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News


PM in talks with Thai leaders to halt LTTE arms procurement

By S.J.Anthony Fernando
President Mahinda Rajapakse has sent Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayaka who is also the Deputy Minister of Defence, on an urgent mission to Thailand to request the Thai leaders to take stringent action to stop LTTE gun running operations from the South-East Asia region.
This is in view of intelligence reports that a bulk of LTTE arms supplies had originated from the region with Thailand as a focal point of supply.
According to informed sources there had been growing evidence to suggest that the two large LTTE ships destroyed by the Navy recently had been carrying arms from the region.
Prime Minister Wickremanayake has already met with the Prime Minister and the Defence Minister of Thailand and expressed the concerns of the Sri Lanka Government on LTTE activities. Prime Minister Wickremanayake had said strong action by the Government of Thailand in preventing agents of LTTE procuring arms is vital to the ongoing attempts by the government to liberate the Tamil people of the North and East from the scourge of terrorism and restore normal civil life in the area.
The Sri Lankan Prime Minister has reiterated that the government is committed to the resolution of the North East conflict through peaceful means by formulating a solution acceptable to all its citizen. According to Prime Ministerial sources the Thai leaders expressed their support in this regard and agreed to exchange intelligence information in their effort to prevent the LTTE’s arms procurement under the cover of business dealings.
Prime Minister Wickremanayake was on a similar mission to Indonesia, Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam early this year where he met the leaders of those countries and called for more stringent measures in those countries to prevent the LTTE operatives from procuring arms.
Earlier several LTTE operatives using Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia for their gun running operations were arrested by the law enforcement authorities in those countries.