President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday said that the Government has adopted a new approach in defeating separatism.
“We have launched a massive development drive in all parts of the country, including the North and the East to wipe out the root cause of terrorism”, he said.
The President added that the Security Forces who are committed to the country’s national security have a right to get involved in this process.
“Some elements level allegations that the Government has done little to heal the wounds of the people, though it has ensured the development of North and the Eastern parts of the country,” he said.
The President was delivering the convocation address at the 23rd Convocation of the General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University, at the BMICH yesterday.
He also said that said that Army camps in the North will not be removed under any circumstance. The President, while stressing that the cooperation of security services is essential to protect democracy, said the proposal to remove the military camps from the North is not practical.
“We should think twice about where this proposal comes in. The LTTE has brainwashed the minds of people in the North and East and those living overseas.
He added that the government is receiving proposals to remove the army camps from the North and the East as a means to solve the problems faced by the Tamil community. The President added that army camps are situated in all parts of the country, including Hambantota, Moneragala etc.
The President asked how the problems of the Tamil people can be solved through the removal of the military presence in the Northern and the Eastern parts of the country.
He said terrorist leaders who tried to divide the country for over 30 years, have now embraced the democratic process.
The President added that the Tamil people should realize this situation very clearly.
He also said some elements made desperate attempts to turn Vellamullivaikkal, where the most ruthless terrorist who deprived the freedom of all communities living in the country for 30 years died, into a memorial.
The President also added that the peace loving people in the country feel very sad when hearing about these attempts made by insidious elements.
“Vellamullivaikkal is the place where this murderous terrorist who massacred thousands of innocent people in villages, unleashed attacks on the Jaya Sri Maha Bodhiya, Sacred Sri Dalada Maligawa and many other places of religious worship in the country, perished,” the President said.
The President said the people of all communities should learn a lesson from the tragedy faced by Tamil leaders who advocated separatism.
“These leaders became the victims of the very separatism in the latter stage,” the President said.
Eight Students were conferred Masters of Science (Defence Studies) Degree in Management while 58 students were conferred with the Master of Science Degree in Defence and Strategic Studies.
One hundred and twenty eight students were also conferred the bachelor of Science (Defence Studies) degree in Management, Bachelor of Science (Defence studies) Degree in Management and Technical sciences and Bachelor of Commerce (Defence Studies) Degree.
“LTTE terrorists prevented the members of the Tamil community from joining the Security Forces and branded the Sri Lankan forces as “Sinhalese Army”.
The President added that more and more people from the North and the East are joining the Security Forces, the Civil Defence Department and the Police without any obstacle today.
“The UN agencies and Non Governmental Organizations which were in operation in the North and the East during the war would have witnessed the situation in those areas.
“The LTTE had defacto control over two - thirds of the Eastern Province and the Northern Province starting from Muhumalai,” the President added.
He said the Northern and Eastern Provinces have become peaceful provinces and the Government succeeded in conducting elections too.
“International elections monitors who observed the recently concluded elections were very much impressed with the situation in the North,” he said.
The President said these election observers said that the Security Forces are well disciplined.