Matara (Sri Lanka), Dec 26: Vowing to crush terrorism in Sri Lanka, President Mahinda Rajapaksa today said the Tamil Tiger rebels should be defeated militarily before finding any political solution to the bloody ethnic conflict. ''No political solution is possible without crushing terrorism completely. Our military victories are clearing way for a lasting political solution,'' President Rajapaksa said while speaking at the national event to mark the third anniversary of the tsunami disaster in the Southern Matara district.
''The LTTE would be defeated militaraly and forced to accept a political solution after laying down weapons,'' President Rajapaksa said, minutes after ceremonially opening a Korean-funded bridge that was destroyed by the terror waves three years ago. ''I hope they (LTTE) understand this reality,'' President Rajapaksa, who is also the Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces, said.
It is exactly three years ago that the giant waves of tsunami destroyed two third of Sri Lanka's coastal belt leaving nearly 40,000 people killed and rendered one million homeless.
Although government has claimed that post-tsunami rebuilding is nearing completion with 80 per cent of the affected people being resettled, nearly 9,000 affected families are still living in temporary shelters.
President Rajapaksa said Sri Lanka has recovered from tsunami disaster like Japan after the World War II, although there were few thousands of families yet to be resettled including in the rebel-held Mullaitivu district.
''The way we recovered from the challenges posed by tsunami disaster, we will also overcome the challenges by terrorism,'' President Rajapaksa said, highlighting the military victories against the LTTE in the Eastern Sri Lanka.
He said that the international community has helped Sri Lanka immensely to recover from the tsunami disaster and his government's current military campaign against the LTTE has not deterred the foreign assistance to the island nation.