Reiterating US commitment to help Sri Lanka fight terrorism, US Ambassador Robert O Blake said the U.S. believed that the Sri Lanka government could further isolate and weaken the LTTE if it articulated its vision for a political solution now.
He made these remarks during an interview session with the University of Madras on Friday. “One reason for the lack of recent progress on a consensus APRC document, is that some in Sri Lanka believe that the government should first defeat the LTTE and then proceed with a political solution .The U.S. view is that Sri Lanka government could further isolate and weaken the LTTE if it articulates now its vision for a political solution,” the Ambassador said during a discussion on “U.S. Perspectives on Sri Lanka."
He said the articulation of a political solution would also help reassure the more than 200,000 IDPs now in the Wanni that they can move to the south and aspire to a better future. “It would also disprove the LTTE’s claim that they are the sole representatives of Sri Lanka’s Tamils and the only ones who care about Sri Lanka’s Tamils,” he said.
On the subject of US commitment to help Sri Lanka fight terrorism he said, “We were among the first to declare the LTTE a Foreign Terrorist Organization in 1997. Since then, it has been a felony under U.S. law to provide material support or resources to the LTTE.”
“In addition to law enforcement measures, the US has taken several steps to help the Sri Lankan military defend itself against terrorism. The most important was our decision to provide maritime radar system and 10 rigid hull inflatable boats to help the Sri Lankan navy detect and interdict LTTE vessels carrying arms and other illegal cargo for the LTTE,” he said.