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:
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.
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.
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
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
(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.
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.
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".