I will not stop till terrorism is defeated: Rajapaksa

May 27th, 2008 - 3:53 pm ICT by admin  

By P. Karunakharan
Colombo, May 27 (IANS) Angered by a train blast that killed nine people and wounded over 80 in Colombo, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa declared Tuesday that the military campaign against the Tamil Tigers “will not be stopped” until they are defeated militarily. “My government and I are committed to defeating terrorism. No one should have expectations that there will be a let up in the battle against terrorism because of the frenzied attacks by the LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam),” Rajapaksa told Sri Lankan media heads at a meeting.

“I will not stop till terrorism is defeated,” he said, charging the LTTE with “trying to whip communal strife and take the country back to the situation as in 1983.

“The Government will not let this happen. It was clear that in the face of defeat, the LTTE was increasing its attacks targeting innocent civilians. This is the reality that can be seen from these savage attacks,” a statement from the president’s office quoted him as saying at the meeting.

He insisted that his government’s battle against terrorism “was not directed against the Tamil people” and called on the media “to act with responsibility in the national interest in dealing with the government’s war against terrorism”.

Meanwhile, the defence ministry said that one of the six seriously wounded women succumbed to her injuries at the Colombo National Hospital Tuesday morning, increasing the death toll from the Monday attack to nine.

The deafening blast occurred Tuesday evening at the edge of Colombo as a train packed with people returning after work to their homes in the country’s Sinhalese-majority south neared the Dehiwela railway station at around 4.45 p.m.

Although the president and the military blamed the LTTE for the attack, there was no immediate reaction from the rebels.

Tens of thousands travel to and from Colombo every day by trains.

The explosion occurred despite calls by the police for enhanced vigilance by the public and crew of private and government transport sectors.

The military said that two possible bomb attacks on public transport were averted Saturday when the police, acting on information provided by people, found and defused two powerful bombs inside two buses at Ganemulla in Gampaha district and Moratuwa in Colombo district.

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