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    Weapons not enough to fight militancy in Sri Lanka, says President

    Colombo (PTI): Acknowledging the contribution of Sri Lanka's armed forces in fighting "international terrorism", President Mahinda Rajapaksa has said giving democratic rights to the Tamils in LTTE strongholds was vital for ending militancy in the region.

    "Our War Heroes are fighting with sacrifice of their lives to mark a full stop in Sri Lanka to international terrorism," Rajapaksa said, adding it was not possible to win a war with weapons alone.

    For this it is necessary for the soldier who goes into battle to have trust and confidence in his leadership, he said.

    "In order to build their morale we had to resolve many of their problems such as service conditions, weapons training, suitable housing, and education for their children," he added.

    "We have the need to give the Tamil people in (the rebel stronghold) of Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu their democratic rights, as we did for the people in the East," the President said.

    Lavishing praise on the security forces, Rajapaksa, who was addressing the "War Heroes Day" function last evening said the Sri Lankan defence forces was carving out a niche for themselves internationally.

    "There was a time when no one thought our War Heroes will be able to give this example to the world. Our War Heroes are not only engaged in battling terrorism, they are also engaged in a great operation to ensure and provide the human rights and the necessities of the people," he said.

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