Saturday, February 28, 2009

Be more vigilant: Govt. tells public - Warns Tigers might strike in the South

With the security forces closing in on the LTTE for the final blow, the government yesterday cautioned the public to be on the alert for possible attempts by the desperate terrorists to wreak havoc in the South.

Non-Cabinet Media Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena told a news conference that the LTTE leadership was so desperate it used two of their colonels on a suicide air raid in Colombo last Friday.

Mr. Abeywardena said the government’s humanitarian operations were nearing completion, and requested the people to be on the look out for possible LTTE strikes in the south at this stage.

“We request the people to be vigilant when travelling in buses and trains, and also at public places. If they notice anything suspicious, the security authorities should be promptly informed,” he said. He said during the past several weeks the military had found large hauls of ammunition and other war equipment belonging to the LTTE.

“Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa said the LTTE could have created mayhem of unprecedented proportions in the country had the government delayed the humanitarian operations for another few years. Now we all know what he said was quite true,” said the Minister.

“Some of the deadly weapons stored by the Tigers were discovered by the military. May be, the Tigers did not know how to operate them. There was a weapon with the capacity to hit a target located as far as 27 kilometres. Besides, there was also one of the most modern electricity generators among the items seized from the terrorists,” he said.

He said, “These matters should be made known to the people. Had the government delayed the Mavil Aru operation, there would have been nothing left for us to talk about today. At that time, some elements criticized the JHU for their attempt to open the Mavil Aru sluice gates closed by the LTTE. Anyway, the JHU attempt was an encouragement for the security forces.”

Meanwhile, the Minister also thanked the European Union comprising 32 countries for asking the LTTE to lay down arms. He said even UN Under-secretary for Humanitarian Affairs Sir John Homes had hailed the manner in which the government was handling the issues of the internally displaced citizens.