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Sunday, 21 December 2014

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Terrorism, no respecter of human lives and property

Last week's incidents of terrorist raids in Peshawar, Pakistan and Sydney which snuffed off lives of at least 132 innocent school children and eleven civilians shocked and alarmed the world. The incidents, no doubt, have once again opened the eyes of the international community to the true nature of the terrorists and to the fact that they are all out to destroy innocent lives in an effort to destabilise peace, political stability and economy of the countries targeted by them.

On Monday morning last week Sydney was winding down for Christmas. It was a typical summer day - hazy, warm and soporific, made for skipping off work early, lazy lunches, Christmas shopping or drinks with friends.

Then, at 9.44am, it all changed. A man who had been a customer in the Lindt cafe in Martin Place, at the heart of the city's business district, held a gun to the head of a worker. It was the beginning of a 16-hour siege, the aftershocks of which will be felt in Australia for some time to come. Katrina Dawson and Tori Johnson, two innocent persons, were brutally gunned down for no reason by the gun-wielding terrorist. Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbot on Thursday admitted Sydney's cafe seige was an " horrific wake-up call", implying the urgency to act fast and vehemently against terrorism.

Pakistan began three days of mourning Wednesday for the 132 children and nine school staff massacred by the Taliban terrorists in the deadliest ever terror attack, as the world united in revulsion. The attack claimed by the Pakistani Taliban as revenge for a major military offensive in the region, sparked condemnation worldwide and led the Pakistani government to reaffirm its determination to defeat the terrorist group that had killed thousands since it began its insurgency in 2007.

The terrorists scourge in Sri Lanka ravaged the country for 30 long years. It destabilised peace and democracy and destroyed thousands of innocent lives and hundreds of billions worth of public public property. When terrorism was brought to an end under the valorous guidance and able leadership of President Mahinda Rajapaksa, the reaction of sections of the international community was not one of appreciation but of criticism over purported incidents of "human rights violations". They have conveniently ignored the fact that the LTTE-terrorists were no milder than the Taliban and they had links with many world terrorist organisations and were all out to destabilise national and regional stability and peace.

All Sri Lankans are proud and happy that Sri Lanka is safe from terrorist threats thanks to the valiant and far-sighted leadership of President Mahinda Rajapaksa. The UPFA government led by President Rajapaksa has been on post-conflict rehabilitation and reconstruction programs, implementing hundreds of development-oriented mega projects, especially for the terrorism-ravaged Northern and Eastern provinces, investing hundreds of billions of rupees.

Political leaders and political observers whom the Sunday Observer contacted confirmed that it was due to the valiant and determined leadership of President Mahinda Rajapaksa that the country emerged out of terrorist scourge and its threat. They admitted and appreciated that the country is now safe from incidents of the nature that rocked Peshawar and Sydney.

Reproduced below are the views of General Secretary of the New Jathika Hela Urumaya and former Minister of the Western Provincial Council Udaya Gammanpila and Eravur UC Chairman and SLFP organiser for Batticaloa Seyed Alizahir Moulana.

Udaya Gammanpila: "It is very unfortunate that a large number of school children and innocent people were killed in Peshawar in terrorist attacks. It is a direct result of the Pakistani government's attitude towards the Al-Queda terrorists. The government tolerated them because of its anti-western attitude and, consequently, the terrorists acted freely and promoted their ideology without any fear. Similarly the former governments in Sri Lanka tolerated the LTTE terrorists and, as a result, we suffered.

President Rajapaksa was not willing to tolerate them and he was determined to make the country free from terrorism. The leaders in the opposition camp, including Ranil Wickremesinghe, Wickramabahu Karunaratne and Mano Ganeshan, are LTTE-friendly leaders. They signed an futile Ceasefire Agreement (CFA) with them and they gave them the status of "freedom fighters":. If they come to power Sri Lanka will have to face a similar situation as what has been experienced in Peshawar, Pakistan."

Seyed Alizahir Moulana: "In fact, President Mahinda Rajapaksa spoke about these incidents at his election meetings in Batticaloa. The terrorists pose a threat to the political, social and economic stability. But Sri Lanka emerged out of terrorism and is now safe. The President is undertaking massive economic and development programs. Some sections of the international community do not like that and they are doing things with vested interests. Many Islamic countries are facing problems because of such attitudes of sections of the international community. Sri Lanka is now safe from terrorism and countries like the US, UK and other commonwealth countries are encouraging their people to visit Sri Lanka. The President has also strengthened economic relations with China."

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