The true image of Security Forces
THE fiendish tactic is now all too familiar.
The Tigers stalking the villages in the North-East, within firing range
of Army camps, use the civilians in these population centres as a shield
when attacking the Security Forces.
The LTTE believes that by resorting to this inhuman strategy it could
maximise the number of civilian deaths and thereby, denigrate the
Security Forces in the eyes of the world, as the party which caused the
This familiar pattern manifested itself in Vakarai on Wednesday too.
The ploy was to get the civilians of Vakarai caught-up in the
cross-fire. The LTTE's disinformation organs hope to tell the world that
the Security Forces are committing bloody excesses in the North-East
villages and are turning their fire on helpless civilians.
The Lankan authorities and the Security Forces may be quite alert to
these blatant Tiger falsehoods but the same could not be said of the
It could very well be that some sections of international community
would be completely taken in by the LTTE disinformation campaign and
accuse the Security Forces of human rights violations .
The Sri Lankan State needs to guard against these dangers. Those
watchers of the North-East conflict over the years, would remember the
sinister disinformation campaigns of the LTTE which had the impact of
showing the Armed Forces in an unfavourable light. On those occasions,
the State played, in the main, a reactive role.
As and when LTTE disinformation on the Security Forces was unleashed,
meagre, unenthusiastic efforts were made to put the record straight.
This did not help much in containing the damage.
The Lankan missions abroad, for instance, were invariably found to be
sleeping on the job, because when they eventually decided to react, the
LTTE disinformation ploy had worked wonders for the Tigers. The image of
the Armed Forces was made to suffer terribly.
This was the result of habituating oneself to a mainly reactive role
in the propaganda war unleashed by the Tigers.
This was many moons ago. There is a greater readiness and
resourcefulness on the part of the State to take on Tiger disinformation
and smear campaigns now, but what is most essential is a
forward-thinking, proactive strategy to render the Tiger propaganda arm
completely ineffective and paralytic.
What must be in place ideally is an ongoing programme handled by the
State and our missions abroad to keep the world community informed about
all important developments in the country including those pertaining to
the military field.
We need to shun our reactive approach to the multifarious fields
comprising national development and constantly keep before the world
public the image of a Sri Lanka constantly on the move towards progress.
These issues are certain to have been taken-up by President Mahinda
Rajapaksa with our diplomatic community recently.
We have come some distance from those times when the Lankan Armed
Forces were portrayed by the Tiger media as indisciplined and volatile.
Today, the Lankan Armed Forces are even selected to be part of UN Peace
Keeping operations. This is a measure of the professionalism the Lankan
Armed Forces have acquired over the years.
They are not only expert at giving the Tigers a run but are
proactively involved in bringing relief and succour to civilians in
times of need, including, of course, those in the North-East.
Sri Lanka now possesses three Armed Forces and a Police force which
are militarily adept and very close to the people, wherever they may be.
This portrait of the Armed Forces needs to be resplendently radiated to
the world. Let's get down to it.
Dual Citizenship - An expatriate perspective from the USA
It must be remembered that there is little or no
job security in the developing world and the dynamics in those
economies leave many people out of work even at the highest level of
performance and education. On the contrary, job security in Sri
Lanka is a given even under the worst of economic, political or
Including Ranil. Indeed, as Irvine Weerakkody
has pointed out, as indeed the UNP's own committee of inquiry headed
by NGP Panditharatne indicated, the UNP had relied far too much on
playing up its leader, not only in the Presidential election, but in
Muhamalai closure foils LTTE military ambitions
Since there is no means of transporting children
to Kilinochchi for the LTTE, the parents in Jaffna peninsula have
become the biggest benefactors as a result of the Government's
decision to keep the Muhamalai entry exit point closed since it
guarantees the protection of innocent children in the peninsula.
They no longer fall into the hands of the LTTE.