Tuesday, October 21, 2008

TN politicos not aware of ground realities - Defence Secretary

Sri Lankan Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa says the LTTE is on the edge of defeat, which is why they're trying to get Indian politicians to pressurise the Sri Lankan Government.
He told CNN-IBN it's unfair of politicians to put pressure without looking at the ground realities.
The Sri Lankan Defence Sectretary said that the Lanka is hostility terrorists and not any particular section of the society.
"Yes, this has been happening for the past two and a half years now. We cleared the Eastern province and transferred power to the people. Now in the Northern Province they are restricted to 20 per cent of the area. They are on the verge of defeat. You must remember that what we are doing is to defend our own citizens. We are not hostility any section of the community but fighting terrorists," Rajapaksa said.
About the politicians in Tamil Nadu voicing protests and concerns for the Tamils in Sri Lanka, he said. "They are not aware of the ground realities. For the first time in the world the Sri Lankan Army has adopted the concept of zero civilian casualties. We are very worried about civilian casualties. Minimise casualties are the orders.
We take time; we don't use haphazard fire or aerial attacks.
The LTTE is using pictures which they have created. The UN has confirmed that the aerial attacks we did were very precise," he added.
About the visit of Indian External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee, the Sri Lankan Defence Secretary said, "We have a cordial and close association with the Indian Government.
Our administrators meet and speak often. We understand the problems of the Central Government when the TN Government puts force on them. Remember though they are called LTTE controlled areas they are only controlling with weapons. The administration is carried about by the Sri Lankan Government. We run schools, hospitals etc," Gotabhaya added.
He also imparted information about the operation against LTTE. "It is in progress. There is heavy rain, bad weather.
We have breached their obstacles and its progressing well. Remember that we know still there are civilians there. We get time to move forward," he said.
He denied the accusation that many Tamil civilians had been displaced.
"When the troops move forward, civilians move south and east. I am sure as that's happened previously. We look after them, we give them shelter and within one year we resettle them and rebuild their houses. It is a record time,"
He also expressed his angst at the political parties in India pressurizing the Indian government to step up pressure on the Sri Lankan government.
"They do it without understanding the ground realities. We know LTTE sympathisers are based in Tamil Nadu. We do not proceed without considering the dilemma of the Tamil civilians and are aware that these are Sri Lankan citizens. It is the blame of the Sri Lankan government to look after these people.
We cannot allow this to go on. Remember that this terrorist organisation killed one of India's loved leaders Rajiv Gandhi. Tamil Nadu politicians have forgotten that." About the discussions to be held with the Indian External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Gotabhaya said, "The president of Sri Lanka beam to the Indian Prime Minister. We went to show them that what we are doing, what steps we have taken to give them with food and medicine."
Rajapaksa said that the populace of Sri Lanka have suffered for long and India must help it to end the suffering of the people.
Elections in the Tamil under enemy control areas are not a priority but developing the area is, Gotabhaya said.

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