Sri Lankan C-in-C, Rajapakse or Weerawanse, asks UNP MP
[TamilNet, Friday, 25 August 2006, 11:26 GMT]
UNP Puttalam District parliamentarian Johnston Fernando Thursday told reporters recent developments aimed at motivating armed forces of Sri Lanka had cast doubts on whether the Commander in Chief (C-in-C) of Sri Lanka was Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) Propaganda Secretary Wimal Weerawanse or Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse. Wimal Weerawanse's demeanor during his address to the Sri Lankan soldiers in the recent "Manel Mal" (Water Lily) ceremonies was more like a C-in-C than a party secretary, the UNP MP said.
JVP propaganda secretary with Gotabhaya Rajapakse, the defence secretary and brother of Mahinda Rajapakse at a Manel Mal ceremony
The JVP has identified a mass movement called "Manel Mal" to strengthen it's position among the members of the armed forces, the UNP MP charged.
The UNP parliamentarian further said it was wrong to let politicians address the members of the armed forces. Only officers should be allowed to address the members of the armed forces.
The JVP Propaganda Secretary and the General Secretary of the Patriotic National Movement (PNM) engaged in grass-root level activities during the Blue-Lilly Week, launched from 17th to 21st of July 2006. The Sinhala masses were urged to wear a "Manel" flower and Pay tribute to the heroes of the Sri Lankan forces.
The PNM had a target to distribute one million posters in the South to bring ordinary people to respect the members of the armed forces and to contribute to the campaign against the Tamil struggle. The Sinhalese children were being "educated" with "facts at school level," according to the PNM.
The PNM was formed with three primary aims, to resist "any attempt at the division of the country in the name of devolution of power," to resist the "neo-colonial economic exploitation" by Western powers, and to resist the "cultural invasion," and preserve the "[Sinhala] civilization and culture."
Sri Lankan soldiers listening to the address by Wimal Weerawanse
Weerawanse addressing the Sri Lankan soldiers at a Manel Mal ceremony