Sri Lanka attempts to weaken funding networks of LTTE

Mangala Samaraweera

The Sri Lankan government on Wednesday said it was in the process of strengthening diplomatic ties with countries that have worked with Sri Lanka in the past to weaken the financial and support networks of the Tamil Tiger rebels.

Sri Lanka’s Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera told journalists in Colombo that the government was firm in its resolve to combat terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, Xinhua reported.

He said the government agencies maintained close cooperation in intelligence sharing with all interlocutors, particularly those committed to combating terrorism and this includes combating financial networks.

Samaraweera’s comments came a day after former defence secretary Gotabaya Rajapakse and opposition parliamentarians warned that the country’s national security was still at risk after a recent US report claimed that despite its military defeat at the hands of the Sri Lankan government in 2009, the Tamil Tiger’s international network of sympathisers and financial support still persists.

The Sri Lankan military defeated the rebels, better known as the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), in May 2009, bringing to an end a 30-year-long civil war in the island nation.

“This government is firm in its resolve to combat terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. This is, and always will be our consistent policy with regard to terrorism.

“Our nation has been torn apart by acts of terror for several decades in its history,” Samaraweera said in a speech read out in parliament which was later released at a media briefing.

Samaraweera also warned that there was a threat of new forms of terrorism emerging which will be difficult to predict and may be hard to control if Sri Lanka isolates and radicalise aggrieved communities in the country.

(IANS / Pix by AFP)