India kept in loop on war against LTTE: Sri Lanka
Posted on April 5th, 2013

Courtesy the Pioneer

Sri Lanka has claimed India  was always kept informed about the progress of the war against the LTTE. This was disclosed by Gotabaya Rajapaksa, the Sri Lankan Defence Secretary, on Monday while addressing delegates participating in an international literary festival being held at Galle in the island nation.

“A special bilateral committee was set up at the highest level, including then Senior Presidential Adviser Basil Rajapaksa, Secretary to President Lalith Weeratunga and myself as Defence Secretary from the Sri Lankan side, and former National Security Adviser MK Narayanan, then Foreign Secretary Shiv Shankar Menon and then Defence Secretary Vijay Singh on the Indian side. This troika had continuous discussions and ensured that any sensitive issues were dealt with as soon as they arose,” said Rajapaksa during his speech, a copy of which has been published in the Daily Mirror, a Sri Lankan newspaper.

He said India was always kept informed though it was India which once saved the LTTE from the verge of defeat. “Because of the political pressures in Tamil Nadu, the Sri Lankan situation has always been a very sensitive one in that country. In 1987, when the LTTE was on the brink of defeat during the Vadamarachchi Operation, India intervened and effectively forced the Government to stop its military campaign. In order to maintain the relationship with India and to prevent any such problem occurring this time around, the President went out of his way to keep New Delhi briefed on developments,” said Rajapaksa.

According to Rajapaksa, during the later stages of the Northern operation, the LTTE withdrew from its entrenched positions and retreated towards its strongholds on the Northeastern coast.

“As it withdrew, it took three hundred thousand civilians out of their homes to serve as its human shield. During the last stage of the war, the LTTE set up its artillery positions within civilian encampments and fought amidst the civilians, often dressed in civilian attire. This was a very challenging situation for the Armed Forces, which acted with great restraint and suffered considerable losses in their efforts to minimise civilian casualties. The use of heavy weaponry was curtailed and then stopped outright. The minimum amount of necessary force was used at all times to ensure that harm to civilians and civilian property was minimised. However, the LTTE had no compunctions about putting civilians deliberately in harm’s way, and its cadres mercilessly shot at all civilians who tried to escape into Government controlled areas,” said the Defence Secretary. 

 

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