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TRIBUNE SAYS LTTE AIR POWER IS ALARMING

INDIA’S TRIBUNE SAYS COLOMBO AIR STRIKE SHOULD BE VIEWED WITH UTMOST SERIOUSNESS AS AIR POWER IN THE HANDS OF TERRORIST GROUP IS EXTREMELY ALARMING

By Walter Jayawardhana

India’s Tribune newspaper in a strongly worded editorial warned that the the air attacks by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) at two places on Colombo in Sri Lanka should not be ignored by the world since a terrorist outfit acquiring air power is an alarming development.

“It needs to be viewed,” said the editorial, “with utmost seriousness not only by Colombo but India also in the interest of peace and stability in South Asia .”

Commenting on the futile Ceasefire Agreement brokered by Norway and signed by a former Sri Lanka government and the LTTE the editorial said immediately after the signing the LTTE leader had said the agreement should be made use of for a greater war. The Tribune of May 1 said, “LTTE chief Prabhakaran reportedly told his cadres soon after the agreement was signed that they should use the opportunity to prepare themselves for “a bigger battle” in the days to become. This means that what he says has nothing to do with what he actually does. The truth is that the man wedded to violence to achieve his so-called objective can hardly accept a peaceful way of resolving a conflict.”

The following is the full text of the editorial entitled “LTTE air-strikes new threat to regional peace” :-

“SUNDAY’S air raids by the LTTE on two oil depots in Kolonnava and Muthurajawela areas in Colombo cannot be treated as acts of desperation. The terrorist outfit, which has set up an air wing, earlier struck at two air bases of the Sri Lanka Air Force at Katunayake and Palali on March 26 and April 24. This shows that the LTTE, perhaps, wants to convey the hard message that it has acquired enough military muscle to carry on its destructive activities. But this is too provocative behaviour to be ignored by the world community. A terrorist outfit acquiring air power is an alarming development. It needs to be viewed with utmost seriousness not only by Colombo but India also in the interest of peace and stability in South Asia.

“The LTTE says it targeted the fuel facilities because these were used by the Sri Lanka Air Force to destroy LTTE assets. Obviously, the LTTE air-strikes may lead to punitive action by the Sri Lanka Air Force, renewing tension in the island-nation. But it is now more difficult to tame the LTTE than earlier. So far, the unrest in Sri Lanka has affected economic activity only in that country. But now the other regional economies may also suffer. This calls for a fresh debate on how to face the fresh challenge posed by an untamed LTTE.

“The 2002 ceasefire agreement reached between the Sri Lanka government and the LTTE is just a tattered piece of paper. The LTTE, it seems, has used the accord only to regroup itself. LTTE chief Prabhakaran reportedly told his cadres soon after the agreement was signed that they should use the opportunity to prepare themselves for “a bigger battle” in the days to become. This means that what he says has nothing to do with what he actually does. The truth is that the man wedded to violence to achieve his so-called objective can hardly accept a peaceful way of resolving a conflict.”

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May 3, 2007 - Posted by | International News

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