Sri Lanka vows to strengthen military, rejects Tiger talks offer

Sri Lanka Monday vowed to strengthen its security forces and meet “any threat” after rejecting Tamil Tiger demands to resume stalled peace negotiations. Sri Lanka Monday vowed to strengthen its security forces and meet “any threat” after rejecting Tamil Tiger demands to resume stalled peace negotiations. Minister of Public Security Ratnasiri Wickremanayake told parliament that the government will strengthen security forces to meet any threat to the nation, but stopped short of referring to a direct threat from Tiger rebels.

“We will strengthen armed forces in terms of men, material, ideas and weapons,” Wickremanayake told parliament during a debate on defence which gets an additional eight percent in the 2005 budget.

“We are ready to meet any threat to this sovereign nation.”

Parliament Monday approved the defence ministry spending of Rs. 56.29 bn (US$ 541 mn), up from Rs. 52.08 bn this year.

Wickremanayake who is also the junior defence minister under President Chandrika Kumaratunga who hold the defence portfolio, said the government was against conditions set by Tiger rebels to resume stalled talks.

He said Colombo was rea