RISING STARS Vs PRESIDENTS: MUHAMMAD ZIA-UL-HAQ, PERVEZ MUSHARRAF, GARDIHEWA SARATH CHANDRALAL FONSEKA Vs ZULFIKAR ALI BHUTTO, NAWAZ SHARIF & MAHINDA RAJAPAKSE
Posted on November 14th, 2009

Is President Mahinda Rajapakse is one step ahead of Ali Bhutto and Nawaz Shariff? By DR M D P DISSANAYAKE

Since independence in 1948, Sri Lanka may not have achieved economic independence, but we were never under the Pump of Military dictatorship. Occupation of political leadership roles by Military personnel in Pakistan has shattered its pride internationally. Did the so called tough military leaders of Pakistan change the country as a safe place to live and visit? Pakistan has been denied by the world body of cricket, to hold any of the 2011 World Cup Matches due to deteriorating situation. Such is the situation in a nut-shell.

Lets take each of the Pakistan cases one by one. It was Late Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhotto appointed Zia-ul-Haq on March 1, 1976. With this appointment, the Prime Minister Bhotto has overlooked several other senior army personnel, in preference to Zia-ul-Haq. President Ali Bhotto trusted Zia-ul-Haq and expected undivided loyalty, perhaps because both of them were from Arian tribe. Loyal servant turned an enemy within a short period, took over the reign and in spite of international pressure, Prime Minister Ali Bhutto was executed in 1979 for alleged murder of a political opponent.

The next Pakistan episode was in 1998, then Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif promoted Pervez Musharaff as Army Chief of Staff and Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee. Once again several high ranking military personnel were over-looked by the Prime Minister, in preference to Pervez Musharaff. Within one year, on 12 October 1999, Pervez Musharaff took over the power in a military coup d’etat. Did Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif get the loyalty he expected from Pervez Musharaff?

Now turning to Sri Lanka, His Excellency President Mahinda Rajapakse appointed Gardihewa Sarath Chandralal Fonseka as the Commander of the Army on 6 December 2005 over-looking several other senior capable military personnel. He was later promoted to the rank of General, in recognition of his contribution to the War. But did President MR get the loyalty he expected from the General?

General Sarath Fonseka’s letter of resignation had 17 reasons for his frustration. Most of them were naive and to say the least are “silly”. A senior executive in a private company may not adduce reasons such as these in his letter of resignation. The only serious allegation against the government in his letter was that SL government had sought Indian government intervention on 15 October 2009, in the event of a military coup in Sri Lanka. This allegation has now been officially repudiated by the Indian government.

The question is whether “General Sarath Fonseka jumped before being pushed” sensing his days are numbered! The prompt acceptance of his resignation and dismissing from active service forthwith clearly demonstrate that the President has lost the faith and trust in GSF. As I said before, GSF has shot himself in his foot. There is an old saying that ” one should never upset the Boss”.

His Excellency President Mahinda Rajapakse is definitely one step ahead of Ali Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif! That is leadership!

Dirgahayu President Mahinda Rajapakse! Digahayu Sri Lanka. Budu Saranai.

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