Sri Lankan president pledges to continue fighting "external elements " for peace

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Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa on Saturday renewed his pledge to fight all "external elements" seeking to "disrupt" the country's peace at the fourth anniversary celebration of winning the three-decade war.

He was alluding to foreign countries, led by the United States, who have been critical of Sri Lanka's human rights record and called for an independent investigation into the alleged war crimes committed during the last stage of the war in the country.

President Mahinda Rajapaksa insisted that these were attempts to undermine the peace that has been won and the reconciliation that is already taking place.

"When the war ended, we freed most of the top officials of the LTTE with very minor punishments despite the many atrocities their organization committed. We rehabilitated over 11000 carders, resettled thousands of displaced people and demined vast tracts of land," he said.

Addressing the nation during the celebration, Rajapaksa also harshly criticized the Tamil diaspora, whom he saw as "aiding and abetting" the international community to criticize Sri Lanka.

"The Tamil people don't need enemies as long as these people are there," he added, clearly alluding to the pro-LTTE Tamil diaspora organizations such as the Global Tamil Forum that have been lobbying internationally on allegations of war crimes committed in Sri Lanka during the last phase of the war.

These groups have supported countries such as Canada and UK to vote against Sri Lanka at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) that adopted two resolutions on Sri Lanka in 2012 and 2013.

However, Rajapaksa emphasized several times during his speech that he would not allow for any such group or country to dictate Sri Lanka.

The Sri Lankan forces crushed the Liberation Tamil Tigers of Eelam (LTTE) that waged a three-decade war in the island in May 2009. Since then, every year the government has held a massive military parade in Colombo to celebrate the victory.

The year's celebration did not differ from the previous ones and featured contingents from each part of the army, navy, air force, police and home guard. Families of soldiers who had died during the war were presented medals after the president's speech. Endi

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