Saturday, July 26, 2008

Sri Lanka plans foolproof security for SAARC summit

The Tamil Tigers may have announced a unilateral 10-day truce but the Sri Lankan government is leaving nothing to chance for the upcoming SAARC summit. It has deployed 19,000 additional security personnel to provide foolproof protection for the visiting leaders.

The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam's (LTTE) truce between July 26 and Aug 4 was rejected by the government of President Mahinda Rajapaksa as "a trap".

The 15th summit of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) starts at the Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall here Aug 2. It will be attended by leaders of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

All these leaders will bring their own personnel to personally look after their security but media reports in Colombo and India indicate that Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will come with scores of elite Black Cats. India is also sending helicopters and bulletproof cars.

Military spokesperson Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara said the Sri Lankan police and security forces would be in charge of the security cover for the summit.

"About 19,000 additional troops, including police personnel, will be deployed for the summit. It is a well coordinated security plan to ensure the best security cover for the summit," Nanayakkara told IANS.

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