Kadirgamar: Concerns over Lanka's security is no attack on Govt.
Special Adviser to the President Lakshman Kadirgamar speaking in Parliament on Wednesday said that the government's approach to security matters is flawed.
Extracts from Mr. Kadirgamar's speech follows:

"The government has it's own duties and responsibilities but no government can deny to Members of Parliament and every citizen of the country the right to express interest and concern on matters that affect the security of the entire country. In fact MPs have a special duty under their oath to take all necessary steps to ensure the protection of the unity, territorial integrity and sovereignty of Sri Lanka.

"The government's approach to security matters is flawed because it sees any interests or concern expressed by others as an attack on the government. This is not the correct way of looking at this matter. The government of the day does not have a vested interest in security.

"It has no right to exclude others from contributing in their own way to a fuller consideration of security matters. This flawed approach by the government is well illustrated by recent events over the security situation in the Trincomalee harbour. The government took umbrage at the fact that certain disclosures were made about the grave threat to the harbour as a result of LTTE dominance of the southern rim.

The government has accused senior officers of lying although it had plenty of prior notice and information months ago that there was a serious situation developing around the harbour. The plain fact is that the Trincomalee harbour is under serious threat especially from LTTE artillery. "There is no conflict in pursuing a negotiated settlement and keeping our security interests safe. The LTTE is doing this very well. They have got a good deal under the MoU."The Prime Minister fully understands the complexities in maintaining the security shield in the country. It's late but please do not let your guard down.

The Prime Minister does not believe there is no threat to Trincomalee from LTTE artillery. If the unthinkable happens, are we going to be prepared? "Artillery bombardment on the port of Trincomalee and naval base is the major threat that if brought to bear could cause maximum damages both physically and mentally to assets and personnel. The weapons that could cause these damages are the weapons with the longest ranges. "The probable positioning of enemy artillery targeting the Trincomalee harbour is shown below:

(a) 120mm (mortar), 85mm and 122 mm artillery having a range of 6750 meters, 11,500 meters and 15,406 meters respectively are suspected to be located in Kandal Kadu and Koonativu where weapons will be moved in the event of an attack. 85mm and 122mm artillery can reach most targets in the dockyard if guns are in situation. 120 mm artillery is out of range.

(b) 105 mm MBRL (12 barrel) - Having a range of 6900 to 9000 m and is believed to be located in Kadiraweli. This weapon could hit dockyard at extreme ranges or easily transported well within the range if barrels are isolated. (c) 122 mm, 130 mm and 152 mm artillery - has ranges of 15406, 27,150 and 17404 respectively could be brought to the Kuburupeddi/Peraru jungles. 130 mm guns could hit dockyard at maximum range if brought to the said location.

(d) 81 mm mortar, which has a range of 5000 meters, can cover most of the harbour entrance area when fired from Sampur. This can disturb the movements of vessels in an emergency situation very effectively. "Even though intelligence does not confirm availability of a LTTE air capability it is reliably understood that they have formed an air arm, which could pose a future threat.

A comprehensive report on the security situation in the Trincomalee area by a team of specialists from the Pacific Command of the USA, which was made in October 2002, is very important. "This report has strongly recommended that the southern rim of the Trincomalee harbour should be cleared of all LTTE establishments as otherwise the Sri Lanka Navy could be levelled meaning destroyed by artillery fire.

"We must pay special attention to the needs of India. I must refer to the Indo-Lanka Accord. What its provisions add to is that India has a legitimate interests in the territorial integrity of Sri Lanka and especially in the security of the Trincomalee harbour".

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