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Sunday, 20 December 2009

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Fonseka's statement condemned






Ven Dr. Walpola Piyananda Thera Prof. Laksiri Fernando Gomin Dayasri - Attorney-at-Law S. A. Premaratna - Attorney-at-Law Kalinga Indratissa - Attorney-at-Law

The Sunday Observer carries the views of several eminent personalities on a controversial statement of Sarath Fonseka which appeared in the Sunday Leader of December 13.

According to the Sunday Leader, Fonseka had said that Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa instructed a key ground commander in the North that all LTTE leaders must be killed and not allowed to surrender.

Ven. Dr. Walpola Piyananda Thera said that the aim of Fonseka's statement was to reveal that Sri Lanka had violated human rights during the humanitarian operation to eradicate terrorism in Sri Lanka.This statement must be condemned by all patriotic citizens in Sri Lanka. That shows the weak character of a person who has no leadership qualities at all, the Venerable Thera said.

Chairman of the US Senate's International Affairs Committee, John Kerry had initiated suggestions to establish a better relationship with Sri Lanka recently. At this juncture, any person who tries to sabotage the improving friendly relations with USA should be treated as a traitor and terrorist supporter, Ven. Piyananda Thera said.

Colombo University Don Professor Laksiri Fernando said that while the country expects a serious dialogue on the policies of the presidential candidates, Sarath Fonseka has divulged defence secrets purely based on personal grudges.

It is a pity, he said. Fonseka's statement gives a big boost to efforts by certain foreign powers out to involve Sri Lanka in alleged war crimes. He had betrayed not only the Forces, but also the struggle against terrorism, the Professor said.

Senior Attorney-at-Law Gomin Dayasri said Sarath Fonseka's statement had caused embarrassment to the Armed Forces. Whether it was true or false, the statement he made on the Armed Forces carries considerable weight as he was the Army Commander and the Chief of Defence Staff, he said.

The statement he made may be treated as hearsay, but the fact remains that he was the former Army Commander and now a Presidential Candidate.

He made the allegation at a time certain foreign elements were trying to discredit the Forces and the victory gained by the Government, Dayasiri said.

Attorney-at-Law Kalinga Indratissa said according to the Official Secrets Act No. 32 of 1955, Sarath Fonseka's statement was a very serious matter of concern for the country in the context of national security."This was the first time that a responsible person had betrayed the country's national security and national interests", he said.Top public and private sector officials are not expected to divulge secrets relating to their services. That is an ethical obligation on their part, said Senior Attorney-at-Law S.A. Premaratna. Whether the statement is true or not is immaterial. It reveals the low calibre of the person, he said.Divulging official secrets at political platforms is a punishable offence, he said.A retired Administration Officer in a Government Department, K. K. Sumanasiri said that the country needs honest leaders who never betray their colleageus.

"During the last 60 years after independence, we could not wriggle out of poverty. Countries such as Malaysia, Singapore and China achieved their development targets mainly due to national leadership and commitment to achieving these goals.

Referring to Sarath Fonseka's controversial statement, he said divulging defence secrets reflects the nature of his character.

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