Showing posts with label Sri Lanka Army. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sri Lanka Army. Show all posts

Saturday, November 14, 2020

Private sector removed; Sri Lanka Army to start printing driving license since January

Sri Lanka Minister of Transport Gamini Lokuge said that Sri Lanka Army would start the printing of driving licenses in Sri Lanka since January 2021. The cabinet of Sri Lanka decided on 01 July 2020 to hand over the contract to Army under the direction of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa. 

Sri Lanka Army has established a Centre for National IT Solutions to cater to the future national-level IT projects in the country.

The Minister stated that the purpose was saving money. He said that a large sum of money was spent by the Ministry for printing driving licenses from the private sector. 

Audit reports revealed that Sri Lanka Motor Traffic Department had paid over Rs. 9 billion to a private company from 2009 to 2017.

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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Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Mahinda Rajapaksa way of paying gratitude

(February 03, Colombo - Lanka Polity) Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa pleaded the people to pay him gratitude for defeating the Tamil nationalist struggle at the presidential held on January 26. Sinhala people did so and the Tamil voters were expectable to reject him and that also happened. 

Paying gratitude is a quality highly appreciated by Sinhalese, especially by Buddhists. Lord Buddha paid gratitude even to the sacred Bo tree that provided him shade while attempting to attain Nibbana. 

Sri Lanka President wanted the voters to pay him the gratitude while denying to do the same to the ex-Army Commander who was rescued by medical marvels from a suicide attack of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Ealam. Pro-President media slang mud at the ex-Army Commander who ran for the presidential as common opposition candidate alleging him to be a womanizer who was attached even to his own suicide bomber. No wonder. The President's camp spared next to nothing when attacking the opponent. 

The President who sought the people's gratitude is now treating his former Army chief in most insolent and ungrateful way. The soldiers that were venerated as war heroes one time have fallen suddenly from the clouds they were on in very recently. 52 senior Army officials including 27 Major Generals have been demoted to less important responsibilities. A conspiracy story is been written to suppress them further. Some say the soldiers guarding the former battle fronts are hearing sarcastic hiccups from the soil beneath their feet. 

The LTTE that helped the President Mahinda Rajapaksa to win the presidential in 2005 via a polls boycott among Tamils, I think, did not expect gratitude. They wanted war and Mahinda offered it but not to go easy and to lose outrightly. 

People's Liberation Front (JVP) that shouldered the sole effort to usher Rajapaksa to presidency in 2005 is now in the receiving end of gratitude. One of the JVP councilors in South were beaten to death by pro-government hooligans. The JVP-run weekend newspaper 'Lanka' was sealed but the court revoked the step later. The editor-in-chief of the newspaper is in custody. The JVP-run only local government body situated in President's home district Hambanthota was also sealed. More to come. That is the Mahinda way of paying gratitude. JVP supported the candidature of Sarath Fonseka in 2010. 

Mnay more incidents of this sort can be added to this list. But what for?

Next chance will be for the people that voted to him to pay gratitude. 

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Gen. Fonseka does a volte-face over charges against Army

by B.Muralidhar Reddy

Less than 24 hours after his sensational statement that Sri Lanka Defence Secretary Gothabaya Rajapaksa had instructed a ground commander in the battle zone during the last phase of the Eelam War IV (May 16 to May 19) to shoot all LTTE leaders that had come out waving a white flag with the intention of surrendering to the military, the retired General and contender for the January 26 presidential poll, Sarath Fonseka did a volte-face.

At a hastily convened news conference on Monday afternoon, the former Army Chief said he is responsible for all the actions of the security forces commanders and forces on the ground throughout the war against the LTTE and no field commander acted in violation of any international law.

The retraction of Gen. (retd) Fonseka came after the government not only categorically denied the charges levelled by the commander turned politician as ‘motivated’, but also said that it was examining the contents of the interview for possible legal action. According to a senior government functionary, the statement, made in the course of an interview for an English weekly, has been referred to the Attorney General for his legal opinion.

True import of comment

Media Secretary to the former Army Chief, Ajit, told The Hindu, “At the hurriedly convened press briefing, the General explained the true import of his comment in his response to a question on the sequence of events during the last days of the war and talked about how senior functionaries in the government are hurling cooked up allegations against him by misinterpreting a media statement made by him.”

Political circles here believe that Gen. (retd) Fonseka chose to distance himself from the controversial statement in the course of the interview after senior opposition leaders pointed out to him that it would not only deprive him of the plank of ‘sole hero’ of the war against the LTTE, but would also be self-inflicting, as he cannot disassociate himself from the actions of the military he led.

The controversy triggered by the remarks of the retired General in the interview and the response of the government has left many in the island nation worried about the dangers of further politicisation of the military and the already divided polarisation of the ethnic communities.

Dominant sentiment in English daily

The dominant sentiment was captured by the English daily, Island in its editorial titled ‘An attempt at hara-kiri’. “There is a high octane performance on the part of government propagandists and their Opposition counterparts engaged in a ruthless mud-slinging contest. The government used to boast that it had ensured there were no irregularities in military purchases unlike in the past. But now, we are being told that while Fonseka was the army commander, his son-in-law was involved in some questionable business deals with the army.

“In the aftermath of Prabhakaran’s death, Fonseka pooh-poohed allegations of war crimes against the army. When asked, at the inaugural press conference after entering politics, to comment on moves being made in some quarters to press war crime charges against the Sri Lankan military, Fonseka said those who wanted to do so had to make specific charges with times, dates, locations, etc mentioned –– the implication being that the allegations levelled against Sri Lanka were baseless. He has also claimed on more than one occasion that he personally handled the successful ground operations which decapitated the LTTE.

“Now, we have Fonseka saying he has information that Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa ordered a ground commander to kill the LTTE leaders who tried to surrender (The Sunday Leader, Dec. 13, 2009). As much as the government's allegations against Fonseka and his son-in-law are tantamount to a self-indictment, Fonseka's charge against Gotabhaya has seriously affected his own credibility, in that, he contradicts his much advertised claim that he alone commanded the victorious army. If Fonseka says that his ground commanders who steered the army to victory took orders from someone else, how could he justify his attempt to promote himself in politics as the man who won the war and seek the executive presidency in return, as it were?,” the paper asked.

Low note

With December 17 set as the D-day for filing of nomination papers to a keenly watched contest between the major opposition parties’ candidate retired General Sarath Fonseka and the incumbent President Mahinda Rajapaksa, charges and counter-charges were anticipated but no one had expected the campaign to hit such a low note at this early a stage.

Several senior opposition leaders are privately discussing the possible adverse repercussions of the controversial interview of the retired General and consulting among themselves on ways and means to limit the damage. The retired General, who, during the day, filed three separate Fundamental Rights petitions before the Supreme Court seeking fair coverage for his campaign by the government media, is hosting a get together to select group of journalists later on Monday evening.

In the The Sunday Leader, General Fonseka has contended that he had no information communicated to him in the final days of the war that three key LTTE leaders had opted to surrender to the military.

“Fonseka charged that communications were instead confined between the LTTE leaders, Norway, various foreign parties, Basil Rajapaksa, Member of Parliament and the powerful senior adviser to the President, and such information was never conveyed to him as he supervised the final stages of the war,” the weekly reported.

The three LTTE leaders he is referring to are Balasingham Nadeshan, a former police constable of Sri Lanka police and the political head of the LTTE. Seevaratnam Pulidevan the head of the “LTTE peace secretariat” and Ramesh, a senior special commander of the military wing.

Fonseka told the weekly that he later learnt about what exactly had taken place as a result of journalists who had been embedded at the time with forces in the battle field.

Predictably the government hit back at the retired General. At a special news conference, Human Rights and Disaster Management Minister, Mahinda Samarasingha had said, “The interview of the retired General is a great betrayal of the nation, people of Sri Lanka and his former colleagues. Since the end of the Eelam War IV in the fourth week of May, there have been so many attempts by so many quarters to defame the security forces of Sri Lanka on charges of human rights violations but the simple truth is up to now no one has been able to prove anything.”

Contradicting himself

Mr. Samarasinghe maintained that the charges made by Gen. (retd) Fonseka are a contradiction of his own statement on July 10 at a function where he was facilitated for successfully leading the forces to militarily defeat the LTTE. He said that the contents of the speech have not only been reported by the local and international media but found a place in the 68-page U.S. State Department report of October 22 to the Congress on the war between the security forces and the LTTE.

The U.S. State Department report says, “July 10 – A media outlet reported on July 18 that at a celebratory event in Ambalangoda, Army Chief General Sarath Fonseka stated that the military had to overlook the traditional rules of war and even kill LTTE rebels who came to surrender carrying white flags during the war against the LTTE.”

Quoting from the media reports on the July 10 speech made by the then Army Chief, the Minister said that Fonseka at the function had gone to the extent of saying that he was under tremendous pressure from several quarters to order the ground troops not to shoot at the LTTE cadres and had taken the position that soldiers in the battle field who have staked their lives are the best judges to decide on such matters.

“It is instructive for every one to remember that Sri Lanka has emerged after 30 years of protracted war and there are forces still out there working for destabilitation of the island nation. We are sad and disappointed that Gen. (retd) Fonseka is wittingly or unwittingly working on their script,” the Minister said. - coutesy: The Hindu -

Friday, September 25, 2009

Restructuring of Sri Lanka's internal defence; new security forces headquarters in south

(September 25, Colombo - Lanka Polity) As another step of restructuring and strengthening the internal defence of Sri Lanka, the state has taken steps to set up new headquarters of security forces that are in the process of southern areas of the island.

The new headquarters set up in Panagoda military complex will coordinate the security of the areas other than the Northern and Eastern Provinces. These areas are dominated by ethnic Sinhala majority of the country and they are relatively free of revolts.

"This new security forces headquarters commands 11 Division in Panagoda, 112 Brigade in Polhengoda, four Area Headquarters in Kandy, Hambantota, Galle and Diyatalawa, two Sub Area Headquarters in Ratnapura and Kurunegala and Operation Command Colombo (OCC) covering the largest area of the country with approximately 77% of the country’s total population," says Army.

Sri Lanka Defense Ministry has already set up security forces headquarters in Jaffna, Vanni and East. Following defeating the Tamil Tigers two new headquarters of the security forces have been set up in Kilinochchi and Mullaithivu, former nerve centers of the rebels. Five of the six security forces headquarters are situated in Tamil dominated areas.  Tamils account to 12.7 percent of the country's population.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Sri Lanka Army assisting Phlippines to demolish Abu Sayyaf

(September 08, 2009 - Lanka Polity) Sri Lanka Army Major General Mahinda Hathurusinghe has made a presentation to the senior officials of the state and the Army of Philippines on the strategy Sri Lanka Army followed to demolish the Tamil rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Ealam (LTTE) that ran a bloody separatist campaign for more than three decades in northern and eastern parts of the Indian Ocean island.

A Sinhala nationalist newspaper in Sri Lanka reported that Philippines has asked for the assistance of Sri Lanka Army to tackle the problem of Abu Sayyaf terrorism and the Army is willingly providing it.

The Abu Sayyaf Group, also known as al-Harakat al-Islamiyya is one of several militant Islamist separatist groups based in and around the southern islands of the Philippines, in Bangsamoro (Jolo, Basilan, and Mindanao) where for almost 30 years various Muslim groups have been engaged in an insurgency for a state, independent of the predominantly Catholic Philippines.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Fifty thousand metric tons of copper shell covers with Sri Lanka Army

Shells of WWI. From left to right: *90 mm frag...Image via Wikipedia
(July 02, 2009) Sri Lanka Minister of Industrial Development Kumar Welgama revealed that Sri Lanka Army has 50,000 metric tons of empty cartridges made of copper.

The major bulk of this copper stock is from empty artillery shell covers. These artillery were used in the military operations against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Ealam in the recent past.

The Minister said at a press briefing held in the Ministry on June 30 that this copper stock would not be allowed to be exported as raw material without 35% value addition.

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