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Final elimination of terror in Lanka within reach: Rajapaksa

[PTI, Tuesday, 3 February 2009 12:42 No Comment]

_45299310_006604632-1 Declaring that Sri Lanka was on the threshold of the "final elimination" of terror from its soil, President Mahinda Rajapaksa has pledged that Tamils in the embattled north would be given "equality and all rights" after the capture of the entire LTTE-held territory by the security forces.

"The stronghold of terror, once believed to be invincible such as Kilinochchi, Elephant Pass and Mullaittivu, have fallen in rapid succession, bringing the final elimination of terror from our motherland and the dawn of true freedom to all our people well within our reach," he said in his message on the eve of the country’s 61st Independence Day tomorrow.

Taking note of achievements of the security forces which will help strengthen the country’s "freedom", Rajapaksa paid "well deserved" tributes to the "heroic forces" of Sri Lanka.

Without naming anybody, he said that many who were once critical of the country’s operations to eradicate terrorism from its soil were now citing Sri Lanka and the success of its troops as an example on how the menace should be defeated.

"As we move towards a larger freedom, our thoughts go out to the innocent Tamil people of the north who remain in bondage under the ruthless forces of terror who claimed to be their liberators," Rajapaksa said in his message last night.

"I pledge to you today, that these people who share our motherland, will be liberated and given the equality and all rights that they are entitled to, under the Constitution," the Sri Lankan President said. PTI

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