Government dispels fears over diaspora festival

The Government today insisted that LTTE members living overseas and those who still have links with the LTTE will not take part in a diaspora festival scheduled to be held in Sri Lanka in December.

Deputy Foreign Minister Ajith.P. Perera said that while an open invitation has been extended to all Sri Lankans living overseas to attend the festival, individual invitations will be sent closer to the date of the event.

Perera said that the event is open to all those who accept a united and undivided Sri Lanka and is also not limited to just the Tamil diaspora.

The opposition has raised concerns that groups linked to the LTTE will attend the festival in Sri Lanka but Perera said that he does not expect anyone who still backs the LTTE to attend.

The Deputy Foreign Minister also said that India, the United States and the EU share intelligence with Sri Lanka on the LTTE and other matters.

gtf logoHe said that the Government agencies are on alert for any attempt to harm national security and so there is no room for the LTTE to raise its head once again in Sri Lanka.

Perera also noted that the Government is in the process of reviewing a ban on some individuals and groups over alleged terrorism links.

He said the Government does not believe there should be a blanket ban on all groups and so those who have renounced terrorism will have the ban lifted.

“All Tamils who are overseas or all those who left Sri Lanka because of the war are not terrorists,” the Deputy Minister asserted.

The Deputy Minister also said that the new Government has no intention of following the same foreign policies of the former Government as the people clearly wanted change. (Colombo Gazette)

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