Govt won't harp on its victory
President Mahinda Rajapaksa has
made it explicitly clear that the Government would never attempt to harp
on the victory of its humanitarian operation which was conducted by the
valiant Security Forces with the support of the peace-loving people in
This message was brought into sharp focus at the 60th anniversary
celebrations of the Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) at the Ratmalana Air
Force Camp premises on Wednesday. President Rajapaksa said although
certain groups wished to dismiss this fact, the people would never
forget the victory over terrorism.
Those who wish to dispel the memories of the victory in the
humanitarian operation are the very people who attempted to disrupt the
forward march of the Security Forces. While certain groups attempted to
project a distorted image of our Security Forces during the humanitarian
operation, the Air Force played a remarkable role by precisely targeting
enemy locations to maintain a zero civilian casualty rate at all times.
Nobody in their right senses would dispute the fact that the Sri
Lanka Army had to encounter the major ground operations during the
battle against terror. The Sri Lanka Navy and Sri Lanka Air Force also
played an equally important role to destroy enemy positions and block
the supply routes of LTTE terrorists.
Had the Sri Lanka Air Force not discharged its responsibility, Sri
Lanka's history would have been written in a different manner largely
due to external pressure to put an end to the battle against terror.
LTTE sympathisers and a few countries which had a soft corner towards
the Tigers, are still reluctant to concede the fact that the country was
destroyed not by a war, but by a group of ruthless terrorists.
These very same elements are now making a desperate attempt to level
war crimes charges against Sri Lanka and its valiant Security Forces. It
is a matter of surprise that none of them cared to utter a word about
the thousands of people who were brutally killed by the LTTE and the
misery inflicted on them due to their merciless terror acts for nearly
The Government has embarked on a determined mission to rebuild the
nation that was destroyed by LTTE terror. The extensive training and
discipline of the Security Forces which was used to liberate the nation,
would now be utilised to rebuild the nation.
Having liberated the country from LTTE terror in May 2009, President
Rajapaksa has transformed the country to be peaceful and prosperous.
Despite natural calamities and the global economic food crisis, Sri
Lanka has beaten all overwhelming odds to march towards new economic
horizons. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the United States
(USA) have commended Sri Lanka for the exemplary manner in which it had
managed its affairs.
IMF's Deputy Managing Director Naouki Shinohara, during a meeting
with President Rajapaksa at Temple Trees recently said that Sri Lanka
successfully managed its economy during the global financial crisis.
Shinohara had commended Sri Lanka's development achievements and pledged
further IMF assistance to support Sri Lanka in its development drive.
The US too has hailed Sri Lanka on its reconciliation efforts having
eradicated terrorism. Assistant Secretary, Bureau of South and Central
Asian Affairs of the US State Department Robert O. Blake last week
praised the Government for implementing the measures recommended by the
investigative body, the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission
(LLRC) and appointing 350 Tamil-speaking policemen to serve in Jaffna.
While maintaining that the United States is not imposing any special
standards, Blake told a press interview that probes into killings during
the battle against terrorism need to be investigated, preferably by the
Government of Sri Lanka and its own institutions. The US Assistant
Secretary said that the US would prefer to see Sri Lanka taking its own
measures to handle those issues. Blake had also commended the
Government's initiatives to enter into a dialogue with the Tamil
Blake has quite rightly pointed out that Sri Lanka is one of the
countries in South Asia that has great promise and could truly realise
its potential. Sri Lanka must achieve national reconciliation so that
all citizens could experience a just and durable peace.
The Government has always upheld the democratic rights of the masses
and had never postponed elections even during the height of the battle
against LTTE terror. As a truly people's leader who firmly believes in
democracy, President Rajapaksa has displayed an abiding interest in
going before the masses to get fresh mandates. When he could have been
in power for two more years as the Executive President, he went before
the masses after his first four of the six-year term to obtain a fresh
mandate and received a thumping majority of over 1.8 million votes. No
other leader has done so in the country's history.
Having conducted the Presidential, Parliamentary and Provincial
Council elections, the Government has now given the masses a chance to
exercise their democratic rights at Local Government level.
Simultaneously, the President has called upon the UPFA candidates
contesting the forthcoming Local Government elections to work as a team
to propel the UPFA to victory while maintaining discipline and upholding
democracy during their campaign. The President has told the UPFA
candidates that other political parties too should be allowed to engage
freely in the polls campaign.
The Opposition should, at least now, abandon its day-dreaming by
looking at global political trends which would never see the light of
day here. These opportunist Opposition politicians may be doing so
perhaps under an illusion, to get rid of their losing mentality after a
string of election defeats. These opportunist Opposition politicians
should bear in mind that Sri Lanka is a democratic country and the
masses would never seek anything outside the democratic framework of the
Although the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) had been in the
Opposition for 17 long years until 1994, it never resorted to
undemocratic acts. The United National Party (UNP) and Janatha Vimukthi
Peramuna (JVP) must do likewise and seek democratic means to regain
power. However, they have little or no choice if the masses continue to
reject them albeit at elections. The voice of the people reigns supreme
at all times in a democratic set-up and all politicians should
understand this reality.