LTTE threat shifted to diplomacy: Lankan minister

Lanka has termed as a "dangerous development" the campaign by pro-LTTE groups abroad to form a "transnational govt”.

Colombo: Terming as a "dangerous development" the campaign by pro-Tamil Tiger groups abroad to form a provisional "transnational government”, Sri Lanka has said the LTTE threat against it has now shifted to the diplomatic front.

The LTTE threat against Sri Lanka has shifted from the battlefield to diplomacy, with attempts being made to establish a "transnational government" in exile to continue their propaganda, External Affairs Minister GL Peiris told Parliament yesterday.

He said the campaign by remnant LTTE groups to form a "transnational government" was a dangerous development. The pro-tiger rebel groups were taking a recourse to diplomacy to achieve their goals.

Sri Lankan envoys in the concerned countries have been told to update those nations` leaders on the activities of the pro-LTTE groups, the minister said.

He said Sri Lanka was now facing a different type of threat inimical to the interest of the country. Peiris made this observation in response to a question by UNP deputy leader Karu Jayasuriya who wanted to know when the government would lift the state of emergency, the state-run Daily News reported.

The minister said the government would not continue the emergency regulations one moment longer than necessary while noting that it has scaled them down significantly.

He said the government has retained only those provisions of the emergency regulations which are absolutely necessary to counter the vicious propaganda of the pro-LTTE groups.

Peiris said the government is not in a position to predict when the emergency would be lifted. "Although the LTTE is militarily defeated the risk is not over," the minister said.

He also said that no foreign country has asked Sri Lanka to abolish the emergency regulations.