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Sri Lankan gov't vows to defeat terrorism
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20:05, September 17, 2007

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Sri Lanka's top defense official Gotabhaya Rajapakse said Monday that no political solution to the island's separatist armed conflict would be possible without eliminating terrorism.

Defense Ministry Secretary Rajapakse made the remarks in a state ceremony held in the eastern port of Trincomalee to welcome back Sri Lanka Navy's fast attack craft returning Monday after successfully destroying three Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam ( LTTE) arms ships.

"We have to destroy terrorism first before bringing in any political solution. The LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) terrorism over the last 20 years has not made any political solution possible," Rajapakse said.

Rajapakse, who spear heads the military campaign against the LTTE, said the military has been successful in limiting the LTTE to the north.

The government in mid-July claimed that the rebels have been totally evicted from the east.

Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse was also present at the state ceremony to welcome back the Navy's offshore Patrol Vessels Sayura, Samudura and Shakthi from the operation last Sunday and Monday which had destroyed the LTTE arms ships at sea.

Navy Commander Wasantha Karannagoda had described it as the biggest victory for the Navy in the over three-decade-old armed conflict with the LTTE.

The LTTE has been fighting the government since the mid-1980s to establish a separate homeland for the minority Tamils in the north and east claiming discrimination at the hands of the Sinhala majority.

Source: Xinhua

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