High ranks for ex-servicemen, insult to security forces: Field Marshal | Daily News


High ranks for ex-servicemen, insult to security forces: Field Marshal

Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka said that although the former Navy and Air Force Commanders who were involved in the war should be commended for their commitment, conferring such high ranks on them was an “insult to the security forces”.

Addressing a media conference in Rajagiriya, yesterday, the former Army Commander said that the ranks bestowed on two senior military officers, namely, the rank of ‘Admiral of the Fleet’ awarded to former Navy Commander Wasantha Karannagoda and the rank of ‘Marshal of the Air’ awarded to the former Air Force Commander Roshan Gunatillake, was an “insult” to the security forces.

“In other countries, such ranks are bestowed only if such commanders command a large number of ships; at least nine submarines and one aircraft carrier. The Sri Lanka Navy has three off-shore patrol crafts and some other crafts which are similar to modernised fishing boats. Therefore, giving such ranks to these senior officers is an insult to the forces. I am not criticising the President and the recipient officers, but these ranks should not be simply bestowed on individuals without them truly deserving it,” he said.

Last week, former Navy Commander Admiral Wasantha Karannagoda and the former Air Force Commander Air Chief Marshal Roshan Gunatillake were awarded the highest military ranks by President Maithripala Sirisena, with Admiral Karannagoda being promoted to the rank of Admiral of the Fleet and Air Chief Marshal Gunatillake promoted to the rank of Marshal of the Air Force.

Fonseka also remarked that if he had been given the Law and Order Ministry, he would have ensured that the Easter Sunday attacks were prevented.

“All those who held the post of Law and Order Minister were not those who were experienced in security-related matters and, as a result, the terrorists took the upper hand and organised themselves to carry out these attacks. Those in charge had no knowledge about national security, which enabled the terrorists to engage in their activities freely,” Fonseka said.

“This attack could have been prevented as we had the ability and resources to prevent it. Those in charge had so little knowledge about the importance of national security that they had, in fact, met only twice during this year prior to the attacks. During last year, too, the Security Council had only met around eight times,” he added. Fonseka also said that he was committed to supporting the United National Party (UNP) candidacy for the Presidency, whoever is nominated by the party leadership. He said he thought that Gotabaya Rajapaksa was a most suitable candidate to be put forward by the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP), especially in terms of handling the national security situation.


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