Indian Defence College Delegation meets Minister Wickramanayaka
A delegation from the National Defence College of India called on
Minister of Buddha Sasana, Public Security, Law and Order and Acting
Minister of Defence Ratnasiri Wickramanayaka at the Defence Ministry.
The delegation led by Shri Alok Jain of the Indian Administrative
Service and Rear Admiral D.K. Dewani of the Indian Navy comprised army,
navy, police and air force officers from India, Nepal, Singapore,
Maldive Islands, Nigeria and Malaysia who are currently studying at the
The Minister fielded a series of questions posed by the delegates on
the current situation in Sri Lanka and particularly on the peace
He reiterated the Government's commitment for a peaceful settlement.
"People do not want another war and it is the duty of all concerned to
compel the LTTE to come to the negotiating table to arrive at an
amicable solution, he said.
"There is evidence that the Ceasefire Agreement has been only one
sided favouring the LTTE. Under this situation the President agreed to
renegotiate with the LTTE. Though the LTTE has agreed they seem to be
dilly dallying because of the impending Presidential elections, he said.
Answering a question whether the Government would get the United
Nations to mediate in the matter Wickramanayaka said that they did not
want to bring in another organisation.
"We will request the international community to help in persuading
them to negotiate a peaceful solution. The International Community too
could act to prevent fund raising in their countries for terrorist
activities in Sri Lanka, the Minister said.
"Tamils are free to travel anywhere in the country. In fact a large
number of them are living in Colombo and move about freely. They have
complete freedom to move anywhere, the Minister said. The Minister
replying to a question said the Government at present allocates funds
for development and day-to-day activities in LTTE held areas through the
District Secretaries. "It is the Government which is spending for those
areas. The taxes the LTTE collects maybe for their other activities," he
Replying to a question whether there is a pre-condition for talks by
LTTE that Karuna faction be tamed, the Minister queried how they could
do it. It is they who trained Karuna on terrorist lines and they are now
telling us to tame him? How can we do it? said the Minister.
The Minister added that politicians of the North and East are being
dictated to by the LTTE and they cannot act with their own free will.
All must force the LTTE to come into the democratic stream. If there is
free and fair elections in the North and East, the Tamils for sure will
defeat the terrorist forces, added the Minister.
Defence Secretary Major General Asoka Jayawardene, Chief of Defence
Staff Admiral Daya Sandagiri and the Commanders of the Army, Navy and
the Air Force were present.