getting stronger, army weaker
has allowed the LTTE to vastly increase its strength since the cease-fire
was signed and peace talks begun while weakening its own security
forces, the Sunday Times defence correspondent and consulting editor
Iqbal Athas said last week.
Over a period
of time the LTTE had been given the opportunity to develop capabilities
it never had, he told the monthly meeting of The Sunday Times Business
worrying contrast is that while the enemy has been allowed to strengthen
itself you have started to weaken your own security apparatus,"
he said making a presentation on security and defence-related issues
in Sri Lanka.
There is a
"massive credibility gap" between the ground reality and
what the public is told.
In the 15 months
since the truce came into effect not a single core issue had been
discussed but the government had allowed the enemy to strengthen
itself "to the point where the core issues become irrelevant,"
The LTTE had
developed a "massive" infrastructure in the Wanni and
was constantly training new cadres and smuggling in arms, including
The LTTE's strength
had grown from 7,500 cadres before the truce to 18,000 in the north
and east. The withdrawal of checkpoints had led to increased infiltration
of LTTE cadres and weapons into Colombo and other sensitive areas.
is indicated by the impunity with which LTTE pistol groups are killing
army informants," he said. This has raised the frightening
prospect of whether the LTTE will "bring the war to Colombo"
if it decides to break off peace talks and resume hostilities.
manner in which the LTTE assassin Babu, who killed President Ranasinghe
Premadasa in a suicide bomb attack, had infiltrated into the president's
inner circle, Athas said: "Would it be wrong to ask if there
are thousands of Babus today?"
imports of arms and ammunition had been stopped with the result
that when material is used for training they are not replaced to
meet any contingency in the event of a sudden onslaught by the LTTE.
shows the security forces are not trusted by the government - if
so the dangers ahead are much more serious," Athas said.
raid on the Athurugiriya safe house of the army's Long Range Reconnaissance
Patrol had caused much damage to the highly successful special forces
covert operations in enemy territory in which several LTTE leaders
Describing them as "very delicate operations" in which
troops operated under cover, Athas recalled how on one mission a
commando stepped on a landmine and severed his leg.
created a problem - how to get him out?" Athas said. Eventually
the wounded soldier was evacuated by helicopter.
drew many responses from the audience of young professional managers
seeking clarification on whether the peace process would work, what
options does this country have for peace or about corruption scandals
in the military.
This was followed by a presentation and discussion on stocks and
how to invest by HNB Stockbrokers Ltd led by its General Manager
Deva Ellepola and head of research Hasitha Premaratne.
The event was
hosted by Trans Asia Hotel who also gave away dinner vouchers to
two lucky members from the monthly draw. It was co-sponsored by
Lion Brewery Ceylon Ltd. Two minutes silence was also observed over
the death of Dieter Hamer, an active member of the club.
2003' exhibition in July
2003", Sri Lanka's largest ever construction industry related
exhibition takes place from July 18 to 20 at the newly-opened Sirimavo
Bandaranaike Memorial International Exhibition Centre in Colombo.
the National Construction Association of Sri Lanka (NCASL) for the
third successive year, "Construct 2003", brings together
all the players in the building and construction industry under
one roof, with a view to disseminating and sharing knowledge in
advances made in skills and technology in the construction industry.
"Construct 2003" Mahanama Jayamanne said that the exhibition
is expected to feature over a 150 local and foreign contractors
while showcasing the achievements of Sri Lanka's construction industry.
He was confident that this would be a vibrant networking platform
and resource centre for all construction industry related players
in the whole of the Asia Pacific region.
The main objective
of the exhibition is to develop the construction industry in Sri
Lanka by introducing world-class products, services and state-of-the-art
Jayamanne, the exhibition will also provide an opportunity for exhibitors
to display the latest range of products and services to the ideal
target audience, enable them to make new and vital business contacts
and gain access to new markets, increase brand awareness, review
competitor activities, etc.
will assist exhibitors to obtain partners for dealership by arranging
one to one business meetings with the business community in Sri
Lanka and visiting foreign delegations. (QP)