Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa has said that a humanitarian operation was launched to end terrorism which flagrantly violated human rights for three decades with the intention of safeguard human rights. The Defence Secretary was addressing the Seminar on “Defeating Terrorism – the Sri Lanka Experience” in Colombo this morning.
The Defence Secretary said terrorism is an international threat, and no country should suffer from it as Sri Lanka has suffered. Rescuing the hundreds of thousands of innocent Sri Lankans suffering under the fist of the LTTE’s brutal fascism was a key priority of the President when he was elected by the people to office in 2005. He said when the Humanitarian Operation began in 2006, the military understood that the President’s commitment to eradicating terrorism was unshakeable. His statements and actions during the Humanitarian Operations proved this beyond doubt not only to the military, but to the entire population. As importantly, there was no change in his resoluteness from the first day of the operations to the last.
The three-day Seminar is being attended by representatives from 42 countries. The aim of the Seminar is to appraise the world about every sector from routing LTTE terrorism which was considered as the most brutal in the world to reconciliation building through the lessons learnt. Global terrorism, resettlement, rehabilitation, national and international security will be the key issues focused during the seminar. The Defence Secretary clarified the manner in which LTTE loyalists, including the Tamil Diaspora acted to build a wrong concept in the world on the humanitarian operations staged to vanquish terrorism.
External Affairs Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris proposed changes in the International Human Rights Charter to enable a nation to face internal human rights issues with dignity and honour. He urged the delegates at the global seminar to focus attention to urge such changes with regard to human rights. Prof Peiris referring to the Darusman report of the UN Panel pointed out, though it contained true facts like LTTE killing civilians and using many as human shields, such anti-human issues were not much spoken of by some nations who were talking of human rights violations in Sri Lanka during the war period.
Army Commander Lt. Gen. Jagath Jayasuriya encouraged countries facing terrorism challenges to face it head on. Deliving the opening address at the Seminar, he said Sri Lanka experience can be used to counter them.
The Sri Lanka Army Chief said that certain alliances are fighting against terrorism in parts of the world.