The fall of major LTTE bases in the East would facilitate the ongoing resettlement and reconstruction projects in the East.
Senior Presidential Advisor Basil Rajapakse said that the government would fast track what he termed as a three-pronged strategy to restore normalcy in the region.
In a brief interview with The Island against the backdrop of the LTTE losing Thoppigala, Rajapakse asserted that security would be critical.
`In fact, everything would depend on an effective security plan to prevent the enemy from disrupting government plans,` he said, adding, `It would be a vital part in the three-pronged strategy. Implementation of a development plan and resumption of political work in the province, too, would be part of the plan, he said, while expressing confidence that the international community would support government efforts.
Rajapakse emphasized that the resettlement of IDPs (internallydisplaced persons) would not be an issue as the LTTE didn`t control territory in the East. He asserted that the remaining IDPs would be able to return to their homes soon after the SLA and international mine clearing groups deployed in the East complete their work. `It`s a painstaking task.
Once an area is declared cleared of mines, people are allowed to return,` he said. But this was subjected to approval by the UN.
Fielding questions, he dismissed the perception that people were being forced to go back. `An absolutely lie,` he said, claiming that there were interested parties determined to undermine the government efforts for political reasons. There were others who would try to delay the resettlement process for financial gain, he asserted.
He emphasized that of the total IDP population, only a fraction was due to the resumption of hostilities during President Mahinda Rajapakse`s presidency.
According to him the resettlement process in the Ampara-Batticaloa region was fast nearing completion and the focus has shifted to Trincomalee. Rajapakse recently visited Trincomalee to supervise the work.
Security forces, police and the STF were making a coordinated effort to thwart LTTE attempts to infiltrate the East, he said. Fielding questions, he said INGOs and NGOs have been given access to areas captured by security forces.
He expressed the belief that people would provide information to security authorities regarding LTTE attempts to mount attacks. `Tamil people remain a vital source of information,` he asserted, vowing to go ahead with planned work in the East.