There are limitations in providing information- Army Commander | Daily News

There are limitations in providing information- Army Commander

The Army is a very structured organisation that is commanded by one person. It should be the way and the army commander should not let anyone else command the army, Army Commander Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake said.

In an interview with the Daily News, he noted that, “If there are allegations that there are small groups operating separately, it’s very unlikely. We discuss with other agencies such as the SIS and the STF. But it has to be centrally controlled. Decentralised execution is accepted but it should be centrally controlled. There are 22 Divisions and over 270 Brigades and there is also the Commando, Special Forces and other independent brigades which are controlled only by me. “Even if officers under me handled administration activities, at the end of the day, I as the Commander is responsible. Even if a soldier commits a wrong even while on leave, it’s my responsibility. It is also my responsibility to ensure that they go out of the army as well. I will discharge them.”

In terms of disappearances and allegations that the army is not cooperating with investigations, he said if anyone is alleging that the army is not supporting these investigations, the commander denied these allegations, adding that it is not the case. “It is the investigators who are supposed to carry out the investigations. I always say that there is a big difference between a war hero and a murderer. Even today, there are over 20 military personnel in jail for committing wrongs during combat. But when investigators request for documents or evidence that is not available, no army commander can provide such information.

For example there are log books maintained on troop movement. However,movements of the camp’s commanding officer, are not logged. In the case of intelligence documents, they are a closed group and even I will have to ask them for any information I need. Their records are not backed up anywhere, but within their group. Even telephone numbers are taken on various other names for intelligence and national security,” he said, adding that there are limitations in how much information even he as the commander can provide.


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