Don’t repeal PTA, Emergency
Sri Lanka must maintain tight security and intelligence service at
home and abroad and a much stronger law enforcement capability
islandwide, international counter-terrorism expert Prof. Rohan Gunaratna
said adding that Sri Lanka must not repeal the Prevention of Terrorism
Act or lift the Emergency until LTTE factions overseas are destroyed or
In an interview with the Sunday Observer he said there have been
attempts to revive the LTTE. As its activities are moving to the
international arena, Sri Lanka must double the size of its foreign
service and professionalize it with a proper foreign service school.
Prof. Gunaratna said most importantly Sri Lanka must build a
mainstream Tamil political leadership, restore its relations with NGOs
and the West, and improve its image by building a roubst information
operations capability across government.
Commenting on the Tamil diaspora, he said the Government had done
exceptionally well in engaging the diaspora and the government strategy
was not limited only to engaging the ordinary diaspora but also the
narrow segment of LTTE leaders, cadres, activists and helpers living
“Secretary of Defence Gotabhaya Rajapaksa had both the confidence and
vision to reach out even to the senior most leaders of the LTTE living
overseas. This included former LTTE leaders such as KP, the successor to
Prabhakaran, and even the LTTE in-charge of branch offices such as
Perimpanayagam Inpanayagam, the former LTTE leader in Canada.
The government should issue an amnesty to anyone who was active in
the LTTE but is willing to return to Sri Lanka and participate in the
national development of the country especially in the North and the
East”, he said.
He said about 85-90 percent of the diaspora understands that the time
for war is over and the time for peace has come.
“The challenge for the government is to work on that narrow segment
of 10-15 percent of diaspora that is still worshipping Prabhakaran. To
convince them that the future is not in extremism and violence, the
government should reach out to them and work with them to rebuild the
North and the East”, he said stressing the need for developing a media
strategy to publicize success stories in the North through Tamil media.