Showing posts with label Defence Ministry. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Defence Ministry. Show all posts

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Sharing experiences of Sri Lanka's war against terror

(January 30, 2011,  Lanka PolitySri Lanka is to hold an international seminar to share experience on its victorious  fight against terror.

The details of the seminar was revealed recently by the Army Commander Lt. Gen. Jagath Jayasuriya at a media conference held in the Army Headquarters.

The international seminar is to be held on May 31, June 1st and 2nd of 2011 at Colombo Galadari Hotel focusing on counter measures against global terrorism, terrorist trends, predominance of both political and military efforts, rapid resettlement, reconciliatory moves, nation-building and threats to national and international security concerns, the Ministry of Defense says.

Contributors and participants in the sessions are to be drawn from all corners of the world along with the representatives of different government, International Non Governmental Organizations, Non Governmental Organizations and professionals, academics and military officials.

The Defense Ministry says that the delegates representing about 54 countries are also expected to dwell on strategies, needed for nation-building while endeavouring to explore adequate measures for countering, with special relevance to the Sri Lankan perspective in counter terrorism.

The seminar is to review how the Sri Lankan approach transcended beyond the traditional approach and succeeded in defeating the LTTE with learning from years of fighting insurgency.

The Sri Lankan delegates, composed of war veterans while sharing their knowledge on counter terrorism, will enumerate all other contributory factors in military defeating the LTTE. The seminar simultaneously expects to broaden understanding and shares knowledge in effective counter terrorism strategy, operational and tactical level lessons, evolution of tactical level training, role of Human Rights in counter insurgency operations, rehabilitation of ex-combatants, preventive measures against resurgence of violence, introduction of political reforms, re-evaluation of the traditional model and the Sri Lankan experience.

When sharing experiences of Sri Lanka's war against LTTE, we think the following basic points are also needed to be discussed if the seminar is to be placed in a broader perspective.

  • Did the war achieve sustainable peace?
  • Did the military victory pave way to national reconciliation?
  • Is Sri Lanka wisely using the opportunity created by the military victory over LTTE?
  • Are the people of the country enjoying benefits of peace?
  • Are the circumstances that led the war time Army Commander to be imprisoned fair?
  • How did the state military deal with the world's insistence on ethical issues of war during the war time?
  • How can the price for the 'liberation' paid by the people of the LTTE held areas rationalized in regard of their life after the war?

There can be many more similar issues that can be raised.

Some might say that Experience is a comb which nature gives us when we are bald.

'Experience is in the fingers and head. The heart is inexperienced,' Henry David Thoreau said after all.


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Tuesday, July 14, 2009

IFJ Condemns Vilification of Lawyers for Sri Lankan Newspaper

(July 14, 2009) The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) is shocked at a recent article posted on the website of Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Defence, branding as “traitors” five lawyers appearing in a case of contempt involving the Sunday Leader newspaper.

The article, titled “Traitors in Black Coats Flocked Together”, names five lawyers who appeared for the Sunday Leader at a hearing in the Mount Lavinia court near Colombo as having “a history of appearing for and defending” separatist guerillas of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). The article features pictures of three of the lawyers.

“We have observed in recent times that this manner of public vilification of individuals for being supposed sympathisers of the LTTE has often provoked physical attacks on them by vigilante groups,” IFJ General Secretary Aidan White said.

“The IFJ calls upon the Sri Lankan President to publicly repudiate the sentiment expressed in the article and ensure that it is removed from the official website of the Defence Ministry.”

The Sunday Leader, edited by Lasantha Wickramatunge until his murder in January, has for long been locked in a defamation case brought by Sri Lankan Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapakse.

After Wickramatunge’s murder, the newspaper agreed during a hearing of the case that it would not publish material similar to that which had brought the action against it.

The contempt case that the Sunday Leader now faces reportedly involves another report involving the Defence Secretary, though on a different subject.

“It is a principle of natural justice that the newspaper should be able to seek sound advice and be represented by competent legal counsel in this case,” White said.

The IFJ stands by the strong stand taken by its affiliate, the Free Media Movement (FMM), and other professional bodies in Sri Lanka on the matter.

“We urge Sri Lanka’s President to turn the page on the bitterness of the long civil war against the LTTE and actively seek to restore the freedoms that have deteriorated alarmingly in recent years.”
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