|“Stay out,” defiant PM tells West|
|Monday, 19 May 2008|
COLOMBO: A defiant Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake Saturday insisted that the Western World should stay out of Sri Lanka’s internal issues. Addressing a seminar organised by the Pakistani High Commission at the BMICH, Wickremanayake said that Sri Lanka had more trusted friends like Pakistan and therefore did not need to bow down to the West, which he said wanted the island to dance like a puppet.
“The Western world threatened us with sanctions if we did not negotiate with the LTTE despite the West itself fighting a war against terrorism. The LTTE has destroyed many civilian lives but the West wants us to talk peace with them,” he said, questioning why the West was adopting such double standards.
“They are fighting against Osama bin Laden who has threatened the West today, but they don’t want the Sri Lankan Government to fight against one of the world’s most dangerous terrorist outfits,” he said. The defiant Prime Minister declared that Sri Lanka would not go down on its knees to please the West and would continue to fight against the terrorists with friends like Pakistan.
“Terrorism is a sickness that is spreading in this part of the world and both our countries are suffering. But the west demands that we talk to terrorists even though they are not willing to lay down their arms,” he said, questioning, “When we lay down our arms, do they lay down their arms?
The Prime Minister emphasised, “We will try our best to defend the security of our country because we have to fight our own battles and added that the duty of our Armed Forces is to wipe out terrorism.
Meanwhile, fighting continued in the north, with the military on Saturday claiming that its forces “engaged in counter-terrorist offensives to liberate Wanni” and reached the Palampiddi junction in Vavuniya district. In recent days, the military has claimed to have made substantial advance in LTTE-held areas in Mannar and Vavuniya districts. In April, the military moved into areas in the vicinity of Madu church in Mannar district.
A Defence ministry statement claimed that that troops reached to Palampiddi junction without much resistance as the LTTE cadres had fled.
“Troops are now consolidating the area, and unearthing anti-personnel mines and booby traps,” it said. The Ministry said on reaching Palampiddi , “the war on terror to liberate Wanni’s civilians has also reached a significance phase. The soldiers in Vavuniya front are moving further into LTTE territory,” it added.
Military officials said at least sixteen Tamil Tiger rebels had been killed in the clashes. They said three soldiers were injured in the fighting, which took place mostly on the front lines that surround territory held by the Tamil rebels.
In addition to the ground battles, they said, air force jets on Saturday bombed rebel positions in the district of Mullaitivu.
There's been no comment from the Tamil Tigers and the government claims could not be independently verified.
Separately, the military said 16 civilians were injured when a suspected LTTE terrorist exploded a grenade in Vavuniya town. Four people suffered severe injuries, police said.
According to police, the hand grenade was thrown at a Special Task Force vehicle but it missed the target and hit at civilians and a passenger bus, police said.
The attack, police said, was carried out by the LTTE.
Meanwhile, the LTTE website carried a report alleging that the Air Force carried out extensive bombing near Kilinochchi on Friday night.(Courtesy : South Asia Media Net )
|Last Updated ( Sunday, 04 January 2009 )|
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