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COLIN POWELL PROPOSES A WORLD WIDE COALITION AGAINST ALL FORMS OF TERRORISM

By Walter Jayawardhana reporting from Los Angeles

Speaking after the devastating terrorist attacks on the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York and the US military headquarters, the Pentagon in Washington DC the US Secretary of State Colin Powell said President George W.Bush's administration would attempt to build a world wide coalition, including Asian countries to oppose all forms of terrorism.

Powell told a State department press briefing , "(We) Undertake a world wide effort to build a coalition against all forms of terrorism, wherever it may occur and however it rears its ugly head."

In five television interviews he gave in the morning of September 12, the Secretary of State who cut short a trip to Latin America after Tuesdays terrorist attacks said the National Security Council meeting with the President decided to undertake to build a coalition against terrorism encompassing countries all over the world.

The Secretary of State said that this international coalition would be a major priority of the Bush administration.

Only two days ago, Powell named the United Self Defense Forces of Columbia, which is well known under its Spanish acronym AUC, the latest foreign terrorist group banned under the US law. The AUC now joins 30 other foreign terrorist groups including Sri Lanka's Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam proscribed under the US Federal law.

Describing about the 31 banned groups Powell said, "Beyond the legal ramification…. this will leave no doubt that the United States considers terrorism to be unacceptable, regardless of the political or the ideological purpose."

In a dramatic turn of policy, the Secretary of State replied Tony Snow of the Fox Morning News television show, that there was no way one could negotiate with these terrorists. He emphatically replied, "No, they have to be rooted. They have to be destroyed. And we are hard at work on that this morning."

Going into some details about the international coalition against terrorism Secretary of State, Powell, told the CBS Morning news that President Bush had directed him to work with international organizations and the friends of the United States to make the point that the recent attack on the United States was an assault not only against the United States but also against the whole civilized world and to mobilize them to respond to this assault diplomatically, militarily, with police actions and intelligence actions.

In the attempt to form the coalition , Colin Powell said, he has already spoken to the Foreign Ministers of Great Britain, Germany, Canada, Israel, Russia and Italy.

Initial investigations show, that at least two of the skyjackers who used jet passenger planes to strike the World Trade Center and the Petagon came across the US-Canada border. Only few days ago, Canada's National Post editorially said , due to the lax policy of the Liberal party government regarding terrorism, front organizations of the Liberation Tigers were extorting nearly 30 million dollars in Canada to bankroll terrorism in Sri Lanka. The Canadian opposition and newspapers have charged that Canada has become a haven for Islamic Jihad groups and Liberation Tigers terrorists.

Replying Ms. Couric of the NBC's Today's Show Secretary Powell said, "there are nations, states, there are organizations, who provide havens (for terrorists)and these states and organizations cannot be given a free ride any longer."




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