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'Rump of LTTE is still causing problems' - Gotabhaya

In a lengthy speech outlining his version of the armed conflict, Sri Lanka's defence secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, warned that the "propaganda machine" of the LTTE "remains fully operational". Asserting that the "rump of the LTTE" was still causing problems for Sri Lanka, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa also accused "so called champions of human rights in the international media and in international NGOs" of having been "misled by LTTE propaganda" and "desperately trying to cling to causes to secure funding".

See here for full speech. Extract reproduced:

"However, despite all of these positive accomplishments and the country’s great potential, we must also realize that Sri Lanka still faces several challenges both domestically as well as from overseas. Despite the military defeat of the LTTE, its propaganda machine remains fully operational in a number of countries around the world. By influencing foreign governments through the large number of expatriate Tamils who comprise an important voting block in many western democracies, the rump of the LTTE is still causing problems for Sri Lanka. There are also many so called champions of human rights in the international media and in international NGOs who continue to attack the country. Some of them have publicly accepted donations from LTTE linked groups; many of them have been misled by LTTE propaganda and others are desperately trying to cling to causes to secure funding.

The efforts of the rump of the LTTE and the other parties with vested interests is compounded by the strategic interest that certain states have in Sri Lanka because of its unique geographical position. Even in international forums such as the United Nations Human Rights Council, we can see that certain powerful countries and their allies are blatantly employing double standards when dealing with Sri Lanka. They have completely ignored our achievements. The LTTE’s terrorism has been eliminated. The senseless killing has stopped. Peace and stability has been achieved.

Even in Sri Lanka, some politicians who used to work under the LTTE still believe in its ideology, and continue to try and create problems among the Tamil population so that they can cling on to power. Instead of looking at the bigger picture and seeing the benefits that flow from a unitary state, their agenda is to divide our people for selfish gain. There are also unscrupulous politicians in the mainstream parties who disregard the national interest and resort to false propaganda to get into power. In addition, there are also civil society stalwarts with a distinct anti-national agenda, who do their best to discredit the Government and portray a bleak picture about Sri Lanka to the world. They are aided and abetted by sections of the media that have vested interests.

This is extremely unfortunate. People should not forget about the last thirty years. We must remember the many sacrifices that were made for peace to be achieved. During the conflict, nearly 30,000 military personnel made the ultimate sacrifice. 20,000 more are permanently disabled. Apart from these war heroes, about 10,000 civilians including political leaders and community leaders lost their lives because of the war. We must be careful not to do anything that will create such a situation in this country again. While we must deal with whatever domestic issues remain, we must not do so in a way that will threaten our present peace and stability."

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