Democracy hurting battle against terrorism: Lanka
President Rajapaksa said fighting terrorism has become difficult because of democracy, which can be abused as a "deadly joke."india Updated: Dec 07, 2006 14:55 IST
Asking his country's population of millions to choose between the "common man" and "terrorists", Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa said fighting terrorism has become difficult because of democracy, which can be abused as a "deadly joke."
In a televised address to the 19.5 million people of Sri Lanka late on Wednesday night, the president said, "Nobody can represent both these sides at any one time," shortly after promulgating tough anti-terror laws while insisting that the door was still open for talks with the rebels.
As his speech ended, huge explosions rocked the suburbs of Colombo with the main water pipe line to the capital blasted by unidentified attackers.
"We should make a firm commitment not to allow anyone to take these new regulations lightly...
Supporting terrorism is act of enmity towards both the country and the nation," he said. "We are not ready to allow that."
"The democracy that creates an opportunity for terrorism is a joke. It is no simple joke but a deadly joke. We already reddened our eyes through that joke," he said.
"We cannot move an inch forward other than by defeating this cruel terrorism that is intertwined with the common destiny of my country and the Sri Lankan nation," Rajapaksa said.
"I am happy to be able to be committed to this task," he said.
The new regulations strengthen the powers of police and security forces to hunt for, arrest and detain suspects.
"It is necessary to state here that it is the primary task of all our foreign friends, committed to safeguard the independence of Sri Lanka, to exert the necessary pressures to defeat the LTTE's firm belief that liberation is brought about only by bloodshed," he added.
First Published: Dec 07, 2006 14:55 IST