Jan 11, 2012 (LBO) – Sri Lanka is maintaining high defence spending and sizeable military to guard against any possible resumption of violence by Tamil Tiger separatists who are trying to regroup, a senior defence official said. The island’s intelligence services had picked up evidence of attempts to reactivate the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam separatist group which was defeated in May 2009 after a 30-year war, defence ministry secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa said.
Although the LTTE’s military force had been destroyed in the island, its global network was still active, with considerable funds and influence, he told a public forum on future national security challenges.
“That’s why we must maintain a sizeable defence force as well as defence spending, although there are some people who question why the defence establishment is so large and the amount of money allocated for defence,” Rajapaksa said.
“The re-grouping and re-organisation of Tiger separatists within Sri Lanka is still a threat to national security.
“It is only logical that the government take every precaution to guard against it by maintaining a sizeable military.”
The military was setting up camps in strategic locations around the island,