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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2959

Government leaders warn Tamil rebels not to drag ...........

[b]Government leaders warn Tamil rebels not to drag them into war as parliament extends the Emergency.[/b]

By Sugeeswara Senadhira – Bureau Chief, Asian Tribune, Colombo

[b]Colombo, 19 Colombo, ( [/b] Sri Lankan government warned the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) not to drag it into another war as Sri Lanka's parliament has overwhelmingly voted to extend a state of emergency for one month following the assassination of the country's foreign minister.

The Deputy Minister of Defense, Mr. Ratnasiri Wickremanayake warned the rebels that although the government is fully committed to the ceasefire agreement, it could not abandon its duty of protecting its citizens and warned that there was a limit to its patience in the face of continuous provocations.

“Do not dare to think it as a weakness when the security forces exercise utmost restraint in the face of provocations,” he said and added that the government would try to find an alternative way to solve the problem if the current method failed. Wickremenayake made these observations while opening the special debate on Emergency Regulations in parliament.

"We need the emergency to investigate the assassination,” Security Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake said Thursday. "Tigers continue to violate the ceasefire and that is why we need the emergency laws to continue."

"There can be no room for murder, intimidation, extortion and child conscription and therefore we need to bring a strong legal framework in order to investigate these crimes," National Security minister Ratnasiri Wickremenayake told parliament while introducing the bill.

The minister said that the imposition of emergency was not solely due to the assassination of Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar by the suspected LTTE gunmen. He pointed out there were series of violations of the ceasefire by the LTTE, including murder of Police Superintendent Charles Jayasundara, killing of Tamil newscaster of state television and several attacks on military camps and check points by the Tamil rebels.

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