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Sri Lanka a victim of global terrorism, we need to work together with Parliament: PM in the House

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Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe has stated that Sri Lanka was now a victim of global terrorism, which was different from experience gained from domestic terrorism.

We have strong support from the international community. All that is required now is to face this and eradicate terrorism here. We need to work together with Parliament.

He was addressing the House on Tuesday. He said:

“Measures have been taken to tighten security. I have discussed the issue in detail with Leader of the Opposition Mahinda Rajapaksa, Illankai Tamil Arasu Kachchi Leader Rajavarothiam Sampanthan, and Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna Leader Anura Dissanayake.

Sri Lanka was now a victim of global terrorism, which was different from experience gained from domestic terrorism which was mainly based on political ideologies.

In the past we had a war carried out at ground level. We won that war, which was fought in different ways, including guerrilla warfare, openly and suicide bombings. The war carried out on the ground level was supported by suicide bombings. With the war coming to an end in 2009, things changed. It was a war with a political motive. What we have now is global terrorism.

The United Kingdom had a traditional fight during the Falklands War. They had a similar fight to ours in Northern Ireland. Having ended both, the UK is now facing a new war, which is global terrorism. Now London has reached a level where people get killed using motor vehicles. According to the Global Terrorism Index, what we have now is terrorism based on religion compared to terrorism based on racism.

The Government has to deal with a new type of national security challenges. We can identify it as long-term and organized terrorism. Even though a few took part, they are given good training. They have organized a series of such attacks and we were able to stop a part of it and the particular group is no longer unknown to us. There are masterminds in it as well as handlers of suicide bombers. Police and the armed forces along with the intelligence community are working to arrest them. Declaring a State of Emergency enables us to arrest them and to detain them for interrogation. As a result, some were arrested and revealed important information.

The majority of Muslims were against this extremist movement. We need to keep in mind that a few Tamils supported terrorists in 1983. But eventually it took a different turn with Black July and it took a long time to eradicate it.

Another aim of these extremists is to damage our economy. Starting from Luxor in Egypt, these terrorists learned the way to destroy the tourism industry. They attacked us when the economy was picking up during the Sinhala and Hindu New Year season. We are taking measures to protect tourist attractions and the economy. We will not allow another 30-year war to take place.

UN Secretary-General has requested others to support Sri Lanka and the UN Office for Counter-Terrorism had given Sri Lanka all support. In addition, I have received telephone calls and letters from world leaders including US President Donald Trump. We have strong support from the international community. All that is required now is to face this and eradicate terrorism here. We need to work together with Parliament. I summoned the IGP and instructed him to work with Parliament.”

 

 

 

 

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