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On I-Day, Sri Lanka vows to flush out Tigers
February 04, 2008 13:22 IST
Claiming that rebels of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam were 'receiving an unprecedented defeat,' Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Monday vowed that government troops would flush out the Tigers from their Wanni heartlands in the north.
President Rajapaksa made these observations in his address to the nation during the 60th Independence Day celebrations in Colombo on Monday morning amid tight security.
"We will liberate the north from the clutches of terrorism and also provide a political solution and bring political freedom to the people there," President Rajapaksa said, minutes before a military parade showcased the military might in terms of men and materials.
Claiming that defeating terrorism and the development of the country were the two challenges the island nation was faced with, the President said his government has already 'liberated' the large eastern province from the LTTE and 'confined' them to two districts in the north within two years.
"During the last two years, however, we faced these challenge squarely without avoiding it. Our security forces are today achieving victories against terrorism, unprecedented in history," President Rajapaksa said.
Sri Lanka [Images] marks its Independence Day on Monday with unprecedented security arrangements amidst fears that Tamil Tiger rebels may repeat their deadly suicide bombings after weekend attacks left at least 34 dead and over 150 wounded.
A suspected female suicide bomber of the Tamil Tiger rebels blew herself up at a crowded railway station in the heart of Colombo on Sunday afternoon, killing 11 people and wounding over 100 on the eve of Independence celebrations.
Commenting on his efforts to workout a political solution, Mr Rajapaksa said that any solution should be practically possible and cannot be experimental.
''We cannot experiment with solutions when so much blood has been shed and tens of thousands of lives have been lost. That is why we selected a solution which can be implemented and about which we have experience,'' President Rajapaksa stated.
He said that his coalition government has established new relations with Arab Emirates and Buddhist states and said their assistance have been beneficial to the development of the country.
''As a policy we do not have cosmetic and shallow associations with the western countries. Our relations with them are true and real,'' President Rajapaksa added.