Thursday, August 7, 2008

'Denying LTTE access to INGO, NGO materials critical' says Secretary Defence

Secretary Defence Mr. Gotabhaya Rajapaksa yesterday (August 6) said that denying LTTE access to INGO and NGO material was a critical element in Sri Lanka's efforts to destroy the terrorist group. He had stated this while speaking to 'The Island' drawing concerns over the use of heavy vehicles belonging to the Norwegian People's Aid (NPA) by LTTE for terror activities.

Also, adding insights to the military situation at the Wanni front the outspoken official asserted that, "the success of military actions would depend on a cohesive strategy to deny them not only arms, ammunition and recruitment but fuel and vehicles too. The LTTE had made use of heavy vehicles which were forcibly taken by the NPA and this is by no mean an isolated case, he was quoted as saying.

"The international community had repeatedly called for unrestricted access for INGOs and NGOs operating in the Northern and Eastern Provinces. I have on many occasions pointed out the fallacy of their position. Recent confirmation of NPA vehicles in the LTTE's hands had underscored the urgent need to tighten controls", Secretary Defence was cited as saying.

The IASC (Inter-Agency Standing Committee) recently demanded the LTTE to return NPA vehicles.

While, welcoming the IASC statement issued through the UN Office in Colombo, he emphasised that there was absolutely no doubt the vehicles had been used for transportation of cadres, arms and equipment and building of obstacles to thwart the army advancing on the Wanni fronts, The Island reported.

"The tigers would be desperately trying to take anything they could lay their hands on as armed forces intensified pressure on multiple fronts. The NPA vehicles wouldn't have ended up in the hands of the LTTE had the INGOs and NGOs removed vehicles which weren't needed in the LTTE held area" he was quoted further saying.

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