The Marshall Legacy Institute hosted the 2004 Clearing the Path Gala at the Willard Intercontinental Hotel, Washington DC on January 28, 2004. The event was held to honor the participants and the donors who contributed generously to the efforts of MLI to rid the world of the landmines. MLI has been in the forefront of endeavors executed to provide local handlers and leaders to insure the effective integration of the dog teams in the national mine clearance programs of Armenia, Eritrea and Thailand. MLI's latest project, the first ever "six-pack" of dogs for Sri Lanka was an unprecedented success. In September 2003, MLI launched the Children Against Landmines Program (CHAMPS), in Wyoming under the stewardship of Mrs Diana Enzi, wife of Sen Michael E. Enzi (Rep-WY).The response in Wyoming has been remarkable, with tens of thousands of school children donating quarters to sponsor a dog named Wyoming to Sri Lanka. The six pack of dogs are due to arrive in Colombo in March this year. The delegation from Wyoming comprised of Ms Margaret Cosner (representing the schools of Wyoming)and Mr Cameron Durbin (representing the school children of Wyoming). The Gala was well attended by a large number of VIPs including Senators Chuck Hagel and Patrick Leahy (Honorary Co-Chairs of MLI) and Rep Frank Pallone (Co-Chair of the Sri Lanka Caucus) , the US Department of State, the Humane Society of the United States, Members of the Diplomatic Corps, Mr and Mrs Nihal Gunawardena from the Sri Lanka Association of Washington DC and from the corporate sector. The Humane Society of the United States made a pledge to continue and increase its support to this worthy endeavor. Ambassador Devinda R. Subasinghe (International Co-Chair of MLI), Mrs Helga Wurzer-Subasinghe (Member, Steering Committee), Defence Attaché Brigadier Rohan Jayasinghe and Mrs Shereen Jayasinghe were among the distinguished guests. The Master of Ceremonies was George Stephanopoulos (host of NBC News "This Week") and the Duke Ellington School Show Choir provided the entertainment.
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Embassy of Sri Lanka
27 February 2004
Sri Lanka's 56th Anniversary of Independence was celebrated at the Sri Lanka Embassy in Washington DC on 4th February and 8th February 2004.
Celebrations held at the Embassy on 4th February
The National Day celebrations at the Embassy of Sri Lanka commenced with the hoisting of the National flag by Sri Lanka's Ambassador to the US, H.E. Devinda R. Subasinghe at the Chancery premises and the singing of the National Anthem. The traditional oil lamp was lit by the Ambassador, religious dignitaries representing the four main religions and visiting dignitaries. Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim and Christian religious ceremonies were then conducted to invoke blessings on the country and its people. The Ven. Katugastota Uparathana Thero, Chief Incumbent of the International Buddhist Center, Wheaton, together with Buddhist clergy representing the Washington Buddhist Vihara Society Inc., conducted the Anusasana. Mr. K. Renganathan, Mr. Naseer Azeez and Dr. Greg Fernandopulle conducted the Hindu, Muslim and Christian religious observances respectively. Thereafter, Ambassador Subasinghe addressed the gathering which also included the families of the Embassy staff.
A special feature of this celebration was the presence of a delegation from Sri Lanka attending the 52nd National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, DC., including Justice Shiranee Thilakawardana, Judge of the Supreme Court, Hon. Susil Premajayantha, Member of Parliament, Mr. Harim Peiris, President's Spokesman, Mrs. Druki Martenstyn, Chairperson, Association for Families of Servicemen Missing in Action, Mr. Zarook Marikkar, Chairman GoTelNetwork, Mrs. Neela Marikkar, Director, Grant Kenyon & Eckhardt Ltd.
Community joins Embassy Celebrations
The Sri Lanka Embassy organized the main event to commemorate the 56th Anniversary of Independence on 8th February 2004 at the Amphitheatre of the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington DC. A large gathering of Sri Lankans including Sri Lankan government officials, representatives of Sri Lanka organizations in Washington DC and well wishers participated in this event. Among those present were Mr. Harim Peiris, President's Spokesman who was attending the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, DC., Brigadier Upali Edirisinghe of the Sri Lanka Army and Group Captain Mohan De Zoysa of the Sri Lanka Air Force who are presently attending courses at the National Defense University in Washington, DC.
The event commenced with the playing of the National Anthem and the lighting of the traditional oil lamp by Ambassador Subasinghe, the religious dignitaries representing the four main faiths and representatives of Sri Lanka organizations in Washington, DC., Mr. Nihal Goonewardena, President, Sri Lanka Association of Washington DC and Mr. Dias Amarawardena, President, Sri Lanka Ranga Kala Kavaya. The religious ceremony to invoke blessings on the country and its people commenced with Ven. Katugastota Uparathana Thero, Chief Incumbent of the International Buddhist Center, Wheaton observing the Anusasana, followed by the recital of a Hindu prayer by Shri Subbarathnam Visveswaran of the Siva Shri Vishnu Temple, Lanham, a recital from the Holy Koran by Imam Yahya Hendi, Muslim Chaplain of Georgetown University and a sermon by Dr Greg Fernandopulle. The Independence Day messages of H.E. the President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunge, Hon. Ranil Wickremesinghe, Prime Minister and the Hon. Tyronne Fernando, Minister of Foreign Affairs were read by Mr. Saman Udagedara, Minister (Commercial), Mrs. Hemali Rajapakse, Administrative Officer (Consular) and Ms. Dhammika Semasinghe, First Secretary (Economic) of the Sri Lanka Embassy.
Addressing the gathering, Ambassador Subasinghe highlighted the progress made in the Sri Lanka-US relationship. He described the four key objectives outlined in 2003 as part of a Three Year Strategic Plan of the Embassy, namely, to deepen and broaden US - Sri Lanka relationships in all its manifestations, to elevate economic cooperation between the two countries and secure greater US market access for Sri Lanka and a higher level of US investment in Sri Lanka, to increase access to the technical expertise and financial resources of the World Bank and the IMF and to upgrade infrastructure and ensure that the Embassy becomes more service oriented.
Ambassador Subasinghe highlighted the prime objective of the Embassy as working to convert prospects into the announcement of the US intention to negotiate a Free Trade Agreement with Sri Lanka. This would broaden and deepen the Sri Lanka-US trade relationship. He also referred to the establishment of a Sri Lanka Working Group at the US Chamber of Commerce in order to foster increased US investment in Sri Lanka. Ambassador Subasinghe described the Embassy's work with Sri Lankan expatriate organizations in fund-raising activities in the US for humanitarian de-mining programs in Sri Lanka, where efforts are underway to clear over 70,000 landmines. This initiative has been successful in raising funds to acquire and train six mine detection dogs to be sent to Sri Lanka in March 2004.
Ambassador Subasinghe also stressed the Embassy's commitment to provide high quality Consular services that has been increasingly acknowledged by the community, the revamping of theEmbassy website in order to facilitate online access to updated Consular information, as well as the establishment of an ideas line to obtain comments and suggestions on the services provided. The site also provides updates on Embassy activities. He also referred to the Embassy's focus on establishing and strengthening contacts with and mobilizing expatriate community support in other states and the visits undertaken to promote this objective.
The address was followed by an open forum for members of the audience to interact directly with the Ambassador through a question and answer session. After the formal part of the ceremony, the celebration continued with a cultural show presented by the Sri Lanka Youth Dance Troupe of the Ranga Kala Kavaya, traditional Sinhala and Tamil dances and patriotic songs sung by members of the community.
Speaks on "Business Opportunities in Sri Lanka"Visits Limited Brands in Columbus, Ohio
Ambassador Devinda R. Subasinghe, Sri Lanka's Ambassador to the United States and Mexico, was the first speaker at the seminar series sponsored by the Ashland International Business Initiative, a partnership between the Ashland University and Ashland Economic Development. The seminar series is an important component of the overall Regional International Export Program of the State of Ohio and, Ashland University is significantly involved in promoting the program. Previous speakers at the University have included Presidents Reagan and Bush and, Prime Ministers Thatcher and Netanyahu. The seminars will be presented on a quarterly basis and will cover countries such as, Mexico, Canada, Singapore, Costa Rica, Peru, Hungary and Georgia.
In his presentation entitled, "Business Opportunities in Sri Lanka," the Ambassador provided a profile of the country's increasing trade and economic relations with the U.S.A., Sri Lanka's business climate and it's investment incentives. Providing insights into the country's improving economy, the Ambassador mentioned that the economic prospects were strengthened in 2003 by increased economic growth, higher levels of investment, tourism arrivals and lower inflation.
Speaking to the Ohio business community, Ambassador Subasinghe emphasized the benefits that communities of all sizes such as, Ashland and Sri Lanka, could reap by reaching out to markets beyond their local environs. The Ambassador said, "while it's important to be grounded locally, communities of all sizes must look outward to the opportunities beyond their corners of the world. Opportunities for communities of all sizes to benefit from globalization are great. "
Showcasing Sri Lanka's special appeal for foreign investors, Ambassador Subasinghe highlighted the fifteen year old robust association that the US apparel giant, the Columbus (Ohio) based Limited Brands, Inc., has with Sri Lanka. He mentioned that Sri Lanka is an important sourcing destination for world class apparel and that Victoria's Secret sourced over US$350 million worth of merchandise from Sri Lanka in 2003. Further discussing business opportunities for Ohio businesses in Sri Lanka, the Ambassador mentioned that the range of export items from Ohio could include everything from agricultural products such as wheat and grains and soybeans to paper and paper board to computers.
Ambassador Subasinghe's visit to Ohio underscores the business promotion activities of the Embassy aimed at broadening and deepening the Sri Lanka-US trade and investment relationship. While in Ohio, Ambassador Subasinghe met with executives at the Headquarters of Limited Brands Inc. in Columbus and was hosted by the Ashland Mayor William Strine and the City Council.
Ambassador Subasinghe invited the Ashland business community to establish a mutually beneficial partnership with Sri Lanka by availing of the investment opportunities currently available in Sri Lanka. In particular, the Ambassador highlighted Sri Lanka's need for contractors or foreign companies to help build the country's water plants, roads, airports and invest in other available infrastructure development projects.
Trade relations between Ohio and Sri Lanka are over 50 years old. Rubber products manufacturers in Ohio have been importing natural rubber from Sri Lanka for their products, in particular, for the manufacture of tyres, which was amply evident from the visit of the then Prime Minister of Sri Lanka, Sir John Kotalawala, to the Firestone Tyre Factory in Akron, Ohio in 1954.
Fifty years later, Sri Lanka has a diversified export relationship with Ohio. In addition to the apparel and garment sector, Sri Lankan rubber and rubber products are consumed by Ohio industry. Abbott Laboratories' Hospital Products Division's Ashland facility employing 600 workers, imports Sri Lankan rubber for its products. Prospective Ashland area exports to Sri Lanka include agricultural products, medical rubber products, industrial machinery, paper and paper board. The Gorman-Rupp Pumps in Ohio exports pumps to Sri Lanka. A Sri Lankan business delegation in the crape rubber sector visited Cleveland and Akron in 2003.
President of the Ashland University, Dr. William Benz said, "There are great advantages in working together. This is the first step. This is the first chapter in developing those partnerships."
Click here for the picture galleryClick here for the power point presentationAshland looks to Sri Lanka for growth - News Journal Embassy of Sri Lanka
USA21 January 2004
U.S. Department of State to contribute $ 300,000 to complete funding
The Special Representative of the President and Secretary of State for Mine Action Lincoln P. Bloomfield, Jr. In conjunction with the Ambassador of Sri Lanka Devinda R. Subasinghe and the Marshall Legacy Institute hosted a select group of invitees in recognition of their contributions for mine detection dogs for humanitarian mine action in Sri Lanka. US Department of State efforts to help Sri Lanka rid itself of its persistent landmines and strengthen its peace process are being reinforced by private sector donations to provide these dogs. “We are proud to celebrate this public-private investment that will speed demining operations in Sri Lanka and accelerate the rate at which mined areas can be demarcated, cleared, and double checked to ensure that deadly persistent landmines….really have been cleared” said Lincoln P. Bloomfield.
Private donors present a $120,000 check to the Marshall Legacy Institute for six mine detection dogs for Sri Lanka
at the US Department of State on January 14, 2004. (Left to Right) Ambassador Devinda Subasinghe; Assistant Secretary of State Lincoln P. Bloomfield, Jr.; Jack Gehring (Caterpillar); Nihal Goonewardene (Sri Lankan Association of Greater Washington); Donald Y. McCoy; Raj Rajaratnam (Galleon Group); General Gordon R. Sullivan (MLI); Christine Smith (Georgetown University); Sima Narron (Chubb Corporation) and Coy Knobel (Office of Senator Mike Enzi,R-WY). Donors not in photo include Hilda Davis, Dr. Beall & Linny Fowler and the Martin Trust Family Foundation.
The Embassy of Sri Lanka launched a fund raising campaign in 2003 in partnership with the Marshall Legacy Institute and the Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement in the Bureau of Political Military Affairs of the Department of State which resulted in the successful raising of $120,000 for six mine detecting dogs. US corporations, expatriate Sri Lankans, school children and concerned US citizens from Wyoming to Pennsylvania to Greater Washington DC., have made generous contributions for this humanitarian cause. The donors are :
President Nihal Goonewardene and members/friends of the Sri Lanka Association of Greater Washington, Inc. with Billie and Don McCoy, a former US corporate CEO with a long relationship to Sri Lanka, for a dog named “Hannah”,
Mrs. Diana Enzi, wife of Senator Mike Enzi (R-WY) leading the Wyoming school children participating in the Children Against Mines Program (CHAMPS), for a dog named “Wyoming:,
Ms. Hilda Davis, Hilda and Preston Davis Foundation in New Jersey,
The Martin Trust Family Foundation, dog named “Trusty”
Concerned citizens in Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley, dog named “Lehigh”.
Caterpillar Inc., and the Chubb Corporation, dog named “CC”
The Galleon Group, founded and managed by Raj Rajaratnam, dog named “Galleon”.
The U.S. Department of State will match the $ 120, 000 with a grant of about $ 300,000 to complete the funding of the training, deployment and operations of the six-pack of dogs to launch the Mine Detection Dog Program in Sri Lanka.
Ambassador Devinda R. Subasinghe thanked the donors from the US business community, Sri Lankan expatriates, school children of Wyoming and other US citizens who contributed the funds for the purchase of dogs. “I am extremely elated that we have now funded the first six-pack of dogs for Sri Lanka, which is an excellent start. However, given the scope of the humanitarian demining requirements , we need to increase the funding and mine awareness further in order to expedite the process of demining to enable the children of Sri Lanka to return to their schools and to re-open health centers” the Ambassador stated. He praised the Marshall Legacy Institute for taking the initiative to launch this program in Sri Lanka and Perry Baltimore, its President, for his personal dynamism and organization in achieving this objective.
Mr Raj Rajaratnam, the Founder and Managing Partner of The Galleon Group spoke on behalf of all the donors. He recalled his visits to the mine impacted areas of Sri Lanka and underscored the humanitarian toll that mines have taken. Recounting his encounter with a young child, in Kilinochchi in northern Sri Lanka, who had lost both legs to a landmine Mr. Rajaratnam, mentioned that this particular image, etched in his memory, “made it an easy decision to write the check”. On behalf of the donors, he handed over the check for $ 120,000 to Gen. (Ret.) Gordon R. Sullivan, Chairman Emeritus of the Marshall Legacy Institute.
Ambassador Subasinghe invited the major donors to attend the graduation ceremony of the dogs and local handlers in Sri Lanka scheduled for May 2004 to witness first hand the “ return” on their investment in the humanitarian mine detection program in Sri Lanka.
Click here for the Marshall Legacy Institute Annual Report
Embassy of Sri Lanka
21 January 2004
Annual Forum Sponsored by the International Center for Terrorism Studies of the Potomac Institute
Ambassador Devinda R. Subasinghe was lead speaker at the Annual Ambassadors' Forum sponsored by the International Center for Terrorism Studies of the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies (www.PotomacInstitute.org) at the National Press Club today. The 2004 Ambassadors Forum comprised participation by a cross section of diplomats, US government officials, academics and journalists and was titled "International Cooperation in Combating Terrorism - An Agenda for the 21st Century".
Michael S. Swetnam, Chairman and CEO of the Board of the Potomac Institute delivered the opening remarks and Prof Yonah Alexander, Director, International Center for Terrorism Studies chaired the Forum. The Potomac Institute of Policy Studies is an independent, non profit public policy research institute. The Institute identifies and aggressively shepherds discussion on key science, technology and security issues facing society, providing in particular, an academic forum for the study of related policy issues. The Institute's current endeavors have required the formation of special efforts in terrorism and asymmetry, emerging threats and opportunities and security.
Ambassador Subasinghe who made the opening speech, described the Sri Lankan experience of the 20 year conflict where the full spectrum of terrorism in all its manifestations were evident. Ambassador Subasinghe said: "International cooperation to combat terrorism must recognize the need to protect democratic values and the necessity to actively participate in global markets". His speech covered important facets of modem day terrorism and the required global and national counter measures. He stated: "Without understanding current and future threats and adversaries, it is well nigh impossible to formulate effective policy or practical responses". He appealed to the international community for rapid implementation of all existing UN conventions, which provide a solid legal framework for global efforts in the fight against terrorism.
The Ambassadors for Algeria and Turkey also spoke at the 2004 Ambassadors' Forum which was telecast live on C-Span (www.cspan.org ). Australian TV, Egyptian TV and Voice of America.
Please click here for the full text of the speech given by Ambassador Devinda R. Subasinghe at the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies
Embassy of Sri Lanka
07 January 2004
INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION IN COMBATING TERRORISM: AN AGENDA FOR THE 21ST CENTURY INTRODUCTION
Terrorism as we are aware, violates the most elementary values of human co-existence and the rules and norms of the national and international order. It has an extremely significant foreign-policy dimension too. By operating worldwide, the terrorists have accessed new ideas, resources, and fresh opportunities. In addition to accumulating political influence and economic resources, they have acquired specialized and dual technologies, and learnt tactics and techniques from both the East and West. Over a period of time many rag-tag groups have evolved into sophisticated organizations. As a global problem, the consensus is, that terrorism must be met with an international response.
Sri Lanka is just emerging from a brutal 20 year conflict in which more than 65,000 people, both combatants as well as civilians perished. During this time the country experienced the full spectrum of terrorism in all its manifestations. Now, fortunately, there is a cease fire in place for the last two years and there is much hope and expectations for the future, amidst a few temporary pitfalls. Being a small nation, Sri Lanka nevertheless, participated actively in the Global War on Terrorism. The country is staunchly supportive of the necessity to protect all democratic values and the requirement to actively participate in global markets and related economic growth.
GLOBALIZATION OF TERROR
The forces of globalization have facilitated the rise, growth, mobility and acquisition of special weapons/dual technologies by terrorist groups. For instance, the Internet is widely used not only to reach out to existing and potential support bases, but also to shorten the planning and preparation phases of terrorist (attacks against civilians) and guerrilla (attacks against combatants) operations. Moreover, using inexpensive travel and widespread communication, terrorist groups have successfully and in unprecedented ways influenced their existing and potential support bases amidst them and far away from the theatres of conflict.
Terrorism as we know, is not a new threat. The nations of the world, bar a few, are becoming truly united in the face of this historic challenge, rising to a new level of cooperation against the groups and individuals who threaten our way of life and the networks and powers behind them. The United States, the European Union, Russia and-very significantly--an impressive number of the Islamic States are turning from initial shock and condemnation towards constructive engagement in the expected long struggle against the evil of terrorism.
It is significant to emphasize the importance of the contribution of the Islamic world in this struggle. We have heard of the "clash of civilizations" and the much taunted "holy war" between Islam and the rest of the world.
A strong condemnation of these terrorist acts from many predominantly Islamic countries demonstrates both the unity of the international community and its ability to isolate, punish and defeat terrorist groups and networks, regardless of their regional or religious backgrounds. It must not be a clash of civilizations, but a struggle--within each of our societies, between those inspired and guided by a vision of betterment and those representing ideologies based on hatred.
WAR AGAINST TERRORISM
Considered a mere nuisance and a law and order problem during the Cold War, terrorism has become the most pressing domestic, regional and international security issue for governments today. In the twenty first century, mankind is facing its first great challenge. which has been labelled in the media as "the war against terrorism". But this is an entirely new kind of war, because we face a new kind of enemy: it is not a single entity, not even a single State, but a well established network that functions in many countries, using advantages of modern technology and globalization. Over the last decade, gradually losing much of its sponsorship, international terrorism has developed a huge and well-concealed infrastructure of support.
SHIFT IN THE GRAVITY OF TERRORISM
Without understanding current and future adversaries, it is not possible to formulate effective policy or practical responses. The nature and the context in which they emerge, grow, decline and disappear must be understood. In a globalized world, terrorists and criminals are highly mobile. The analogy of a balloon or a shark applies to terrorist groups. Like when a balloon is squeezed, it bulges out in another place, terrorists rapidly move in search of new opportunities. Similarly, like a shark rapidly moving underwater in search of prey, contemporary terrorists move rapidly and survive on opportunity1. As opportunities for terrorists to move are many, action against terrorists must be multinational.
THE INITIATIVES OF THE UN
While we all look for new long-term strategies, including, a new sense of urgency in adopting a comprehensive convention against terrorism, we need to remember that we have twelve existing United Nations conventions and protocols dealing with terrorism. The 11 September acts of terror underscores the need to ratify and implement them. This is one of the most vital steps that needs to be taken without delay. It is, I believe important to mention only the most recent two.
Firstly, The International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism, adopted on 9 December 1999, states that a person commits an offence if that person "provides or collects funds with the intention that they should be used or in the knowledge that they are to be used, in full or in part, in order to carry out" acts of terrorism, and calls on all State Parties to "take appropriate measures ... for the identification, detection and freezing or seizure of any funds used or allocated for the purpose of committing the offences".
Dear colleagues, fortunately, 132 countries have signed the convention, and 31 have become parties by ratifying the treaty. This indeed is good news. However, it is time to issue a strong appeal for a quick implementation of all existing UN Conventions, which provide a solid legal framework for global efforts in the eradication of terrorism. This is imperative.
Secondly, The Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, signed in December 2000 in Palermo, provides powerful instruments that, even though not directly aimed at terrorism, can help in that effort as well. These include: increased cooperation among the States and their law enforcement agencies; new tools in tracking down the terrorists' assets and preventing money-laundering (such as lifting bank secrecy that protects them); easing and speeding up of extradition procedures; and protection of witnesses.
This is why we must use this opportunity to appeal strongly for a quick ratification and a full implementation of existing United Nations conventions, which provide a solid legal framework for global efforts in the eradication of terrorism.
THE US INITIATIVES
I must also mention the efforts taken by the US which I would like to term Major Initiatives. These are:
Creating of smart borders (Canada and Mexico)
Combating fraudulent travel documents.
Increasing the security of international shipping containers. (Container Security Initiative)
Intensifying international law enforcement cooperation.
Improving cooperation in response to attacks.
Proliferation Security Initiative
INTERNATIONAL COUNTER TERRORISM UNIT
There is also a considerable lobby for the establishment of an International Institution to Fight Terrorism : an International Counter -Terrorism Unit. This assumes that the international community has arrived at an accepted definition of terrorism, and the concomitant establishment of a permanent international mechanism to combat terrorism.
One of the first benefits of such a step would be that democracies with less experience in combating terrorism would no longer be as powerless when confronted by the threat of terrorism. This is food for thought.
Finally, It is important to analyze at this juncture, how other important players view the threat. I shall take two examples. Firstly China. A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman recently stated that the Chinese side opposes terrorist activities in any form and supports attacks on terrorism as long as the attacks are based on conclusive evidence and with clear targets and a guarantee of the safety of innocent civilians.
He also stated that The United Nations Charter should be respected and the role of the UN and its Security Council should be strengthened, adding China will discuss with the UN Security Council all proposals that are conducive to cracking down on terrorism. This is extremely encouraging.
Richard Nixon had once remarked that had Singapore's Lee Kuan Yew lived in a different country in a different time, he would have achieved the status of a major historical figure-a Churchill, Disraeli or Gladstone. Lee recently turned 80, having for 45 years carefully observed international trends and maneuvered to keep his city-state secure and prosperous. While in Singapore a few weeks ago, the NEWSWEEK magazine interviewed him. When questioned on the American-European divide, Mr Lee had stated that The Europeans underestimate the problem of Al Qaeda-style terrorism. "They think that the United States is exaggerating the threat. They compare it to their own many experiences with terror-the IRA, the Red Brigade, the Baader-Meinhof, ETA. But they are wrong."
Lee was critical of both sides of the Atlantic alliance on Iraq. "When America and Europe are divided, when Japan is hesitant, the extremists are emboldened and think they can win against a divided group. The terrorists' tactics for the time being are to hit only Americans, Israelis and America's strong supporters, the British, the Italians, the Turks, warning the Japanese but leaving others alone. They intend to divide and conquer."
As post-modern terrorist groups are multidimensional, they operate militarily, politically, financially and ideologically. As such, the efforts against terrorism must be multi-pronged or on all its fronts. As terrorists have greater patience and commitment, efforts against terrorism must be sustained and far-reaching. Otherwise, counter terrorism initiatives against an adversary with greater staying power are bound to fail. A brief look at the regional and functional developments in the history of terrorism demonstrates that terrorist groups have moved across geographic boundaries and regions to survive. Furthermore, to adapt to the changing environment, the phenomenon of terrorism itself has undergone profound change.
From a Sri Lankan perspective, being a tiny island nation, all efforts are made by us to support the Global war on terror and its manifestations. We know that we are not alone in the accomplishment of this needy endeavour but much more needs to be achieved.
Sri Lanka has begun its own journey towards resolving the longstanding conflict with the support of the international community. It is pertinent to mention the vital role being played by Norway as the facilitator and US, Japan, EU as underwriters of the reconstruction program and the active support of India.
Ladies and Gentlemen, these are difficult times and it is opportune for us to reflect on all these matters and map out a fool-proof strategy, globally, together, to eradicate, if not control this menace.
1 Bruce Hoffman, a pre-eminent specialist on terrorism, equaled terrorist behavior to that of sharks. Hoffman, personal communication, September 2001. To understand terrorist behavior, see, Bruce Hoffman, Inside Terrorism (Columbia University Press, New York, 1998)