Retired Commanders denounce JVP Leader's call to disband Security Forces
[TamilNet, Tuesday, 27 September 2005, 00:52 GMT]
Retired commanders of the Sri Lanka Armed Forces, General S.C.Ranatunge, Air Vice Marshal Harry Gunatilake, Lt.General Dennis Perera and General Hamilton Wanasinghe, Monday in a signed press release condemned the statement made by Mr.Somawanse Amerasinghe, leader of the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) directing the Prime Minister Mr.Mahinda Rajapakse to disband the government security forces no sooner he is elected Executive President of Sri Lanka if the security forces are unable to safeguard the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Sri Lanka.
Mr.Amerasinghe made the controversial statement at a presidential election rally held on September 20th in support of the Mr.Mahinda Rajapakse, Prime Minister at Colombo Town Hall, sources said.
The press release was issued Monday afternoon at a media briefing held at Renuka Hotel, Colombo participated by the signotaries.
The full text of the press release follows: -
The statement of Mr.Somawanse Amerasinghe that the security forces should be disbanded if they cannot protect the territorial integrity of the country in our view is a severe insult inflicted upon the security forces and is a demoralizing message to the thousands of soldiers who work with a sense of the dedication and deep commitment to protect the nation's sovereignty and territorial integrity.
We are of the view that his statement cannot be considered a casual remand or for that a matter of rhetorical statement made by a politician in view of the fact Mr.Amarasinghe on two occasions during his speech insisted that if the security forces are unable to safeguard Sri Lanka's territorial borders the Prime Minister must disband the security forces so sooner he is elected President of this country. Mr.Amarasinghe needs to be reminded that it is because the security forces have successfully defended the nation's territorial integrity that our country withstood the attempt to carve out a separate by the separatist forces.
We wish to remind the nation including the JVP leader that Sri Lanka's armed forces have never failed in their duty to protect the territorial integrity of the country and democratic form of government when it came under assault not only by the LTTE but also the JVP in the past
In performing their duty to protect democracy and the territorial integrity of the country, thousands of soldiers including celebrated top ranking security forces personnel have paid the supreme sacrifice for their motherland, and it is unbecoming of a political leader to make statements inflicting humiliation not only on the soldiers in service but the disable and those patriots who have died fighting to protect the country's territorial integrity.
Mr.Somawanse Amerasinghe statement directing the Prime Minister to disband the security forces also revives memories of JVP's abortive attempt during the terror campaign of the late 1980s to force the soldiers to quit the security forces under the threat of murdering their family members. It is to the credit of the security forces that they withstood that terror campaign and performed their duty to protect the democratically elected government on that occasion and also the territorial integrity.
We can quote numerous other instances where the security forces bounded by their duty to protect the country and its people have acted fearlessly and with bravery in the past and have no doubt will continue to do so in the future notwithstanding any insidious attempts to demoralize and humiliate them.
In conclusion, we as servicemen who took active part in the battlefield and had the privilege of leading our courageous men to protect democracy and the territorial integrity of the country categorically condemn the statement made by Mr.Somawanse Amerasinghe, the JVP leader," the press release concluded.