ISSN: 1391 - 0531
Sunday, October 29, 2006
Vol. 41 - No 22

Govt. demands dismantling of LTTE airstrips

The government yesterday declared that it had very clear evidence that the LTTE was continuing to improve and expand its air strip in Iranamadu and construct two other airstrips in Mullaitivu.

The disclosure was made during the opening remarks made by the government delegation chief Nimal Siripala de Silva at the peace talks in Geneva.

“We now possess very clear evidence that the LTTE is continuing to improve and expand an illegal and clandestine airstrip in Iranamadu and construct two other airstrips in Mullaitivu”, he said.

“So far, the LTTE has not permitted the SLMM or the Government of Sri Lanka to officially inspect these premises or take steps to dismantle these facilities.

“As a sovereign nation, we have obligations towards the international community and the discharge of such obligations would be seriously compromised if facilities of this nature were allowed to remain in the hands of terrorist organizations such as the LTTE”, he added.

He said that the government was of the view that the illegal facilities were being established with the intention of perpetrating acts of violence, and “may well be used to destabilize our entire region”.

“We would caution that such illegal facilities, which has been established contrary to international regulations, be dismantled before any serious harm is caused. In the past, the LTTE has been known to have recklessly carried out acts of violent aggression in our region, affecting the interests of foreign states not involved in the conflict, including the assassination of a former Prime Minister of India, publicly acknowledged by the LTTE, and the destruction of a Chinese vessel with death and injury to its crew.

Therefore, we wish to treat this violation with extreme seriousness by reason of its far-reaching nature. These must be immediately dismantled,” he said.

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Copyright 2006 Wijeya Newspapers Ltd.Colombo. Sri Lanka.