ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa has said that the threats such as Easter Sunday attacks carried out by Islamist extremist will have to be contained by whatever means necessary.
“If we don’t get on top of the situation, all neighbouring countries including India, the Maldives, Bangladesh, and even countries further off like Myanmar, Thailand and Malaysia will be under threat,” Prime Minister Rajapaksa said at a graduation ceremony Defence Services Command and Staff College.
“So this new terrorist threat will have to be contained by whatever means necessary.”
Islamist bombers struck three hotels and churches in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday as the State Intelligence Service failed to act on warnings given by India.
The extremist, were caught by the police and military and the network shut down. The group was known to Sri Lankan authorities and other Muslim groups said they had warned authorities about their extremist teachings, but no action was taken.
“We have to take serious note of the fact that while there were no Indians among the 2008 Mumbai attackers, all the Easter Sunday suicide bombers were Sri Lankans,” Prime Minister Rajapaksa said.
“This is a threat that will have to be contained not only for Sri Lanka’s sake but for the well-being of all other nations in the region.”
Prime Minister Rajapaksa said Sri Lanka’s intelligence had been weakened. He said unlike the Tamil Tigers, which required ground, sea and air operations, this new threat required mainly intelligence operations.
“We, the political authorities will provide the armed forces of Sri Lanka with the leadership to achieve the objective of ensuring the national security of a sovereign Sri Lanka,” he said.
“That is our pledge to the armed forces and the people of Sri Lanka.” (Colombo/Dec13/2019)