Addressing a lecture on 'Sri Lanka’s National Security Concerns' at Kotelawala Defence University, Sri Lanka's Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa spelled out the biggest threats to the state's national security at present:
1. The possible re-emergence of terrorism
2. The emergence of other extremist groups
3. The creation of ethnic divisions and communal violence
4. The challenges of maritime security and border control
5. The growth of organised crime
6. Foreign interference in domestic affairs
7. Non-traditional threats through technology driven new media, including social media.
Outlining the current 'threat' faced by Sri Lanka, Gotabhaya said:
"The threat of terrorism re-emerging still persists. One of the main reasons for the LTTE’s success during its heyday was its extensive international network, which has been in operation for many decades."
"As a result of the July 1983 riots, a large number of Tamil people left Sri Lanka and travelled to countries such as Canada, the United Kingdom, Malaysia and parts of Europe. These countries granted asylum to these immigrants, and later granted them citizenship. As such, there is a large population of immigrant Sri Lankan Tamils in other countries. A small minority of this population supports the LTTE even to this day. Extremist elements within this community, together with LTTE agents and operatives, including trained terrorists who fled Sri Lanka at various times during the war, comprise the LTTE’s international network."
Highlighting Tamil diaspora groups including the Tamil Coordinating Committee, the Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam, British Tamils Forum and the Global Tamil Forum, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa alleged,
"All of the LTTE-linked groups are coordinated by the GTF and united by one overarching objective. Their unwavering intent is the division of Sri Lanka and the establishment of a separate state for Tamil Eelam. There are several strategies through which they will try to achieve their objective."
"These include:- the winning of international opinion for the separatist cause; increasing international pressure on Sri Lanka in various areas
- pushing for international investigations into war crimes and claims of genocide, and by encouraging international monitoring of the national reconciliation process
- undermining all efforts of the democratically elected Government of Sri Lanka to create a better future for its citizens through reconciliation and economic development
-continuing to push for the resumption of conflict through reorganizing local pro-LTTE elements within Sri Lanka."
"Some of the efforts of these LTTE-linked groups have been successful to a certain extent in that despite the war having ended four years ago, the internal affairs of Sri Lanka have been kept at the forefront of the UNHRC’s Sessions as well as at the top of the agenda of several prominent international NGOs even in the recent past."
"It has to be noted that many of those who create this pressure by claiming to be human rights activists and victims of state repression are actually trained LTTE cadres and operatives who are now fully engaged in propaganda activities. It is very important to understand that their attempts to put pressure on the Government through international bodies such as the UNHRC and non state actors such as international NGOs is designed to strengthen those who work against Sri Lanka’s interests."
See full address on Colombo Telegraph.