Mahinda Rajapaksa vehemently rejected calls to demilitarise the North-East whilst addressing Sri Lanka's 'Victory Day' parade at the Galle Face on Saturday.
Citing what he described as the "LTTE diaspora", who "had not given up their separatist ideas", Rajapaksa said,
"We cannot jeopardise national security by removing camps.”
“Some are shouting remove military camps from the north and east,”
“What the Eelamist terrorists could not do through decades of war, they are now trying to achieve through other means. We will not allow it."
“We are a nation who sit equally with other members of the United Nations. We treat them equally. We have the strength to solve our own problems,”
His comments come as Sri Lanka's external affairs ministr, G.L. Peiris, visits Washington for a meeting with the US Secretary of State, Hiliary Clinton.
See our TG View on Peiris' visit here.
Demilitarisation a key component of an US resolution passed at the UN Human Rights Council earlier this year.
Despite heightened international pressure, the Sri Lankan military boasted last month of increased militarisation.