Intelligence mechanism strengthened
Over 85% of terror network already demolished
Militant group has been operating for many years
Safety of students, public assured


Unlike in the past, every action of the soldiers is done on my authorisation. I take full responsibility for the actions of soldiers carrying out my orders, said Army Commander Lt. Gen. Mahesh Senanayake in an exclusive interview with the Daily News.

“Today, a soldier makes an arrest on my written order and I give the order on the written order of the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS). Earlier, that was not the case and when something happened, the soldier was held responsible. Today, the soldier does not have to worry because they have a Commander who will take the responsibility for their actions. If something goes wrong I will take the responsibility,” the Army Commander said.

Lt. Gen. Senanayake said it was safe for people to return to their normal routines and for students to go to school. He said the Army has taken all necessary measures to ensure the safety of students and the general public.

He noted that over 85% of the terror network have already been demolished and the intelligence mechanism strengthened.

About the opening of schools the Commander said, “When the war was raging in the country, children went to school. Why not today? This is politics. Today you have to see how many children are attending tuition classes. The same children are going for tuition classes but not to school. Something is wrong somewhere or somebody is creating a situation. If for the past 30 years no one went to school, we would not have any young doctors in this country and all of us would been wearing shorts and working in the paddy fields. We have given the people a negative psychological effect”.

However, he refused to take responsibility for the lapses which happened earlier. “I am talking about after April 21, after I was given the powers. So the operations carried out on my directives is my responsibility. Be it a failure or success, I will take responsibility. I am confident that we can reach normalcy very soon.”

But unfortunately, he said the country went backwards because of this incident.

According to the Army Commander, this particular terror group has not been active just from last October. “It has been operating for the past many years. So, who was handling Law and Order then? It was not the same person who is holding that post now. So why didn’t they listen to us and take action to bring the intelligence back together? The reason that we have been doing so well during the past 20 days is because the strong commitment. We don’t want to play a blame game, but when Army personnel were arrested and taken into custody and the Director Intelligence, Maj. Gen. Amal Karunasekara was arrested, when the Chief of Defence Staff was arrested, yes there was some degree of unease within the military organisation. That does not mean intelligence was all gone. It was only disrupted,” he added. 

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