India's naval surveillance big help - FM
SINGAPORE: India's maritime "surveillance" has "helped" Sri Lanka in
"a big way" in facing the challenge from the Liberation Tigers of Tamil
Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama told The Hindu that his country
would continue to "advocate" that the international community take steps
to dry up the sources of funding and other forms of support for the LTTE.
Outlining Sri Lanka's diplomatic offensive in East Asia, Bogollagama,
who was here to attend the 'Shangri-La Dialogue,' cited Australia for
its efforts in moving against suspected pro-LTTE fund-raisers and
Asked whether the LTTE's nucleus still remained intact, he said
external assistance was needed to prevent "the supply of energy" to this
core particle. While Canada, the United States, India, the United
Kingdom, and the European Union had already proscribed the LTTE, Sri
Lanka would not relent in its campaign for further actions by the
"The Navies of India and Sri Lanka are cooperating to the extent at
which the interests of both countries are safeguarded vis-a-vis the
threat that can emanate from the [maritime] movement of terrorists led
by the LTTE." He would not, however, describe this naval cooperation in
any politically-sensitive terminology.
Noting that Sri Lanka's huge engagement with China as "true friends"
was not driven by a specific LTTE-dimension, he said "the fact is that
we have China, India, Pakistan, and other friends who have helped us in
counter-terrorism." Bogollagama also wanted urgent action by some key
countries, whose local legislations, in his view, were already adequate
for a "comprehensive" crackdown on the LTTE's front organisations.
Looking beyond the challenges of the LTTE and its "floating
arsenals," Mr. Bogollagama said the Indian Ocean Naval Symposium, which
New Delhi had already launched as an operational exercise, "is a sign of
vital cooperation" among the littoral states, including Sri Lanka.