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Terror crouching in fear: Rajapaksa

The SL president makes the statement at a rally in the North Central Province, reports PK Balachandran.

india Updated: Jan 25, 2007 14:35 IST
PK Balachandran
PK Balachandran

Brimming with confidence after the recent military successes against the LTTE in Eastern Sri Lanka, President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Thursday declared that terrorism was "crouching in fear".

"Terrorism, that many once swore cannot be defeated, is now crouching in fear because we faced up to that challenge," he told a rally in Moragahakanda, in the North Central Province.

And the secret of the Armed Forces' successes under his leadership was that they were not meant to deliver any political benefits to the ruling party through their operations, he said.

"The main secret about the success is that we did not give political targets or goals to the armed forces. We did not sell or market the war for our benefit," Rajapaksa said.

He was alluding to the state of affairs during his predecessor Chandrika Kumaratunga's 11-year rule, when military campaigns were often meant to serve the political ends of the ruling party rather than sensible military ends.

Necessity to root out communalism

While the war had to be won and terrorism defeated, Sri Lankans should give no quarter to anti-Tamil communalism, the President said.

"I believe very strongly that the most powerful weapon against communalism is being fair and doing justice by the innocent Tamil people," he said.

"If not, the cruel forces of communalism can completely destroy the great Sri Lankan civilisation. We should understand this danger as well," Rajapaksa warned.

All can join government

On the controversy over accepting defectors from the opposition United National Party (UNP), Rajapaksa said that the door was open to anyone who loved the country to join the government.

The only condition was that the new entrants should "respect and nourish" his manifesto "Mahinda Chinthana" and not weaken it.

First Published: Jan 25, 2007 14:35 IST