By Lieutenant General J.E. Denis Perera

There are various interpretations given on “Terrorism” by the media and by some individuals. However, Sri Lanka has not given an official interpretation of “Terrorism” even in the “Prevention of Terrorism” Act. The U.S. Department of Defence and the FBI, for instance define terrorism as “the unlawful use of force or violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives.” The U.S. State Department, on the other hand  uses the definition contained in Title 22 of the United States Code, viz:-“The term ‘terrorism’ means premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against noncombatant targets by sub national groups or clandestine agents, usually intended to influence an audience. The term “international terrorism” means terrorism involving citizens or the territory of more than one country. The term “terrorist group” means any group practicing, or that has significant subgroups that practice international terrorism.” It is not difficult to see from the above set of definitions that the state is responding to a precise version of terrorism. Read the rest of this entry »