Sri Lanka today ruled out any possibility that its soil could be used for terror attacks against India, after the recent discovery of an alleged terrorist plot to attack foreign missions in South India.
"The Indian intelligence agencies have told me that there is a possibility of Islamic terrorism being based in Sri Lanka to act against India. However, we investigated these concerns and found that there is no merit in these concerns or claims," said Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa in an interview with the Daily Mirror newspaper here today.
Indian authorities recently started investigating an alleged plot by a Pakistan-based terror group to carry out suicide attacks on US and Israeli consulates in South India.The conspiracy was reportedly planned overseas including in Sri Lanka, Malaysia and the Maldives.The plot was foiled by effective coordination of the Intelligence Bureau (IB) with countries such as Malaysia which tipped off India about the plan being hatched from Sri Lankan soil to attack the consulates in Chennai and Bangalore.
Rajapaksa, the brother of President Mahinda Rajapaksa, spearheaded the military campaign which crushed the LTTE's 30-year campaign for a separate Tamil state.He denied any involvement or backing of the Buddhist nationalist BBS group, or the Forces of Buddhist Power, that is blamed for recent attacks against the Muslim minority.
"I will give up this post if they can prove this. I will leave this post if they can prove that I have any connection with any of these things or organisations," he said. Responding to opposition accusations of his involvement with BBS, Rajapaksa said there was no need to create any organisation to counter any threat."That is not the way I work, that is not the way the intelligence agencies or the government works. If there is a problem we have more than adequate resources to quell it. I don't need to create organisations to do this."
Rajapaksa said besides the BBS, there are many other organisations that are based on ethnic and religious lines."Is the BBS the only organisation that is based on these lines? No, there are Muslim and other religious organisations," he said.
He added that the government had thwarted attempts by the LTTE to regroup. "There were so many attempts by the LTTE to regroup and destroy the peace in this country. We were able to prevent that," he said. The government in April said at least three people had been killed in the Tamil-dominated north who were allegedly working towards a resurgence of the militant group.