Defence Secretary's Warning
Was Long Overdue Albeit Well Addressed To Those Concerned!
Insight By Sunil Kumar For LankaWeb
When Sri Lanka's Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa yesterday warned
certain ambassadors, news agencies and INGOs acting irresponsibly that
if they do not get their act together they will have to face the consequences
which sounded ominous, he was not articulating his sentiments over nothing.
They were specifically directed at the British Broadcasting Corporation
(BBC ) certain Foreign Consulates and Non Government Organizations who
seemed to have established a foothold in Sri Lanka and have stepped
out of line through breaches of protocol and high handed statements
which pointed towards interference in Sri Lanka's internal affairs and
the ongoing military campaign to eliminate the terrorist menace of the
Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam.
It was a justifiably evocative and outspoken Defence Secretary who
warned that "if these sources attempt to give the LTTE terrorists
a second breath of life or give them a second wind to regroup at a time
when the Security Forces, at a heavy cost, are dealing them the final
death blow,They will be given their marching orders if they half as
much as try" he emphasized in no uncertain terms and on behalf
of the Sovereign Integrity of Sri Lanka and in defence of her territorial
integrity which was being threatened by terrorists.
Defence Secretary Rajapaksa did not mince his words when he said that
"some ambassadors, specially the German and Swiss ambassadors,
and some news agencies were behaving irresponsibly based upon very credible
intelligence information towards details and the blatantly visible on
air as well as newspaper publicity bulletins with no mandate nor carte
blance towards these where lately much misinformation intended to mislead
as well as create mayhem in favour of the terrorists on the instigation
of their supportives and diaspora was circulating around the globe whose
sob stories and concocted innuendo seem to have been fed to gullible
audiences in the Global Community purely to criminalize the perfectly
legitimate establishment of the Nation of Sri Lanka!
When he named,the CNN, Al-Jazeera and especially the BBC of trying
to sensationalize civilian hardships by telecasting video clips from
LTTE websites he was quite assertive towards accuracy in saying that
the video clips under reference did not indicate bombings or explosions
that were directed at civilians or for that matter resulted in any civilian
casualties as exaggerated by their presenters although there is always
that indelible element of casualties often caught in a crossfire but
in the case of Sri lanka very marginal and every attempt made to protect
He pointed out that the terrorists were using innocent civilians as
human shields and holding them to ransom and at best the international
community including UN agencies and the ICRC should align themselves
with the reality rather than make folk heroes of the terrorists while
being swayed by LTTE propaganda and support the Government's cause towards
eliminating them as the proper choice of alternative.
He also suggested that, to maximize pressure on the Tigers and make
them release civilians trapped in the war zone being used as human shields
is also their bounden responsibility where if they cannot fulfill the
obligation then need to stay out of Sri Lanka's Internal affairs as
it was becoming a consternation and more!
To put the Defence Minister's rationale into perspective the following
opinion is comprehensive and with adequate foundation imperative towards
the realities of the anti terrorist campaign by Sri Lanka's Armed Forces."This
is the last chance the LTTE have of sincerely minimizing civilian casualties
by giving them safe passage out of the conflict zone. It was irresponsible
not to talk about civilians held in the war zone by the LTTE while making
comments that only helped the Tigers. I also point to BBC Anchor Chris
Morris as being known for partisan support to the LTTE terrorists from
the 1990s.If he does not act responsibly and attempts to create panic,
I will have to request him to leave the country." It was well addressed
albeit long overdue in the opinion of many analysts who were in accordance
that this kind of action should have been taken much earlier where there
were other sources of news reporting that should also have been given
similar notice but in having failed to do so when it was most needed
probably provided a false sense of security both to the terrorists and
their supportives who in turn propagated their sympathy cards around
The Sri Lankan Defence Secretary is well within his right to take this
stand against the parties concerned as their words and actions have
in no way contributed towards the posterity of Sri Lanka and to the
contrary have attempted to recussitate an enemy of the State whose elimination
appears to be imperative towards the future of Sri Lanka.
All kudos to him!