Colombo, Nov 6 (UNI) Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa today urged the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) to join the democratic process, or else they would be militarily defeated, he warned.
''My earnest plea to the terrorists is to lay down arms and join the democratic process, even at this last moment. If not, they would be militarily defeated,'' the President's office in a report quoted President Rajapaksa as having said in the island's parliament today in his budget speech.
''Terrorist activities are now confined to a few Divisional Secretariat divisions and their strength is gradually deteriorating.
I know that the day on which such Divisional Secretariat divisions will be relieved by our heroic forces without harming any public property is not far away,'' President Rajapaksa said.
According to the report of the President's office, President Rajapaksa has submitted his fourth budget since 2005 and said today that he was ''glad to note that at the moment the Budget is being presented, our hopes are advancing their operations having rescued a vast area in the Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu Districts'', where heavy clashes are taking place for the past few months.
''I am so glad not only on account of the bravery and victories of our armed forces. I also value the thoughts from a humanitarian point of view that the day on which we can rescue around 200,000 of our own fellow citizens living in the affected areas from the grip of terror, is near,'' the reported quoted the President as saying this evening.
Commending the efforts by the Security Forces in the north against the LTTE, Mr Rajapaksa said his government would "also take steps to conduct Local Government elections and Provincial Council Elections in the North once it is captured''.
''We should also take simultaneous action to implement our development plans on an urgent basis to rebuild infrastructure facilities which had been destroyed by terrorists themselves in the North, and also take immediate action to develop the North which remained neglected without any development for nearly 30 years,'' the President said.
UNI XC SB AS2052