Protecting the nation from our own
Posted on October 6th, 2010

Shenali Waduge

A virtually “divided” nation was liberated after almost 3 decades in May 2009. However, a series of incidents continues to divide the nation when the next mission should be developing the country.

 We are all well aware that it took no single individual to accomplish the enviable task of defeating the LTTE. However, the achievement became enviable for those who had always been scoffing at militarily defeating the LTTE. The present saga surrounds a gameplan to continue to maintain division in Sri Lanka. The ultimate plan was to pitch the two “hero’s” against one another at elections, though Colombo-based strategies bankrolled by foreign concerns have continuously failed to read the pulse of the people leaving the incumbent President victorious at both elections.  

 To understand the present state of affairs we need to look back to review the difficulties that presented itself militarily, politically & internationally. The entire nation knew that the LTTE was never about championing Tamil rights, it was never about protecting Tamils or fighting against discrimination and human rights. Why else would the world stand silent to forced conscription of child soldiers unless the LTTE was meant to fight a proxy war just to suit the superpowers?

 We must always be alert to the fact that no sooner the LTTE transformed itself from a guerilla movement to a terrorist group it became associated with global entities, secret service agents, powerful arms procurers, influential foreign mission heads, even foreign Governments that were working with the LTTE to upset the country, put pressures on its Government & stall moves for peace. The presence of the LTTE factor in Sri Lanka was never to allow it to carve out a separate homeland but to assist it to be powerful enough to destabilize any democratic Government unless it followed western dictates. (this is where we need to reiterate the difference in Prabakaran’s desire for a separate homeland & the manner in which international LTTE leaders were functioning vis a vis their connections to foreign interests).

 Thus, previous Governments, America and its strategic ally India, international arms procurers, international narcotics cartel, NGO/INGO nexus, religious lobbies that used the conflict situation to advance their own interests, even members of the public & private sector that became rich from the war as well as some in the military & the present Opposition are all accountable for allowing the LTTE to prevail for decades.

 Much as India may now project itself as being part of Sri Lanka’s victory & though the Sri Lankan Government has been gracious enough to give that status to India, we should not be fooled for despite Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination in 1991, India did pittance to avenge his death by stopping LTTE’s growth (via Tamil Nadu) purely because the Tamil Nadu votes became more important.

 In order to ensure internationally planned destabilization strategies bears fruit local entities need to be roped in & many of these entities eventually become recipients of handsome remuneration packages & even funds to bankroll action plans. This now leads us to the question the role played by the main Opposition. It is unfair to blame the entire main Opposition though key members of it need to be answerable for the decline of its vote base purely on the grounds of its inability to think nationally.

 If UNP is wondering why its party is on a steep decline it should not really look far but to question why its leaders chose to function to the dictates of foreign interests & foreign lobbies clearly visible by the manner in which some of its members are encouraged to go crying to international bodies with stories of human rights violations & disorder in Sri Lanka! We all are aware of the nature of the ceasefire agreement of 2002 & how adversely it affected our armed forces”¦it practically nullified our intelligence services yet its leadership continued to taunt the military even when it was decisively clear that by taking on the LTTE directly the military was able to advance. The UNP leadership encouraged its members to scoff at the army commander, ridicule the military advances so much so to say that any donkey could win the war. 

 If the interest of the nation has never been of importance to the Opposition Leader we now need to be alert to the manner in which he has imported other dissidents who now lead all UNP press conferences & we can recall how this voice claimed the former army commander was even unfit to lead the Salvation Army. Sooner than later it is likely that most UNP veterans are likely to be sidelined & the grand old party eventually being run by overseas interests unless party stalwarts wake up alongside the UNP voter base to save its party (though this will be a happy outcome for the ruling Government) Yet an Opposition is needed for a healthy democracy to prevail.

 The importance of understanding the manner that the UNP has been functioning over the years will assist to explain its present position vis a vis the Fonseka factor.

Juxtaposing the new friendship towards Fonseka should naturally spring questions from us all “¦ the saga has embroiled around the UNP & other new entrants who together with the International Community, the NGO/INGO lobby first laughed & mocked the war, championed for a federal solution, determined to safeguard the LTTE leadership but who are now espousing to be champions of Fonseka’s cause some apparently going on death fasts”¦!!!

 The confusion lies in understanding why Fonseka would choose to become part of such an alliance. We can well understand why Wikcremasinghe would have been more than willing to pass on the losers baton to Fonseka to contest post-war elections (both Presidential & Parliamentary) but it piques us to understand why Fonseka should align himself with the very persons that laughed at him, & his forces”¦& if the excuse is corruption”¦that should bring about more than a grin for we are all aware that politicians & corruption go hand in hand!

 Perhaps the nation has forgotten that the former army commander would have been retired as just another major general had he not been given a service extension just two weeks before he was supposed to retire & made army commander on 6 December 2009 (Chandrika Kumaratunga practically ensured Fonseka would retire by extending the service by 3 years for then army commander Lt. Gen Kottegoda) The Government went on to provide him the best medical care following the suicide bombing, promoted him as General on 18May 2009 & promoted him further as Chief of Defense Staff on 14 July 2009? The UNP response was to demand why he was not made Field Marshall! The disparities & incoherencies in UNP principles vis a vis the war are many & far too many to comprehend & decipher”¦with the war over in an effort to become part of the victory, it was quick to attempt to reverse its pro-LTTE stand & we are now told it is against a federal solution. We need to at this juncture look at the manner the Obama administration treated Gen. Stanley McChrystal who was sacked on the grounds of “national security” for commenting in an article that Obama was “disappointing”. Gen. McChrystal was not even allowed to return to Afghanistan to get his belongings. Such was the treatment meted out to him by the very country that champions democracy & freedom of expression! What would the US had done had a four star general spoke about killings of innocent women & children by US armed forces?

 Needless to say we must expect as no surprise the manner in which all politicians twist & turn what they say, the political prostitutes that cross over for gain & all those who have no qualms about reversing what they promised to do. What is confusing to understand is how the former army commander who had to spend much time answering media with regard to false accusations cooked up by the Opposition would suddenly choose to align with the opposition & become best of friends immediately following the war & together attack the Rajapakse Government by becoming the Opposition Common Candidate.  Raising the question of a sinister plan has been the manner in which the white flag story emerged. No one would have expected a victorious army commander to sacrifice his troops, his country with such an inconceivable story.

 This incident singularly nails the nature of a man who had spent 3 decades of his life in the military & who with a single statement affirmed his decision to embarrass the country which ended up humiliating the military & more importantly catapulting a whole new barrage of accusations against the Government that was a perfect excuse to attack a country that had ended terrorism & brought an end to the luxurious lifestyles of many who had been making hay while so many other innocents were dying. We are told that the editor of the Sunday newspaper to which an interview was given by the former army commander stands by her story that orders were given to kill LTTE members who were giving themselves up. The editor reiterated that the former army commander was asked to reconfirm his interview & a positive was given before the news item went to press.

 These incoherencies leave us to assume that there were plenty of sinister undertakings prior to the fall of the LTTE that has poisoned the mind of the former army commander bloating it to such an extent that he became no better than the megalomaniac Prabakaran. However, whatever role played by international forces, in creating a challenger to President Rajapakse, the army commander could not have been naƒÆ’†’¯ve unless his own inner cravings for power took over common sense.  Now as a prisoner he becomes a perfect tool to advance their own interests as likely to be seen by the farce of freeing Fonseka. 

 It is here that a person’s character essentially his/her inner traits come into play. From all that we have heard of the former army commander we know that it was by virtue of him possessing similar traits to the LTTE leader that led to him being chosen as best suited to finish off the LTTE. If Prabakaran could only be a leader of a militant force, a man unsuited for democratic rule, a man that was uncouth in his judgments, a man that hated with all his might, a man who did not care to even kill those who helped him”¦these very traits will explain how to judge the man that was tasked to destroy Prabakaran. The end battle gave victory to the man who was more gruesome & it is these very traits that necessitate us to ponder over whether some of us would still care to have such a man lead a country. What explanation would those who support him care to say of the threats made atop election platforms which eventually decided his election fate. Perhaps it is prudent to replay these tapes again for all to hear & interpret as they see fit. Had the former army commander displayed tact in guarding his mouth, controlling his anger and vengeance, carefully articulating his threats instead of openly visualizing the fate that would befall his opponents he may have had more votes than what came his way. Nevertheless, in a country where whatever said & done Buddhism plays in integral role it was natural that when almost 2/3 of the voters are Sinhalese the natural outcome of “fear” of what would happen in the event of the change of power became the deciding factor & ensured decisive defeat for the former army commander boomeranging all expectations of the Opposition who ultimately would have had to face a repetition of the Colombo Municipal Council elections wherein UNPers asked the Colombo intelligentsia to vote for Imtiaz the trishaw driver promising power would be handed over to the UNP & nothing of the sort happened! The only person to have known the writing on the wall for the army commander was surprisingly the Opposition Leader”¦.that is why he stepped aside from contesting. 

 So what is the public really meant to decipher from these political juggleries?

 As a country we have suffered enormously. When our own have been expected to differ from foreign elements out to destroy the nation the opposite has occurred. 

 It is essential that as a country we think of what is best & right for the country. No Government can please all its population at best a Government can make decisions that will affect the majority for the better. By majority it does not mean the Sinhalese but the majority of people a decision is likely to affect. There are bound to be many who are unsatisfied with the decision but that is how democracy works. All through the years different Governments handled the war it was the minority making hay while the majority suffered. Today, with the end of terrorist activity in Sri Lanka, people are heaving sighs of relief that they do not have to fear life, fear walking into public places, fear suicide or bomb explosions”¦.this is an achievement in itself. Look around & see how freely people are traveling”¦they are not interested in 13th amendment, 17th amendment or 18th amendments”¦all that people ever wanted was to work & live in peace”¦in a country that they could call their own.

 The prerogative now for the public is to evaluate actions, place them against the backdrop of the likely outcomes for the nation, review how these actions are likely to affect the people, the generations to come & then conclude how best or who best is suited to govern.

 To those that equate leading the country in similar strides to leading the war it must be reminded that leading a military is totally different to leading the public. The structure of the military & that of a nation is totally different. Those that feel that the war effort single handedly belongs to the former army commander must answer what they opine of the roles of the heads of the airforce, navy, police & civil defense force? For the ground troops to advance the assistance of the naval & air force was essential.

 We must begin to remove ourselves from thinking that the war effort success belongs to or is associated with only ONE individual. It is not so”¦.this small country had to weather many storms, the people are unlikely to know how strong & fierce these storms were, so our battles were not really confined to the Wanni jungles alone”¦our enemy was not only Prabakaran”¦there were similar others in full suits that the country had to deal with”¦Thus, there were greater battles happening simultaneously outside of the main battlefields”¦at best what we must pass on to future generations is the story of our country that had to weather storms because it suited other countries to beguile us with the latest colonial tool “”…” terrorism. Our country had to weather terrorism for almost 30 years helped by local collaborators who chose to  put country aside while fattening their pockets”¦many of these eventually ended up being blown to smithereens by those they aided”¦finally it took just three years to put to end miseries that clouded our paradise nation over 30 years”¦ now as a nation we must ensure that we stand upright & say NO to any force or person that attempts to create divide, we do not entertain those who espouse to make petty political gains for unless the people finally become resolute we are likely to again invite unsavory elements that will lead the nation towards ruin.

 A united Sri Lanka denouncing divides associated with party colors, party propaganda & party gimmicks will ultimately ensure that politicians are rightly made to work for the betterment of the country & its people. This will become the key to Sri Lanka’s future development so the people must say a firm NO to all those who criticize without action, all those who have no principles & contradict what they say repeatedly without shame & all those who have by their actions proven they are unfit leaders.

2 Responses to “Protecting the nation from our own”

  1. jana Says:

    Excellant article. Every Sri Lankan should read it. Lets hope our power hungry politicians would not fall for the bait of foregn governments. Sri Lankans must unite.

  2. Ben_silva Says:

    Excellent aricle by Shenali

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