Secretary Defence Briefs Diplomats

Secretary Defence and Urban Development Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa made a special address today (08th) at the special workshop for Sri Lankan ambassadors and heads of missions conducted by the Ministry of External Affairs at Sri Lanka Military Academy in Diyatalawa.

The special workshop began at the Sri Lanka Military Academy in Diyatalawa yesterday (07th July). His Excellency the President Mahinda Rajapaksa graced the occasion as the chief guest.

During his speech the Secretary Defence explained in detail the actual ground situation during the final stages of the humanitarian operations and how the government and the security forces rescued nearly three hundred thousand innocent civilians who were held captive by the LTTE as a human shield by opening up a safe corridor in the front line through which water and medical aid were sent in and the wounded and the sick were evacuated through air and sea.

He further said that how even during the last stage the LTTE exhibited their inhumanness by using suicide bombings to stop the fleeing civilians and mentioned the Vishwamadu incident where an LTTE suicide bombing claimed a number of innocent civilians lives including that of women and children and also military personnel.

Secretary Defence stated that all road blocks and check points had now been removed and people are free to travel anywhere in the country without restrictions and that more than 53000 members of the Tamil Diaspora, NGO s and foreign diplomats who have visited the island and traveled to the North and have seen the present situation. They have seen first hand the government’s efforts in the rebuilding and reconstruction process especially in the North and East and also the progress in the rehabilitation and reintegration of ex -LTTE cadres.

As a measure of national security only a part of the Palaly Camp is maintained at present and the government had taken measures to remove the surrounding 17 grama seva areas from the area, he stated. The Secretary Defence further added that the Tamil Diaspora dared to raise a resenting voice during the terror reign of pirabaharan when innocent Tamil civilians were held captive.

He said that opportunity will be given to north and east youth and also ex-cadres during enlistment to man new police stations which are being established. They could join hands with the Civil Security force in the development drive while doing a prestigious service and assist in the development of their areas. Not only former senior ex-LTTE leaders who are involved in national and provincial level politics but there is chance for others to involve in local councils in the future he added.

At present new schools are being built, old ones are being renovated. Road network is being upgraded, destroyed railroads are being relayed, bridges and culvers are being rebuilt. A small faction of the international media with vested interest is involved in slandering Sri Lanka with false allegations and carrying on the separatist agenda. The international community should be made aware of the peaceful and prosperous state of the minority community of Sri Lanka, the Defence Secretary reiterated.

Chief of National Intelligence Major General (Retd) HKG Hendawitharana and Colonel TS Sallay presented in detail how a section of the Tamil Diaspora is carrying out propaganda to mislead the international community.

The Hon Minister of External Affairs Prof G L Peiris, Hon Minister of Irrigation and Water Resource Management and Leader of the House  Nimal Siripala de Silva were preset at the occasion. Sri Lankan ambassadors, heads of missions and Staff were also present .

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