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DateLine Sunday, 16 September 2007

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Well done Sri Lanka Navy!

The Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) achieved one of its greatest victories when they destroyed three ships that were carrying arms and other military hardware for the terrorists. In doing so, the nation's brave sailors destroyed nine of the ten Tiger ships.

It was not merely a random success but an end result of several months of intelligence and monitoring of the Sea Tiger activities and movement of their agents. It has now come to light that the LTTE had been using some of their ships to hold arms. Due to the continued threat posed by the Lankan Security Forces, the Tigers preferred to store their arms and ammunition on board their vessels on the high seas.

The terrorists had even used some of their friendly vessels for refuelling while the arms ships were on the high seas. Nevertheless, the Security Forces and intelligence sources had been closely monitoring this exercise and eventually inflicted heavy losses on the enemy.

One of the key factors that played a vital role in the recent Security Forces' success against the Tiger terrorists had been their dexterity in cutting off supply routes of the LTTE. The transportation of arms and ammunition had never been this difficult for the Sea Tigers.

With the backing of our regional big brother, India and several other South East Asian nations, Sri Lanka has been successful in dealing with illegal LTTE sea activities. With the continued surveillance maintained by the SLN, Sri Lanka has cut most of the LTTE supply routes.

Unlike in the past, where the LTTE made use of the controversial Ceasefire Agreement (CFA) to move freely and smuggle arms and ammunition to fill their armoury, the Tigers are now facing a severe problem to maintain their military supplies.

There was a time when the LTTE operated in several South East Asian countries such as Indonesia, Thailand and Singapore in a big way. All those activities have now come to a virtual standstill.

On the direction of President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremenayake made official visits to South East Asia and as a result all those countries too are now backing Sri Lanka in its struggle against terrorism.

Having liberated the entire Eastern Province from the vicious clutches of Velupillai Prabhakaran's ruthless acts of terrorism, the valiant Security Forces have taken the first step against the barbarian acts of the Tigers in the North. Liberating Silawatura was the first move.

The Security Forces will face a gigantic task in eliminating the entire Tiger power in the North. But a legitimate Government cannot turn a blind eye when a group of terrorists unleash misery on innocent civilians through barbarian acts. Like the people in the East, who have now been liberated, innocent civilians too should be rescued. They too have a right to live in harmony, just as any other citizen in this country.

Following the liberation of the East, most people in the North too have now realised that the Government's battle is not against the Tamils but to eliminate a ruthless group of terrorists who are intent on bringing misery to their own community.

Hence, it's now opportune that all Sri Lankans, irrespective of their ethnicity or political backgrounds, should unite to eliminate terrorism and protect our motherland.

The Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) may not back the Government or its various moves. But they are one hundred percent with President Rajapaksa in supporting the Government's battle against terrorism and protecting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Sri Lanka. This is precisely how it should be as the country should always take precedence over other political agendas.

It's indeed a pity that the United National Party (UNP) has not understood this stark truth and continues to work towards their political goals at a time the country expects them to act like a responsible opposition. The UNP by all means could retain its own identity and political vision but they should back the Government in this hour of need in matters relating to national security.

The UNP and its leader, Ranil Wickremesinghe should even at this late stage, see things in its correct perspective. Nobody would ask them to support the Government in every move. When the nation needs all political parties to unite to protect the country's sovereignty and eliminate terrorism, the UNP cannot be blind to reason.

If the UNP is sincerely interested in protecting our country and its people, they should act as a responsible opposition and back the Government on matters pertaining to national security.

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Gamin Gamata - Presidential Community & Welfare Service
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