'Unite as equal partners to fight global terrorism'
President Mahinda Rajapaksa condemned last week's shooting incident
in Canada and said all should unite to fight this menace. The President,
in his Twitter account, said that it is very disturbing to see
increasing terrorists acts in many countries, now even Canada. He
stressed the importance of uniting as equal partners to fight the menace
of global terrorism.
Special police teams moving in to secure the Canadian Parliament
building following the attack by an armed man
A Canadian soldier standing guard at a war memorial in the capital
Ottawa was shot dead on Wednesday. Gunfire also erupted inside
Parliament and authorities say at least one gunman was killed.
The heart of the Canadian capital was thrown into panic and placed in
lockdown on Wednesday after a gunman armed with a rifle or shotgun
fatally wounded a corporal guarding the tomb of an unknown soldier at
the National War Memorial, entered the nearby Parliament building and
fired multiple times before he was shot and killed.
However, the Canadian Government was quick to declare that there is
no evidence so far that a gunman who attacked Canada's parliament had
links to Middle Eastern Islamist extremists.
Foreign Minister John Baird has said that gunman Michael Zehaf-Bibeau
was “certainly radicalized”, but was not on a list of high-risk
Zehaf-Bibeau killed a soldier at Ottawa's war memorial before being
shot dead in the nearby parliament building. Police have released video
showing how the gunman stormed parliament.
It seems that Canada is getting its own doze of medicine for
sympathising with terrorism in countries such as Sri Lanka.
It was unfortunate that Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper was
compelled to hide in a cupboard in Parliament for about 15 minutes
during Wednesday's attack as Canadian MPs sharpened flagpoles to use as
spears against the gunman.
Canadian Foreign Minister Baird had said that there were no
substantiated claims yet that Zehaf-Bibeau was associated with Islamic
Baird said he was “tremendously concerned about the number of
Canadians who are radicalised and are fighting in Syria or Iraq, but we
don't have any evidence to link the two at this stage”.
Reports suggest that well in excess of 100 Canadians have gone to
fight for jihad in the Middle East and that's a huge concern, according
to Baird. He also said Zehaf-Bibeau could have done much more damage
than he did.
“For several minutes it was complete horror, complete terror, we
didn't know whether the door was going to be kicked in, whether there
was one or a group of people,” he was quoted as saying.
Daniel Lang, chairman of the Senate national defence and security
committee of Canada had said that it was an ordeal he would not
recommend anybody endure - there was just a wall's difference between
where we were and where they were. He said the incident had “shown our
vulnerability and the reality that life here has changed dramatically”.
Lang said most parliamentarians had been calling for greater security
and “this event proves there should be”. The Canadian MPs had flanked
the doors of their meeting room, preparing to attack the gunman with
“These guys were up there holding these spears ready to impale anyone
who came in,” the source had said.
Canadian Prime Minister Harper had to seek shelter in a cupboard -
described as little more than a 'cubbyhole' in the Centre Block after
the gunfire rang out.
Though we condemn the terror attack and extend our solidarity to
Canada in this hour of grief, we would like to once again stress the
need to have a collective worldwide attempt to crush terrorism and
incidents of this nature. This is where the international community
could obtain the first-hand experience and the expertise of Sri Lanka –
the only country to crush terrorism and one of the safest places in the
Instead of making the best use of Sri Lanka’s expertise and its
immense battlefield experience in confronting the world’s most ruthless
terrorist outfit, certain Western countries including Canada held a
different view, showing an extraordinary concern regarding the human
rights of LTTE terrorists killed during the humanitarian battle.
It was a pity that the LTTE rump was able to mislead the Canadian
Prime Minister and keep him away from the Commonwealth Heads of
Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Colombo last year, citing alleged human
rights violations during the final phase of the battle against
terrorism. Canada should learn a lesson at least now and should desist
from swallowing the concocted stories dished out by the Tiger cohorts in
With the advent of terrorism in Canada, the Harper administration
will now introduce anti-terrorism laws before its Parliament. Those who
shouted from the rooftop when Sri Lanka introduced the Prevention of
Terrorism Act (PTA) to combat the LTTE terror will now have to eat
At least at this late stage, the international community would
understand that Sri Lanka had done the right thing to protest its 21
million people by introducing the PTA.
“We will not be intimidated,” Harper had said in a television address
Wednesday night. He initially linked the attacks to radicalism inspired
by the Islamic State and called them “despicable.”
It was the second deadly assault on a uniformed member of Canada’s
armed forces in three days. The Ottawa attack heightened fears that
Canada, a strong US ally in the campaign against the Islamic State
militant group convulsing the Middle East, had been targeted in a
reprisal, either as part of an organised plot or a lone-wolf assault by
a radicalised Canadian.
The US law enforcement authorities had said that their Canadian
counterparts had identified the assailant as Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, who
had changed his name from Michael Joseph Hall, and said he had been a
convert to Islam.
President Barack Obama Wednesday afternoon addressed the attack on
the Canadian Parliament. Obama said the situation in Canada was tragic,
adding that he had spoken to the Canadian Prime Minister and has
expressed condolences on behalf of the US.
Obama has said that attacks in Canada had emphasised the degree to
which they have to remain vigilant when it comes to dealing with these
kinds of acts of senseless violence or terror. “I pledge as always to
make sure that our national security teams are coordinated very closely,
given not only is
Canada one of our closest allies in the world, but they’re our
neighbours and our friends,” Obama said adding that the US and Canada
must be in sync when it comes to terrorist activity, just as they have
in the past.
“We’re going to do everything we can to make sure that we’re standing
side by side with Canada during this difficult time,” Obama was quoted
We would like to emphasise that Sri Lanka too would share similar
views when it comes to eradication of terrorism and would support any
country which seeks our expertise and knowhow to defeat terrorism.
As President Mahinda Rajapaksa had told the UN General Assembly a few
years ago, terrorism in any part of the world is terrorism and should be
eradicated in similar fashion. There are no good terrorists and bad
Terrorism in any part of the world is terrorism that brings nothing
but agony to innocent people. Hence, the international community should
not show any mercy to any of the terror groups in the guise of
protecting human rights.
Unfortunately, some of the Western countries which are at the
receiving end of international terrorism, cared less when Sri Lanka was
at the receiving end. They were either mislead or pampered the LTTE rump
for votes of the Tamil Diaspora, turning a Nelsonian eye for merciless
terror attacks in Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka had to wage its own battle to protest 21 million people
from ruthless LTTE terrorist group which targeted innocent civilians
with massive bomb explosions. If not for the political sagacity of
President Rajapaksa and the supreme sacrifices of the Security Forces,
Sri Lanka would still have been subjected to those attacks.
Thanks to the right military strategies of Defence Secretary Gotabaya
Rajapaksa who was a tower of strength to the Security Forces, Sri Lanka
was able to vanquish the deadliest terrorist outfit in the world. Does
Sri Lanka need any other credential to become the world leader in
Unfortunately, some of the powerful nations in the world were either
feeling shy or reluctant to gain Sri Lanka’s expertise in the worldwide
battle against terrorism. Had they obtained the expertise of the true
sons of our soil, countries such as Canada, the US and the UK would have
overcome terrorism by now.
Instead of making the best use of Sri Lanka’s first-hand experience,
some of the Western countries intimidated Sri Lanka by levelling
baseless human rights allegations against Sri Lanka’s valiant Security
Forces. They used human rights as an effective tool to intimidate
countries such as Sri Lanka which does not dance to the melody of the
The European Union too would soon feel the danger of lifting its ban
against the LTTE. It is not that late for the European Union to
reconsider its decision as it is they who would face the repercussions.
Thanks to the political and military leaders of our country, Sri Lanka
has a strong shield and network to face future threats of terrorism.
But actions such as the lifting the ban on the LTTE will have
immediate dangers to the West. Hence, the European Union must give yet
another consideration on the lifting of the LTTE ban as it will be they
who would face the first danger as a result. They should not mix human
rights and terrorism by believing the concocted stories of the LTTE