The great betrayal | Daily News

The great betrayal

A comedy of sorts is about to being enacted in Geneva, where the self appointed guardian of Sri Lanka’s security forces, Rt. Real Admiral Ananda Weerasekera, will unfold a dossier containing material exonerating our war heroes of any wrongdoing, while likeminded colleague from the army Rt. Major General Kamal Gunaratne has scored an own goal, giving out details, liberally, of atrocities committed by the security forces during the Eelam war, in his recently released book, titled , “Road to Nandikadal”. This, at a time when the government has received much needed breathing space in the form of a two year extension to fulfill its commitments made on the UNHRC joint resolution. According to an English Weekend publication, quoting Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera, the Tamil diaspora has gone into overdrive, distributing copies of the book to buttress their claim of atrocities committed by the security forces against Tamil civilians and also circulated volumes in Geneva during the UNHRC sessions. Samaraweera told journalists at his ministry last week, the 741 page volume gives explicit details of atrocities committed by the forces against Tamils in the North and the tone and tenor of the commentary of the author suggests that he took a perverse pleasure in inflicting pain on the Tamil civilians.

It goes without saying that considerable damage had been done to the military by the exposures in the book by the very people who portray themselves as protectors of the country’s war heroes, holding them sacrosanct and even accusing the government of victimizing members of forces by arraigning them for various criminal acts. What is more, the carefully thought out efforts by the government to counter the allegations made against the war heroes, has, no doubt, been blown into smithereens by the contents of this book which was launched under the stewardship of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa. MR apparently had not read the contents or it would have been doubtful if he would have graced the event, if one is to go by his rhetoric, disporting himself as the champion of our security forces.

It cannot be a coincidence that the Tamil National Alliance has stepped up its call for a hybrid court, inclusive of foreign judges, to try our war heroes, now that the contents of the book has become public. It also cannot be a coincidence that TNA, and Opposition Leader, R. Sampanthan has claimed that over 150,000 Tamils were killed during the war and nearly 50% of the Tamil population fled the country during the three decades conflict, addressing a function in New Delhi last week. One also recalls TNA MP P. Sumanthiran insisting on a hybrid court, on the grounds that justice will not be served to the Tamils under Sri Lanka’s courts, following the verdict of a Sinhala speaking jury exonerating the accused in the Raviraj murder. Now the contents of the Rtd. Major General’s book may come like manna from heaven to Sumanthiran, and the more militant Tamil politicians such as Sivajilingam, to press their claims for a hybrid court. The book may also go onto buttress their long held claim that over 40,000 Tamils civilians perished during the war at the hands of the security forces.

One also cannot help coming to the conclusion that the Rtd. Major General’s book has not served the cause of the war heroes, whom the author is so passionate about. Nay, the conclusion will be inescapable that the allegations against the so called war heroes, now being held for various criminal acts, are indeed not without foundation. Hence, Rt. Major General Kapila Gunaratne has dealt a double whammy on the security forces, while trying to garnish his book with explicit details he would have been well advised to have left out.

The Rtd. Major General’s revelations have certainly upset the apple cart for the Joint Opposition, which have been defending the record of the security forces with a vengeance and accused the Yahapalanaya Government of engaging in a witch-hunt of the country’s war heroes at the behest of the West and the Tamil Diaspora. Now, one of their own agents has handed over the necessary evidence on a platter to the enemies of the state. Besides, as a head of a military unit during the war years, in the eyes of the international community, there would be no reason to doubt the Rtd. Major General Gunaratne’s claims. The damage has been done and no amount of rhetoric from the Joint Opposition could reverse the thinking planted in the minds of the interested parties that the forces had indeed committed atrocities against civilians.

The government, for its part, should take measures to scrutinize books written on the war. We are not aware if there is an appointed authority to inspect the contents of books, like the Public Performance Board for films. We are also not aware if “Road to Nandikadal” was subjected to vetting. More books on the war are in the pipeline. It would be prudent if these books are not released willy nilly but subject to close scrutiny, even though, it must be said, that the horse has already bolted.


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We witnessed the mayhem created during and after some of the recent Inter-school cricket matches. This scenario is reaching alarming proportions with certain students, their parents and hired thugs disturbing the peace in the city whilst sometimes forcibly entering girl's schools and terrorizing them. This trend requires concerted attention than ever before as the Police who endeavor to bring order are also targeted and assaulted in the process. It indicates the total disrespect to law and order and indicates the onset of a mismanaged system. Whilst sport activity assists in building a sound mind in a sound body, the behavior of hooligans and paid thugs on these occasions cannot be condoned by decent citizens of any society. They need to be ousted from our community. It is known that the Students are used as pawns by these miscreants. Cricket matches should be confined to the playground and principals of Schools must be charged with the responsibility of ensuring that games are confined to the playground where no alcohol of any kind is permitted to be sold or consumed. Furthermore even old boys must be strictly told (However mighty) that they will not be admitted if they are detected to have consumed alcohol or carry any on his person. As the consumption of alcohol is mainly during and after the match's, breathalyzers should be employed to detect those who drive vehicles parading the street under the influence of liquor and causing a disturbance to other road users. When it comes to dealing with person's who obstruct or harass the Police on duty it is essential that such persons be arrested, locked up and charged under the relevant Criminal Procedure Code "Obstruction of an Officer on Public Duty" which to my knowledge carries heavy penalties. Whilst the above are possible avenues to arrest the problem - a deeper look will bring out the root cause of the problem. The entry of undesirables to Colombo schools is a fact that needs contemplation. In the same manner that Donald Trump vehemently opposes the entry of undesirable refugees into US cities that cause severe economic and social problems to US citizens it becomes necessary for citizens in Colombo to protect ourselves from the possible human pollution by facilitating undesirable elements such as thugs, coolies and hooligans entering and causing obstruction to our endeavor for sustainable development. This will of course require a strong political will.

Vetting? Anybody has the inalienable right to publish anything. This is especially so in a country where those who wish to impose censorship are generally less qualified and capable than the authors. Agreeing and/or disagreeing takes place at an individual level.


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