Sri Lanka army chief bans racists from camps
By Our Political Correspondent
Jul 08, 2018 12:36 PM GMT+0530 | 0 Comment(s)
ECONOMYNEXT - Army commander Mahesh Senanayake has ordered his troops not to allow any individual, including retired officers, who are actively engaged in sabotaging the country’s ethnic reconciliation efforts.
In a directive to all units of the Sri Lanka army, Lieutenant General Senanayake said the military condemned attempts to obstruct ongoing moves to build bridges between different communities since the end of the war in May 2009.
“Some politicians, retired military officers, civil society activists have been criticizing the reconciliation efforts while appreciating the work of terrorists. They are trying to damage the relations between the people in the north and the east the military,” Senanayake said.
“They are giving lectures that seek to damage the trust people have in the military and create a war fear psychosis.”
He did not name the individuals the military believes are harming inter-communal relations, but said they have already been identified by the media.
He could be referring to recent comments of several retired military officers such as Kamal Gunaratne.
The army chief called for the black listing of politicians working against reconciliation, but it was not clear if he was including elected representatives. If so, he could be referring to Jaffna MP Vijayakala Maheswaran who recently compared to law and order situation in the north under the LTTE and after.
Maheswaran was forced to resign last week after a fire storm of protests over her speech in Jaffna that there was less crime under the LTTE and it would be better to have Prabhakaran’s rule than the current lawless situation in the former war zone.
Retired major general Gunaratne and vice admiral Sarath Weerasekara who are campaigning for former defence secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa to be the next presidential candidate, have been advocating death for anyone supporting a new constitution.
In contrast, a senior Buddhist monk Vendaruwe Upali who last month asked Gotabhaya Rajapaksa to be like a Hitler and establish military rule in Sri Lanka has not been questioned by the Buddhist hierarchy or the military.
Lt Gen. Senanayake ordered his officers and men not to participate in any event where those against reconciliation were present. They were told to maintain the dignity of the military and not provide any assistance to people working against ethnic unity. (COLOMBO, July 8, 2018)