Apr 24, Colombo: Sri Lanka today provided a comprehensive briefing to the diplomatic community on the action taken by the government to counteract the recent attempts to revive terrorism in the country.
Sri Lanka’s Minister of External Affairs, Prof. G. L. Peiris Thursday briefed the Ambassadors and High Commissioners accredited to Sri Lanka with the assistance of representative of the Ministry of Defense and Urban Development Major General K.H.G. Hendawitharana.
The principal purpose of the briefing was to give the diplomatic community authentic information regarding action taken by the government against groups and individuals involved in terrorist funding and other activity connected with plans to revive terrorism, the Ministry said in a statement.
Explaining Sri Lanka's decision to ban 16 organizations and 424 individuals affiliated with the pro-LTTE Tamil Diaspora, the Minister said the UN Security Council Regulation1373 the government signed on April 01, allows the government to take measures to effectively curtail terrorist financing.
Regulations had been framed for this purpose under Sri Lankan legislation, and timely action has been taken based on these Regulations, he said.
He told the diplomatic community that there is compelling evidence regarding the remittance of substantial sums of money from overseas for planned terrorist activity.
According to the Minister, as a result of extensive investigations in recent weeks, the government is aware of the sources of this funding in several instances and the bank accounts into which the money had been paid. The authorities have arrested 65 people, and 19 people have been released after questioning.
The government says it has a massive amount of documentary evidence and primary evidence of communications between the "parties concerned".
Following questioning of detained operatives, the authorities have discovered weapons, documents and other material and have learned how the overseas networks have operated to finance the revival of the defunct terrorist organization and the individuals behind those attempts.
"While the investigations are continuing, and further information is coming to light regarding the identity and role of other participants, the elaborate nature of the preparations revealed by the evidence already obtained, leaves no room for doubt that an intricate planning apparatus is sought to be established," Prof. Peiris added.
He has informed the diplomatic community that the government's foremost duty is to nip in the bud any attempts to revive any form of terrorist activity.
The Minister has said that timely and decisive action has been effective to repel the threat of growing activity, and the government will continue to watch the situation closely and not hesitate to adopt such further measures as may be required.
He assured that the government is in total control of the situation, and there is no threat to tourism and investment.
"The government has every confidence of eradicating at the very inception, any attempt to revive terrorism in any form in any part of the country," the Minister asserted.
While noting Sri Lanka's significant contribution to maintaining the safety of sea lanes in the area and the control of a wide range of illegal activity including people smuggling and the proliferation of small arms, the Minister pointed out that eradicating terrorism in the country benefits from are by entire South Asian region.