MR calls for inquiry into general state of morale in armed forces
Posted on June 8th, 2016

Courtesy Adaderana

 Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa says that several incidents since January last year have had the effect of seriously undermining the self esteem and morale of the armed forces to an extent unseen even during the years of the 2002 ceasefire.

Any inquiry into the causes of the Kosgama disaster should also look into the general state of morale in the armed forces at present,” he said, in a statement issued today (7).

Though we still do not know for certain what caused the fire, it can be said as a general statement that when self esteem and morale are at a low ebb in a military organisation, supervision, vigilance, leadership and the general state of alertness also suffers.”

Rajapaksa said that during the war, the government took special precautions to ensure the security of the installation and after 2009, the army had been gradually relocating this armoury and that most of the ordnance in this location had been shifted temporarily to places like Veyangoda and distributed to Diyatalawa and Maduruoya for use in training.

Two large farms in Oyamaduwa and Rambewa had also been identified to store the remaining ordnance on a permanent basis, he said.

But since our time no further action had been taken on this matter. Be that as it may, I am very surprised that a breakdown in security of this magnitude can occur at an installation like this.”

If something like this had happened during the war, the war effort would have been seriously undermined,” he said.

The former President welcomed the government’s announcement that they will rebuild the houses damaged by the explosion.

Full Statement:

The explosion and complete destruction of the Sri Lanka Army’s central armoury located at the Salawa army camp in Kosgama has shocked the nation. I would like to express my condolences to the family of the soldier who lost his life in the disaster and wish those who have been injured, a speedy recovery. The destruction of army property and the properties of civilian residents living in the vicinity has been extensive. The central armoury of the army was established in this location in the late 1990s by the then government despite protests by politicians in the area like Messers. Dinesh Gunawardene and Bandula Gunawardene who warned against the storing of large quantities of ordnance close to residential areas.

During the war, we took special precautions to ensure the security of this installation and after 2009, the army had been gradually relocating this armoury and I am to understand that most of the ordnance in this location had been shifted temporarily to places like Veyangoda and distributed to Diyatalawa and Maduruoya for use in training. Two large farms in Oyamaduwa and Rambewa had also been identified to store the remaining ordnance on a permanent basis. But since our time no further action had been taken on this matter. Be that as it may, I am very surprised that a breakdown in security of this magnitude can occur at an installation like this. If something like this had happened during the war, the war effort would have been seriously undermined.

These installations are guarded day and night, and checked at least twice a day. Expired ordnance is regularly destroyed. There are precautions taken to minimise damage even in the case of accidents such as electricity leaks. However all those systems had failed and the authorities should inquire into why that happened. Though we still do not know for certain what caused the fire, it can be said as a general statement that when self esteem and morale are at a low ebb in a military organisation, supervision, vigilance, leadership and the general state of alertness also suffers. During the first few months of my presidency, for the first time in world history, terrorists were able to carry out a suicide attack on an army commander inside his own headquarters.

Though the immediate reason the terrorists were able to carry out such an attack were the shortcomings in the security arrangements at army headquarters at the time, the more important underlying cause was the defeatist mindset created among armed forces personnel by the 2002-2006 ceasefire. Several incidents since January last year have had the effect of seriously undermining the self esteem and morale of the armed forces to an extent unseen even during the years of the 2002 ceasefire. Any inquiry into the causes of the Kosgama disaster should also look into the general state of morale in the armed forces at present. In the meantime, I welcome the government’s announcement that they will rebuild the houses damaged by the explosion. The displaced will also have to be provided alternative accommodation until their houses are rebuilt.

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2 Responses to “MR calls for inquiry into general state of morale in armed forces”

  1. aloy Says:

    When the country was in need of power badly we saw major transformer stations in the country getting blasted one after the other. Now the ammo dumps have started getting blasted with devastating consequences for no apparent reason. I feel all these are sabotage work by a set of well organised people to create confusion. Similar disasters can happen again. There may be traitorous elements in the government, or they may be outside with inside help. People who tricked Prabha can do same to anybody to achieve their aim, that is to destabilize the country now. People who entertained our enemies like channel 4 at Sirikotha also can do anything.People voted for my3 to make a change. They did not vote for him to be the prez and do nothing. They knew who RW is. He was given the responsibility to catch the people who destroyed the county economically and morally. Even after one and a half years he is doing nothing and has put the snakes inside his clothes and watching. Very soon he will start screaming “kanawo kanawo”.
    I like to tell the prez to carry out what he was charged to do immediately whether the culprits are in his party or UNP without further delay.

  2. mario_perera Says:

    Whether sitting on the seat of power or shitting into the toilet bowl the physical posture is the same.

    MaRa is now sitting on the toilet bowl and dreaming of the seat of power.

    the morale of the story is: know the one from the other.

    Mario Perera
    Kadawata

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