Fonseka blasts President and government for inaction
“We were able to witness the largest catastrophe our country has ever seen a couple of days ago,” said Field Marshall Sarath Fonseka addressing Parliament yesterday (24) referring to the Easter Sunday bomb attacks on churches and hotels.
Fonseka also stated that this might be an operation of 7 to 8 years of coordination and there must be nearly 300-400 members in this including a leader such as Prabhakaran who could motivate his followers
He also pointed out the fact that for the LTTE, it took 10-12 years to evolve to a position where they could conduct an attack at that scale, and these terrorists had started their activities at that level.
“The LTTE wanted to divide the country. They were destroyed in their attempt to grab land. However, these terrorists haven’t come to divide the country. They are trying to build a certain image of their religion in the wrong way.”
“We are saddened by these misguided youth. Yet we do not have hatred towards these youths. But the aims of their terrorism are different. This is global terrorism. They do not have international support.”
“The LTTE terrorism had international support; yet now, we have international support instead. Whatever the terrorism is, the public in this country has to face the same consequences; once again the lives of the people are uncertain”, he stated.
Fonseka also states that according to his opinion, the reason for the war with LTTE to be dragged for 32 years was due to the weakness of the past politicians and army generals and seeing this weakness, Prabhakaran took advantage of it.
However, he said that the first priority of a country should be its security and the next priority should be economy and no country can dream of economic development without tightening and being willing to spend on security.
Fonseka says that the country didn’t move forward in the correct path after the civil war:
“After the civil war, the country lived a joyous carnival-life. This is not wrong. But as politicians and heads of tri-forces, we had a responsibility further than this carnival-life. Politicians and army head shouldn’t be thinking of protecting the country only after terrorism comes.”
“Foreign intelligence had warned us of these attacks. The date they informed us this doesn’t matter. There is no use of debating about this in this chamber. Action should have been taken the very next day they had received the intelligence”, pointed out the Field Marshal.
He also said that the National Intelligence Chief had sent a letter to the IGP. In a National Security Council, the Intelligence Chief doesn’t fall under the authority of the IGP. The Intelligence Chief is only under the Defense Minister and the Defense Secretary and if the Intelligence Chief sends a letter, it is definitely forwarded to President as well. Therefore it is unfair to blame the IGP and fire him over not taking action on it. The National Security Council should have been convened immediately when such a letter came in.
Fonseka stated that following the civil war, he had submitted a proposal to establish a larger intelligence unit as a country’s intelligence ensures the safety of the country. He says that he believes this was not properly actioned and that there is no point in firing the intelligence head in an attempt to restructure.
Fonseka says that some have asked him not to criticize the President during these days as he might receive the Ministry of Law and Order and previously when it was decided to give him the ministry, the President overturned the decision, saying the Maha Sangha, state workers, and Police DIGs had told the president not give it to him.
However, stating that the President could have returned to the country on an earlier flight, the MP stated that if the President of a country is weak, the government and the legislature are also weak.
All including the Defense Minister, the Defense Secretary, and Security heads had neglected their duties despite their excuses. Had this been another country the whole bunch would have resigned, the former Army Commander pointed out.
This intelligence received by the authorities were not given the priority given for even the Namal Kumara or Madush issue, he stated.
Pointing out that the previous Law and Order Ministers did not have any background on the field, he stated that even ‘Julmapitye Amare’ had more experience than them.
The Field Marshal also said that Defense Secretaries should have the relevant knowledge and background on security and defense.
“The Prime Minister invited me to meet him on the matter only after 48 hours after the explosions. I’m a field marshal. I know this stuff. Are there any other persons in the parliament who know about security more than me? We don’t want titles or bulletproof vehicles. I request that, if we have the necessary knowledge and experience, use us”, added Fonseka.