Influx of outsiders to Colombo a security risk: Sri Lanka

September 13th, 2008 - 2:51 pm ICT by IANS  

Colombo, Sep 13 (IANS) Sri Lanka Saturday said that “massive influx of people” who had come to Colombo and suburbs and were “staying without any valid reason are creating a huge security concern” for the defence authorities, a media report said.The state-run English newspaper, Daily News, quoting Sri Lanka’s Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa reported Saturday that “an alarming situation has been observed by the security forces as a large number of people have come to the Colombo police division in August alone without any valid reason”.

“In August, 6,950 people have come to the Colombo Police Division and are temporarily living in lodges, houses and various other places. This is not normal. Among other things it causes a lot of security risks,” Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, who is the younger brother of President Mahinda Rajapaksa, has been quoted as saying.

Rajapaksa, who is personally handling the ongoing military campaign against the Tamil Tiger rebels, made these remarks while talking on the possibilities of “desperate attacks by the LTTE” at a time when the military was inching towards the rebels’ administrative hub of Kilinochchi in the north.

“I prefer that most of these people who had come from other areas to Colombo and suburbs and staying here without any valid reason, to go back to their areas because it is an immense problem for the security forces to provide security. The LTTE mingles with these people to infiltrate these areas,” he added.

“Of course those who had come from Wanni have come here as they are facing problems. Other than that all the other people should go back. That is the most preferable thing,” the defence secretary has said.

He said that security forces “have to do these human control measures to prevent the LTTE suicide cadres from entering these areas and bringing explosives to accomplish their desperate attacks”.

“We must be prepared for this. That is why we are doing human control measures. People criticise us for fundamental rights violations when we do these things. But we do it to protect the innocent citizens of our country against desperate terrorist attacks,” the Daily News quoted Gotabhaya Rajapaksa as saying.

Last year when Colombo decided to send back hundreds of “Tamil speaking people from north and east” who were staying temporarily in lodges in and around Colombo city without valid reasons, the move was halted by the country’s apex court.

An independent civil rights group approached the Supreme Court and obtained a directive against such moves in future.

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