking
Catholic was brutally murdered by a suicide killer along with a former
Olympic athlete among many others participating in a sporting event."
"It has become incumbent upon us to confront this group to the extent
of our ability deploying all the resources of the State to protect the
people of Sri Lanka and their democratic way of life.
However I must state that the LTTE is the most brutal terror outfit
the world has ever seen and defeating them requires global support.
"Although many have said that the LTTE is invincible we have freed our
Eastern Province of their terror. Within one year we have restored
democracy there after nearly two decades. Only last week we conducted
free and fair elections to the first ever Eastern Provincial Council
contested by several political parties.
"As our forces seek to defeat and disarm the LTTE we are firm in our
resolve to have a negotiated solution to the crisis in Sri Lanka. I do
not believe in a military solution. We have attempted talks with the
LTTE on several occasions - thrice since my election as the President -
but they have not reciprocated.
They have always left the talks with lame excuses. We are still ready
to talk once we are certain of their genuine intent for a political
solution and their readiness to give up arms."
Central theme of development:
( The address by President Mahinda Rajapaksa to
the Oxford Union on an invitation of the Oxford Union and the Sri Lankan
Society of Oxford University on Monday.)