Sri Lanka may ban Tamil Tigers soon: PM
Sri Lankan PM Ratnasiri Wickramanayaka has said the government may ban the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam even before the people ask for it.world Updated: Nov 19, 2008 12:34 IST
Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickramanayaka has said the government may ban the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) even before the people ask for it.
According to reports in the state-run media, Wickramanayaka said on Tuesday that the ruling coalition headed by President Mahinda Rajapaksa, which has been carrying forward the military campaign against the Tamil Tigers at the request of the people, could ban the Tamil Tigers before people "requested for it".
"The government continued the humanitarian operation launched from Mavil Aru because the people requested it. Now the government may even proscribe the LTTE before the people requested for it," the state-run Daily News on Wednesday quoted him as saying in a discussion on state-run radio.
The LTTE has been listed as a terrorist organisation in various countries, including India, Britain, the US and the EU.
The comment comes as the military has stepped up its campaign against the Tamil Tigers in the north. The present phase of full-scale war broke out in June 2006 when the LTTE closed the sluice gate of the Mavil Aru anicut in the eastern province.
Claiming that the country was "indirectly subjected to division" when President Rajapaksa took over exactly three years ago, the prime minister said the Norwegian-brokered truce pact "had offered the LTTE an opportunity to operate an administrative mechanism with its own banks, police service and courts".
"The President abrogated the CFA (ceasefire agreement) and took over the responsibility of liberating the country with the people's blessings. The humanitarian operation launched from Mavil Aru had been extended to the eastern province and Pooneryn," Wickramanayaka has been quoted as saying.
"It was crystal clear that our security forces would be able to march victoriously into Mullaitivu and Kilinochchi within the next few days. Today the LTTE terrorists were running for their lives in the face of advancing security forces," he said, adding that the possibility of proscribing the LTTE "loomed large".
President Rajapaksa, who turned 63 Tuesday, is marking the completion of three years in office on Wednesday.