“We Have Completely Defeated LTTE But LTTE Remnants May Re-organize” Warns Ex – Def Secy Gotabhaya Rajapaksa

By Shanika Sriyananda

The former defence secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa urged the Government to strengthen the mechanism to monitor the hardcore LTTEers before releasing the remaining hardcore LTTE operatives in jails.

He said without strengthening surveillances with the assistance of the military intelligence agencies, releasing hardcore LTTE cadres will pose a grave threat to the country’s peace and security.

According to Rajapaksa, there were over 5,000 LTTE cadres, who had been arrested over the years by the military from different parts of the island, before the end of the war in May 2009.

“ After the war, we investigated about their background, their involvement with the LTTE, selected those who had less involvement with the outfit, rehabilitated and released. There were 273 hardcore LTTEers in jails when this government took over in 2015 January,” he told the Daily FT.

Rajapaksa said there are senior hardcore LTTE cadres, who have masterminded several attacks in Colombo, among them and releasing them is a serious threat to the security.

“ There are some hardcore LTTE cadres whom the government can’t just release as legal action needs to be taken against them. They are not political prisoners but terrorists,” he cautioned.

The former defence Secretary said the military had done lots of sacrifices to arrest them. “Today, they don’t know the efforts we took to arrest them but it is very easy someone to say just release them. But the government must ensure the safety and also implement a monitoring mechanism to monitor them after release,” he said adding that the government must analyse the threat and needed to get the accurate information from the intelligence agencies about these hardcore LTTEers.

“ Otherwise it will be a deadly decision. Country’s security should be a top most priority of the government,” he stressed.

Earlier, it was reported that the government was to release two hardcore LTTE operatives – Morris and Giri. Morris was assigned to attack Colombo and also identified as the mastermind behind the assassination attempt of the former army chief Lt. Gen. Sarath Fonseka in 2005.

However, later the government said that some of the hardcore LTTEers like Morris and Giri would not be released due to their strong involvement with the LTTE.

When asked whether there are chances for the LTTE to re-organise, he said a terrorist outfit can be militarily defeated but when its ideology still prevails, they have the opportunity of rising up.

“We have completely defeated the LTTE in 2009 and rehabilitated over 12,000 of its cadres to become peaceful citizens of Sri Lanka. But, with some of the Tamil politicians still preaching the LTTE ideology and some segments of the Tamil diaspora still wanting to keep it alive, there are opportunities for the LTTE remnants to re-organise, he said.

Courtesy:Daily FT