Gallant Men of the Sea
No right thinking Sri Lankan we
are sure would begrudge the honour accorded to the gallant
sailors involved in destroying the three LTTE floating armouries
in the high seas last week.
The elaborate ceremony to salute the returning heros attended
by the Head of State and Cabinet Ministers would no doubt have
been a tremendous morale booster to our sailors who are today
waging a life and death battle on the high seas to prevent the
Tiger arms flow into the country.
Equally no amount of medals, titles or tribute can compensate
for the valiant deeds of our men of the sea who have dealt a
mortal blow to the LTTE’s arms smuggling capability.
The other day we editorially commented on the significant
role played by the Navy in blocking the LTTE arms shipments and
its derring do feats in the high seas against tremendous odds.
We also spoke of the emergence of the Navy as the lynch pin
in the Government’s war against terrorism after its string of
successes putting the enemy all at sea.
The least the nation could do to demonstrate its appreciation
towards their gallant deeds is to share in their hour of glory
and be part of the victory.
This would no doubt would keep their morale on a constant
high for future deadly missions ahead knowing the public at
large were with them. For too long have these men of valour been
on the fringes of our thoughts and taken for granted by a
society blinded by the razzle dazzle of city life and impervious
to the sacrifices made by them.
The same could apply to certain political party leaders who
are quick to pounce on any setback suffered by our Forces but
ignore their acts of valour such as that demonstrated in the
high seas last week.
These leaders tend to forget the soldiers wage battle not to
secure the fortunes of any political party but to protect the
country’s territorial integrity from the machinations of a
ruthless terrorist outfit.
In this respect the Government of President Rajapaksa should
be commended for keeping the three Forces free of factionalism,
political intrigue and the formation of cliques which
debilitated the fighting capability of our Armed Forces under a
The Navy’s deadly blow to the LTTE’s war chest amply
catalyses the single minded purpose of our Forces to destroy the
enemy following correct political leadership. Hence it is
important that nothing stands in the way of this forward thrust.
As Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa stressed at the
salutation eradication of terrorism is the only path to
Countries hit by the scourge of terrorism are going all out
to eliminate the menace.
Sri Lanka alone cannot play by different rules.
Those NGOs and others of their ilk who call for a halt to the
present offensive should take cognisance of this. Above all,
nothing should be done to dilute the morale of our Forces which
is today at an all-time high.
This spirit could be given a further impetus if only all
political parties and groups shed their differences and speak in
one voice on behalf of our valiant men.