B. Muralidhar Reddy

Diplomats briefed on situation following LTTE air attacks

COLOMBO:Sri Lanka Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama told diplomats here on Monday that the Government was fully capable of meeting any challenge from the LTTE, including threats by its nascent air wing, and called for collective global action to meet the global menace.

Mr. Bogollagama was briefing the envoys in the wake of the third aerial attack by the Tigers on Sunday and joint endeavour by New Delhi and Colombo to bolster Colombo's air defence system.

The defence authorities of India and Sri Lanka were in close contact since the first air attack by the LTTE on March 26, well-placed sources said, adding that the initial misunderstanding on the efficacy of the radars gifted by India had been sorted out.

After March 26, Sri Lanka wanted 3-D radars. However, New Delhi sought to convince Colombo that the existing system was sufficient and the issues related to its management need to be addressed.

"Since March 26, there have been several interactions between the defence authorities on both sides. We are hopeful of addressing issues pertaining to management of the radar system," a senior official told The Hindu .

Mr. Bogollagama said the alertness of the armed forces and police, as well as the general public, resulted in the LTTE aborting its destructive, horrendous acts, which were becoming a problem for the entire region.

He commended and thanked the international community for their initiatives to curb the LTTE's international illegal activities. He appreciated the recent actions initiated by the United States, European Union countries and India to investigate such activities.

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