Sri Lanka faces terror threat after war: defence official

COLOMBO, September 3, 2013 (AFP) – Sri Lanka risks a “re-emergence of terrorism” as Tamil Tiger rebels and their sympathisers living abroad revive a campaign for a separate state, the country’s top defence official said Tuesday. “Sri Lanka had enough divisions in the past that ultimately led to conflict,” Rajapakse added. “We must learn the lessons from our past and ensure that history is not repeated.” Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapakse said rebel attacks were still a possibility four years after the end of the separatist war.

“Although the war ended in 2009, the re-emergence of terrorism is still a threat,” Rajapakse told a defence seminar organised by the military in Colombo.

“While taking every possible counter-measure to prevent the recurrence of terrorism in Sri Lanka, the country also faces the significant challenge of effectively countering the LTTE’s propaganda machine.”

Sri Lanka’s military crushed the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in 2009 after a nearly four-decade-long struggle for a separate Tamil homeland.

UN rights chief Navi Pillay on Saturday accused the nation’s rulers of becoming increasingly authoritarian, with activists facing growing military harassment, four years after the