No Federal, One National Anthem – Rear Admiral Sarath Weeraekera
Posted on August 26th, 2016

Sadun A Jayasekara (Interview with Daily Mirror)

The dailymirror spoke to Rear Admiral Sarath Weerasekara on the issues related to war heroes, missing persons and the mechanism to probe war crimes.   

Rear Admiral Sarath Weeraekera was the Chief of Staff of the Sri Lanka Navy and the first Director General of the Civil Defence Force. He was one of the five heads of security forces felicitated by the nation for winning the war. On retiring from military service, he entered politics and was the Deputy Minister of Labour and Labour Relations during the previous government. He also directed and wrote the script of the film Gamani which received 17 film awards including those for the best film, best Director and best script-writer of the year at several awards ceremonies. He is also the President of the newly formed National War Heroes’ Front. He shared the following with us. 

Q    You were very critical of policies with regard to the probe on Human Rights violations during the war. What is your main concern?
My main concern is about the national security and the war heroes. We fought the war for three decades, sacrificed immensely to defeat terrorism, and ensured the unitary nature of the country. 29,000 men were killed, 14,000 critically wounded and others fought and survived to make it happen. But, we see national security is jeopardised; paving the way for the LTTE to re-group and pushing our war heroes to be punished internationally. That, is my concern.

Q Are you making these allegations as a politician or as a retired senior military officer?
Well, you can’t deny the fact that I am already a politician, but let me tell you this with great responsibility. Our government, after winning the war, took very important measures to prevent the LTTE from reorganizing. We strengthened the Intelligence units and were able to crush three attempts by the LTTE to come up again between the years 2009 and 2014. We banned INGOs, such as Global Tamil Forum, under UN Charter 1373, which supported the LTTE directly. The maximum possible lands and houses were released while retaining the most important to ensure security.

This government remanded a very efficient group of Intelligence officers no sooner it came to power, thereby demoralizing all other Intelligence officers . They lifted the ban on all pro-LTTE NGOs and released strategically important land without proper military study, and released hardcore LTTErs from prison. The NGOs are now freely moving about in the North, preparing a database of all the 11,000 rehabilitated LTTE cadres.

Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran is passing resolutions in the NPC demanding a Federal State, and the government is silent. What the LTTE couldn’t achieve militarily, Mr. Wigneswaran, the TNA and the diaspora are trying to achieve through other means.

QDuring the war, many excesses may have taken place. If a soldier has done something unacceptable, are you telling that we must ignore it just because they won the war?

No. If a soldier has violated the law, done something wrong, then he should be tried and punished as per the prevailing law of the country. You can’t have special courts with foreign assistance judging our men. In our country, according to the Constitution, everyone, including the soldiers, are equal before the law. If there is a special court only for the soldiers that means soldiers are not equal before the law in our country. Isn’t it hilarious? Is this the way to treat our men who have sacrificed their entire lives for the country? If the Office of the Missing Personnel (OMP) Bill is passed in Parliament, it is the last nail on the coffin of all those who fought the war.

QThe OMP is for the benefit of the families of people gone missing during the war, issuing death certificates, paying compensations etc. are the things done after the war. How can it be a last nail on the soldiers’ coffins?

This Bill equals the terrorist who massacred the innocent civilians and the soldier who sacrificed his life to save the nation. Compensation would be paid to the next of kin of both, the terrorists and the soldiers. This office could sign agreements with foreign companies, receive foreign funds, recruit foreigners without State approval. They can visit any security Force’s camp, Police, CID at any time of the day, demand and get any top secret documents. Refusal would amount to contempt of Court.
They can get evidence from video conferences from abroad, accept it, even such evidences are not acceptable in our courts, according to the Evidence Ordinance.

The funniest thing is that, if a missing person is found to be alive in any country, it can be revealed only with that person’s consent. For example, our Intelligence officers are in remand for more than 320 days for Prageet Ekneligoda’s missing/murder case. If he is found to be alive somewhere, you are not allowed to reveal it unless Ekneligoda himself agrees. If he doesn’t, then our men would be in jail forever whils Ekneligoda’s wife would continue to receive compensation given for the next of kin of missing personnel. This clause has been included for the benifit of the terrorists who have fled the country an on record here as missiong. Doesn’t this amount to cheating ?

QThe Tamil politicians demand a Federal State in the North to meet the aspirations of the Tamil people. Are you against devolution of power? Don’t you think that the Tamil people have a genuine problem?

I am not against devolution of power, but the centre must be in control. If a Chief Minister of a Provincial Council tries to do something against the Constitution of a country, the centre/parliament should be able to intervene and stop it. If not, how can Parliament be supreme?
I heard Mr. Wigneswaran was making a statement on radio about federalism and Tamil aspirations. He should remember that out of the Tamil population in the country, only 49% live in the North and more than 50 %  live in other parts of the country among the majority. If federalism is to meet the aspirations of the Tamils in the North, what about the aspirations of the Tamils living outside? Does that mean Wigneswaran is not concerned about those Tamils or is he convinced that their aspirations are already met/fulfilled?

QThe NPC has passed many resolutions in the recent past and many have their own reservations, how do you view that ?

Yes, Chief Minister Wigneswaran, as I said before, seems to be very active in passing resolutions, specially after this government came into power. In fact he prevented the submitting the Tamil Genocide Bill during the last government and had it done during this government, and that is hypocrisy. Passing that type of resolution and sending them to Geneva is a part of the conspiracy to separate the North, as all such reports would be considered during their final push for federalism.
In my 35 years of service in the Navy, I served many years in Jaffna and we did donate blood to the Tamil brethren on many occasions. We are happy that our donated blood had saved our Tamil friends.

Tamils and Sinhalese are living happily as friends as seen everywhere and only the separatist politicians want to separate them to achieve their malicious aims. We have sacrificed a lot for the past 2,500 years to keep this country in one piece and this time 29,000 died and 14,000 were wounded to make that happen. Such a sacrifice would be in vain if we allow our country to be fragmented into pieces. We are prepared to defeat federalism.

– See more at: http://www.dailymirror.lk/113962/If-a-soldier-has-done-wrong-punishment-should-be-from-prevailing-law-Sarath-Weerasekera#sthash.SXRsSdla.dpuf

19 Responses to “No Federal, One National Anthem – Rear Admiral Sarath Weeraekera”

  1. S.Gonsal Says:

    “I am not against devolution of power, but the centre must be in control.”

    – This is wrong approach. Please do not talk about ANY devolution based on ethnicity. That is absolute nonsense and does not work with TAMIL RACE. Given 1 they will ask for 1000.

  2. Lorenzo Says:

    FUTURE SL PRESIDENT SARATH WEERASEKARA!

    He can easily get MOST RANAVIRU family and associates’ votes. That is more than 2 million. IF he can make use of the SLFP-JO DIVISION, he can win votes of EITHER of them.

    Since JO has NO suitable presidential candidate, SARATH WEERASEKARA should come with JO support.

    He should promise to SCRAP ETCA (JO Endians cannot say this).

    S. Gonsal,

    He didn’t say devolution to ethnic groups. TO WIN the election from a LESS KNOWN PARTY we need the support of PC crooks. At least we should NOT get them off side. But an ELECTED RULER can SCRAP it. How about devolution of HARMLESS POWERS?

    Of course Tamilians will ask anything they can think of anyway.

  3. Ananda-USA Says:

    Sarath Weersekara says “Compensation should be paid to both terrorists and soldiers”!

    What nonsense! Why should any compensation be paid to terrorists?
    They were criminals killing innocents. Any losses they suffered were the result of their own criminal actions. Why on earth should anyone “compensate” a criminal for the results of his own crimes?

    IT SIMPLY DOES NOT MAKE SENSE!

    And WHY should the VICTIMS of these terrorists bear the BURDEN of paying the terrorists COMPENSATION!

    INSTEAD, these terrorists should bear the BURDEN of paying COMPENSATION to their VICTIMS!

    If they don’t have the money to COMPENSATE THE VICTIMS OF TERRORISM, the govt should provide them employment and deduct a a TERRORISM COMOENSATION TAX from their SALARIES into a TRUST FUND set up for compensating their victims.

    Now THAT would be a JUST and TRUE form of COMPENSATION.

    Don’t REWARD the MURDEROUS TERRORISTSI; let them pay compensation to their victims FOR THE REST OF THEIR LIVES!

  4. Christie Says:

    Dear Sarath

    Like most of the subjects of the Indian Empire you do not see what the Indian Empire is doing to the Sinhalese Buddhists, Christians and Muslims in the island nation.

    What Indian Imperialists are doing to their subjects in Indian colonies is the same what they are doing to us.

  5. S.Gonsal Says:

    Dear Ananda,
    You have misunderstood what Sarath said. It is not he said “Compensation should be paid to both terrorists and soldiers” but he is saying according to the passed OMP nonsense “compensation would be paid …….”.

  6. plumblossom Says:

    Mr. Udaya Gammanpila Sir,

    Apart from highly commending you for taking legal action against the treacherous CBK (Chaura Rejina) regarding the defamatory and utter lies she keeps repeating to defame her rivals, legal action should be taken against her for stating that she will definitely devolve more powers to provincial Councils within the new constitution. Does this evil woman CBK think she owns Sri Lanka and that she is the one who is going to draw up the new constitution of Sri Lanka (according to the wishes of the imperialistic US, UK, EU, Canada, Norway, Sweden, India, the racist TNA and the separatist terrorists)? The constitution of Sri Lanka should satisfy first and foremost the majority of people of this island i.e. the Sinhala people and the Sinhala people firstly do not want to draw up a new constitution nor do they want any more powers whatsoever be provided to the provincial councils especially land, police and fiscal or to illegally merge the North and the East.

    Someone has to go to the supreme court and take action against treacherous CBK for suggesting that she will definitely devolve more powers to provincial councils within the yet to be drawn up constitution since this means the treacherous Ranil, Sirisena, CBK and Mangala have already drawn up a constitution to satisfy the imperialistic US, UK, EU, Canada, Norway, Sweden, India, the racist TNA and the separatist terrorists which is illegal.

  7. plumblossom Says:

    When looking at Sri Lanka’s history, it is extremely obvious that from 600BC to around 1400AD there were three kingdoms, all Sinhala Buddhist, Ruhuna, Pihiti or Rajarata and Maya or Malayarata. Rajarata encompassed today’s North Central, North Western, Northern and even the Central Province. Ruhunu rata encompassed today’s Uva, Eastern and Southern Provinces. The Kandyan Kingdom from 1400AD encompassed most of the island inclusive of today’s Northern and the Eastern Provinces except for the Jaffna Peninsula. Even the Jaffna Peninsula was invaded and occupied by force by Aryachakravarthi (Pandyan) and actually did belong to Rajarata earlier and later the Kandyan Kingdom.

    Today’s provincial boundaries were drawn up by the British colonialists as per their divide and rule policy and the Sinhala people were not consulted when drawing up these provincial boundaries. In the meantime, most Sri Lankan Tamils of today were actually brought over during Dutch and British times to the Jaffna Peninsula and elsewhere to work on tobacco and indigo plantations which were planted extensively in all the colonies since they were much sought after and made a lot of money for the colonialists. Therefore they are recent arrivals and cannot claim homelands or separate states whatsoever.

    The usual practice when a colonial power hands over their former colonies is to hand it over to its original owners. Therefore the British colonialists should hand over the Kandyan Kingdom to the Kandyan Sinhalese from whom they took it by force. Since the Kandyan Kingdom encompassed the North and the East, these provinces too should be handed over to the Kandyan Sinhalese who are its rightful owners. Even the Jaffna Peninsula should be handed over to the Kandyan Sinhalese since it was part of Rajarata and was forcefully occupied by Aryachakravarthi (Pandyan).

    Since this has now been done already, the TNA and other separatist terrorists or the US, UK EU, Canada, Norway, Sweden and India cannot demand that present day Northern or even the Eastern provinces be provided any more powers or be made into federal states since this is totally going against the history and archaeology of the island and totally going against the rights of the Sinhala people who also have fundamental rights to claim the entire island inclusive of the North and the East as their homeland first and foremost. Therefore, the TNA , the separatist terrorists, the US, UK, Norway, Sweden, Canada and India has to respect the history and archaeology of the island and accept that the present day provincial councils are more than sufficient to run the affairs of the provinces. Sri Lanka must be a unitary state and no more powers should be provided to the provincial councils. In fact, when talking about the 13th amendment, the concurrent list subjects must be included in the national list. The provision where two provinces can merge should be deleted. The bogus claim of the North and the East being the homeland of the Tamil speaking people should be deleted. The entire island should be declared the homeland of all its peoples.

    Sinhala people should be resettled in the North in quite a large number if there is to be peace and harmony within the island since Sinhala people have every historical right to live in the North as well as the East. It is only due to ethnic cleansing of the North of Sinhala people by the LTTE and the other separatists that Sinhala people are not at present living in the North. Many thousands of landless elsewhere in the island especially Sinhala people should be provided land in the North since most of the vacant land in the country is in the North and in the East since both these provinces encompass over 28% of the land area of the island. Then only will there be peace since when people mix, there is more harmony. This is the only way towards peace and development in the island.

  8. Fran Diaz Says:

    The two parties really responsible for the Tamil extreme Violence & the Separatist Movement :

    (a) INDIA : Trained the LTTE in Tamil Nadu and imposed the ILLEGAL 13-A, both items making Tamils more separate and more violent in Lanka.

    (b) Tamil Leaders then and now, in Sri Lanka : Imposed the Vadukoddai Resolution 1976 (Eelam through Violence). Note that this was the first visible Violent Reaction from the then Tamil leaders, with earlier Tamil leaders demanding a Federal State whilst the Colonial British were in power in the Ceylon.

    What are these two parties doing about the untold damage caused to Sri Lanka & her People ?

    There are also the Colonists who are responsible for untold damage to Sri Lanka due to importing over a million and a half of Tamil Dalit Indentured Labor to work in then Ceylon, especially in the Tea & Tobacco industries.
    The best thing these ex-Coloninial people can now do is to step back more and allow the Lankan citizens to come to a fair settlement without use of more violence.

  9. Ananda-USA Says:

    S.Gonsal,

    Thank you for correcting me.

    Sarath Weersekara did NOT say compensation SHOULD be paid to both terrorists and soldiers, but that compensation WOULD be paid to both terrorists and soldiers. He was in fact criticizing that possibility.

    I am glad that Sarath did NOT say it, but the rest of my comment oppositiong such payments and my recommendation that former terrorists be levied a COMPENSATION TAX PENALTY as long as they live, STANDS unchanged.

    Thank you Gonsal!

  10. S.Gonsal Says:

    Fran,
    Actually , a Pada Yatra should have been organised in 2009, exposing India’s action and to force them to pay compensation. That was the ideal time both Tamils and Sinhalese realised the great crimes against humanity India initiated.
    Even now it is not too late. It should not be a dancing party but whole country must stop work on a poya day and march towards India.

  11. S.Gonsal Says:

    Thank you Ananda. Remember he alone stood against traitors in the parliament.

    Against the OMP what you said is absolutely correct. This is not to pay compensation to soldiers but to wives of terrorists ( most are terrorist themselves) who still blame soldiers for everything but cry and make soft story movies published by parasites who live out of this.

  12. Lorenzo Says:

    So the blue-green-red POLITICAL CAMPS and CIA are trying their best to STOP Sarath!

    I’m not surprised. Sarath must be the next SL PRESIDENT for SL to have ANY FUTURE. Looks like his biggest enemies will be “THIRUPATI worshiper worshipers” than LTTE this time. With his courage, Sarath can overcome this menace too.

  13. Lorenzo Says:

    Patriots, look what is happening here.

    “A significant development before Premier Wickremesinghe’s departure to China was a meeting with former President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Associated with the Premier was Minister Samarawickrema whilst ‘Joint Opposition’ Leader Dinesh Gunawardena, accompanied Rajapaksa.”

    Wickremesinghe told the former President, other than that, the main area where attention was being focused by the Government is the formulation of a new Constitution for Sri Lanka. The three key aspects were the abolition of the executive presidency, strengthening of the parliamentary system and ensuring greater devolution. He noted that the electoral reforms were a time consuming process but said priority would be given to the issue.

    It was Dinesh Gunawardena who raised issue over the withdrawal of the Army from the personal security detail of Rajapaksa.

    There appeared to be consensus between Premier Wickremesinghe and the ‘Joint Opposition’ on the constitution-making process. Gunawardena told the Sunday Times “we will fully support the process” and added that “we are being offered the chairmanship of some of the committees.” Even if the ‘Joint Opposition’ is not formally recognised, the move to give it more time to make speeches and now serve in committees to formulate matters relating to the Constitution is de facto recognition.

    Why our beloved ‘patriotic’ newspapers did NOT reveal this meeting and AGREEMENT?

    So the JO (in the words of JO deputy leader), “fully support the constitution-making process” and they “are being offered the chairmanship of some of the committees”. Are we betting on the WRONG HORSE PATRIOTS?

    oooo-la-la-laaaaa!

  14. Fran Diaz Says:

    S. Gonsal,

    INDIA is a bully. They will never pay compensation even though they trained the LTTE in Tamil Nadu and did irreparable damage to Lanka during the Cold War times.

    All sorts of Civil Movements ought to be in place to REMOVE the INDIA IMPOSED ILLEGAL 13-A. This piece of ILLEGAL legislation is what INDIA uses to wag Lanka through Tamll Separatism.

    Also, as I have stated many times, the vicious V’koddai Resolution of 1976 (Eelam through Violence), must be REVOKED OFFICIALLY by the present Tamil Leaders.

  15. Ananda-USA Says:

    I want my share of the COMPENSATION from the EELAMISTS!

    My blood pressure has increased, my arteries have hardened considerably, my friends and relatives have been maimed and killed by them, and more than anything my right to life LIFE, LIBERTY and the HAPPINESS of PURSUIT has diminished considerably as a result of their murderous activities!

    Since charity begins at HOME, I personally want ALL OF THOSE EELAMIST TERRORISTS released from prison with or without REHABILITATION, and absconding in hiding to date, to pay into a COMPENSATION FUND to help maintain me in the style I am accustomed to.

    What say you, fellow Patriots? Don’t you want COMPENSATION from the EELAMISTS too?? Let us PUT THEM TO WORK paying compensation to us!

    LOL!

  16. S.Gonsal Says:

    Lorenzo asked “Why our beloved ‘patriotic’ newspapers did NOT reveal this meeting and AGREEMENT?”

    Well JO’s response to Maru Sira’s SMEC debacle is very very weak with a virtually unknown Tharaka asking President to investigate.

    Anyway it is a fair suspicion, they way our politicians behave, no one can be trusted to protect motherland but their pockets. Secret deals are happening all the time and India is buying different politicians different times, regardless of the party.

    However, I remember some time ago one commentator was suspicious of JO and kept repeating suspicion ( which Dilrook named “greatest betrayal of all times” or similar , if ever happens) and that commentator went missing suddenly.

  17. SA Kumar Says:

    What say you, fellow Patriots? I want too… , but We have not paid them yet our 1956 to 1983 Demila Vessak baila compensation.

    Velu where are you ???

  18. Fran Diaz Says:

    Ananda,

    Do heartily agree with you ! Compensation must be paid to us by those who brought about TERRORISM of nearly 30 yrs and worn us down ! More than half our lives have been spent in trying to sort out what has turned Lanka into warring grounds of death & despair.

    Yes, let those who caused so much misery now pay compensation to us !

  19. NAK Says:

    This question is to Dr.Sarath Weerasekera.
    Sir,
    What is your take on the Kollupitiya 06 acres land acquired by the US Embassy?
    Shouldn’t we oppose this? This majarapalna government said no freehold land to China but that does not seem to apply to the US.

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