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As Third Anniversary of Armed Conflict draws near Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa speaks out to ‘Business Today’ Magazine

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pic courtesy: VikalpaSL

On May 19, 2012 Sri Lanka celebrates the third year anniversary of the end of the conflict that gripped this country for three decades. The LTTE – the most ruthless terrorist organisation was destroyed by our gallant Armed Forces under the guidance and direction of Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa and the political leadership of President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

As we enjoy the peace, stability and freedom, which provided the enabling environment for economic development, many have forgotten the years of conflict that created fear and insecurity among us.

Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa reminds us of the dividends of peace, the great progress achieved during the last three years and the importance for the people to recognise their responsibility in ensuring that this hard won peace is not jeopardised for any reason. It is his plea that the people are not misled…it is a plea because he knows the devastation of war.

Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa believes that with commitment and dedication, achievement is not impossible… He would know.

It has been three years since the end of the conflict and the elimination of the LTTE, the most ruthless terrorist organisation in the world. Can you tell us about the progress made so far in conflict affected areas?

We have made significant progress after the end of the war. The main aim of the Government and the Ministry of Defence is to bring normalcy to this country. That is, not only to Colombo or the South but also to the North and East. We want people to feel that after 30 years of war there is peace and freedom in this country for them to lead normal lives. Therefore, to ensure this we have implemented many activities.

During the period immediately after the conclusion of the war, the biggest issue that we had to address was the approximately 300,000 internally displaced people (IDP). Our first priority was to ensure the well-being of these people. Therefore, we first provided them with accommodation in welfare camps and we had a special organisation to take care of them.

However, we were very keen to send the IDPs back to their original homes.

The main obstacle to this process was the mines that had been planted by the LTTE to prevent the advancement of the Armed Forces. In the North and in the entire Wanni there was a massive number of anti-personnel mines, anti-tank mines and various types of IEDs.

Therefore, it was paramount that all of the mines had to be cleared before any civilians could be settled in these areas.

We first identified areas that could be immediately demined so that the maximum number of people could be resettled. Presently except for approximately 7,000 IDPs all others have been resettled in their original homes. This is a great achievement. We were able to do this because our de-mining service was very successful. The most important aspect is that even though INGOs and NGOs were involved in this process the majority of the work was carried out by the Engineering Corps of the Sri Lankan Army. It is very important to recognise this fact.

Furthermore, another important factor to remember is that during the Humanitarian Operations when the Military was successfully advancing to LTTE controlled areas, the LTTE forced the civilians to leave their homes and directed them to dismantle the roofs, doors and windows of their houses.

These people were forced to withdraw with the LTTE. Now, when the civilians return to their homes they have to rebuild the whole structure. It needs to be stressed that these houses were not damaged by the war. The LTTE ordered the civilians to dismantle their homes. With the end of the war and with the people returning to their homes the Government has to assist them to rebuild their homes. As such all this work is done by the Government.

As we celebrate the third year anniversary of the end of the war, we are proud of the progress we have made in resettlement. It is a success story; there is no country in the world that has been able to resettle its displaced due to natural disasters or conflict in this timeframe. They have taken many years especially where de-mining is concerned. In Sri Lanka within a very short period of time we have resettled nearly 95 percent of the people back in their houses. That is a success story.

What can you tell us about the rehabilitation of ex-combatants?

At the end of the war approximately 11,600 combatants surrendered to the Armed Forces. The Government made the decision to rehabilitate these individuals rather than send them to detention camps and interrogate them.

The rehabilitation programmes were very successful and today many of them have been released and re-integrated into society.

This is another very successful story that the world must recognise. We invited many people including those from abroad to visit these centres and see for themselves the work we are doing. Many of them recognised that the rehabilitation programme was a success and they appreciated the efforts we had made.

Today, those who had been fighting at various levels in the LTTE – they may have been leaders engaged in attacks or they may have been forcefully recruited or been in the LTTE for a very short time – are part of society.

As part of the rehabilitation programme these people were given training in various skills such as masonry, carpentry and heavy vehicle operating. Now they have a means to seek employment and live their lives normally because they had only been trained for combat and nothing else before. They are no longer combatants but members of our society.

Another very important aspect are the detainees. At the time of the end of the war nearly 4,000 LTTE combatants were in detention. However, we felt that even these people should be given the opportunity to lead a normal life. We investigated the various allegations against them and except for about 200 detainees, the remainder have been rehabilitated and released.

Today there is only one detention camp in Sri Lanka and that is in Boossa.

We do not treat them as detainees or prisoners, but we give them spiritual guidance, we encourage them to participate in cultural activities and also provide rehabilitation instead of punishing them.

Many speak about the Military presence in the North and East, what can you tell us about this?

If we take the Wanni region in particular the LTTE was controlling this area and the Armed Forces had to liberate it. As I emphasised before the Government wants to bring normalcy to these areas. This is an area that has been misunderstood with various complaints about Military presence. We have gradually reduced their numbers in civilian populated areas; we have withdrawn them from their day-to-day involvement and are now in their camps.

The maintenance of law and order has been handed over to the Police. We have opened new Police stations in Mankulam, Killinochchi, Pooneryn and other such areas. A key feature at these Police stations is that we have recruited Tamil speaking individuals who are from Jaffna and other northern areas. We have trained them and they are now stationed at their respective police stations so that it is ensured that the Police can effectively communicate with the Tamil speaking people in these areas.

What about development work in these areas?

Immediately after the end of the war we initiated development work so that the people can engage in their livelihoods such as farming, paddy cultivation and fishing. There is major development work in progress such as the construction of road networks, including the A-9, railway lines, rehabilitation of irrigation canals and the renovation of tanks.

Furthermore if you take the northern coastal belt from Silavathurai in the west all the way to Jaffna and Point Pedro up to Mullaitivu, the main livelihood is fishing. During the conflict the fishing industry in this area was completely destroyed, the reason being that the Sea Tigers were dominating there. For that reason during the conflict there were many restrictions.

Fishermen were not allowed to go out to sea freely because there were many restrictions on boats such as the size of the boat and the extent of horsepower of the out-boat motors used. Furthermore fishermen were only allowed to fish in certain areas due to security reasons. Three years after the completion of the war we have removed all restrictions.

We are encouraging the fishing community to engage in fishing and develop the industry. The Government is providing all the facilities such as the provision of loans, assistance to purchase boats and equipment and also establishing ancillary infrastructure such as ice factories. It is very important to recognise that all of these activities are being done to develop the fishing industry.

What about High Security Zones?

The demarcation of High Security Zones (HSZ) during the war was a great topic of discussion. Today you will find that we have completely removed all HSZ. Of course in Palaly as you know the original camp was very small and today there is requirement for a larger camp. We have acquired certain land for this purpose and what is important is that we are paying rent to the owners of that land, and when we are able to purchase the property we will do so. The people have been given compensation for their land.

Furthermore, they will also be given alternate land elsewhere. If there are any kovils or other religious or culturally significant sites within the camp premises the public is given the freedom to visit these places.

The demarcation of High Security Zones (HSZ) during the war was a great topic of discussion. Today you will find that we have completely removed all HSZ.What needs to be stressed is that there are no longer any large areas demarcated as HSZ.

Many areas have been released for the public to utilise especially in Palaly, which was a massive HSZ; that is from KKS, Keeramalai to Thondamannar. This has been reduced significantly and only the most essential areas have been kept. Over the past three years we have provided whatever assistance possible to bring normalcy to the people in the North and East.

How about the rest of the country?

During the 30-year long conflict it was not only that the LTTE was dominating the North and controlling the majority parts of the East. They were also creating fear and insecurity in the rest of the country with killings and bombings. As a result we lost many innocent lives of civilians, Military personnel and property, which curtailed our freedom. With the end of the war we have completely put a stop to such destruction.

For the last three years we have not heard of bomb attacks on buses, cars or economic targets, we are not seeing dead bodies or Armed Forces personnel being killed. The LTTE has bombed the Central Bank and the surroundings, they have bombed hotels, the International airport and the Kolonnawa oil storage. Every single economic institution was a target. There used to be so many bus, car and three-wheeler bombs, and we have put a complete stop to all that.

This I feel, certain people have forgotten. I will not say everyone but there are a few who have forgotten the fear and the terror caused by the LTTE and they want the people to forget this too. They are talking about the security situation today. Compared to the time of the war, the security situation in the country has improved significantly. There are no killings.

All of this has been stopped. It is true that we lost lives, property and economically important installations were destroyed, but most importantly we should not forget that in terms of development we went backwards, because in a conflict situation no serious investor will engage whether they are local or foreign. While no foreign investors came to the country Sri Lankan businesses too went overseas.

As we have created a conducive environment for investments there is a huge demand and many investors are coming to the country. If we look at the tourism sector, during the war the industry was in very bad shape. Today if you ask the hoteliers, they will all say that during the entire year they have done very good business. The number of tourists coming to the country has increased significantly and investment is taking place in a large scale.

Presently there is a huge demand for condominiums, houses, office spaces and IT services.

Through investment, business and employment opportunities are created. Furthermore, during the past three years living standards have improved and income per capita has increased. This is the biggest achievement during the last three years – after the end of the war we have created a safe, peaceful and stable environment in this country and that has improved our economy significantly.

In each and every way, we have moved forward in this country because we ended the war. Everyone in this country must remember the past and take this opportunity, we must not go back to the time after defeating the LTTE, we must not go back to the 80s or the 90s. We must move forward from 2009. It is very important to remember what we went through as a country.

We should preserve this hard won peace without destroying this opportunity for the sake of petty politics and personal gain. We have to move forward. There are certain people who are trying to destroy this freedom, we must not get involved in this. We are a democratic country, use this freedom to move forward.

Today anyone can engage in politics. Many members of the TNA are able to speak freely and visit the North and East without any fear but when the LTTE was there, were they able to do that? They had to do what Prabakaran said. During the war most of the TNA members lived abroad.

They were not free to say anything. But today they are free to do anything. The TNA has forgotten the past. They must not forget. Today, if we consider only the people in the North and the East, specially in the Northern area – they were the people who suffered the most. They now have this opportunity to move forward, to develop the area, to educate their children, to seek investment, to do business, to sell their products, engage in agriculture and cultivation and sell their produce. That is what is necessary.

Even when the conflict escalated after 2005, there was no communal violence, it is only today that certain people are trying to instigate divisions among the communities. Such actions are not necessary. These are very sensitive issues that people can avoid; we must insist on this. Whichever race or religion we belong to we must remember what we went through with the conflict for 30 years.

We should not give the slightest opportunity for something similar to happen again. That is very important. People should not believe in rumours. Today, rumours are being spread by people who want to create a situation in this country. We must not believe such rumours and the public should not allow such things to happen.

In this country, whether you are a Muslim, Tamil, Burgher or Sinhala, you are a Sri Lankan. That is the most important thing. You must not get involved in unnecessary issues: ethnicity and religion that is not important, what is important is that you are a Sri Lankan.

We now have the opportunity and it is there for everyone. No one can say that this is not true. Take Colombo or anywhere in the country – there are many Tamil leading businessmen in many sectors. There are also the Tamil professionals such as surgeons, doctors, engineers, lawyers and architects. Who can say there is no opportunity for them?

They can buy land everywhere, whether it is in Colombo, the South or the North. There are no restrictions for a Tamil to buy land. They live in all areas of the country. Even if you look at the Muslim community, they are free to do business and the fact that we have so many leading Muslim businessmen in this country is proof of that. Who obstructs? No one.

This is what the people want but it is the politicians who create unnecessary problems. We must move away from petty politics. We must not get entangled in religious or ethnic disputes. Why should we engage in such activities when we have ample opportunities to move forward?

We have to be cautious of those who try to create a situation by projecting false issues. When people are educated and they are able to earn and engage in business activities their interest is in improving their lives.

We have achieved stability in this country after a long time. We must consolidate this stability in order to attract more investment. We can encourage tourists to visit the country. That is how we can solve our problems. The solution for all problems is development; not fighting. We want the people to improve their lives and live comfortably. The most important thing is that we must preserve this freedom and stability. We must not go back, we must move forward.

Why do you think that certain elements and even politicians are trying to cause problems among the communities?

This is being done for their own advantage. It is not for the people. Let the people live in peace. Everyone, especially in the North, want to educate their children, they want to build their houses, they want to do their farming or fishing or cultivation. We have to bring investment, factories and training facilities to these areas. At times investors are reluctant because there are issues such as finding trained people, therefore we have to provide those facilities to the people. It is development that we need; not fighting on baseless issues and living in the past.

What is the role of the Military today, after three years?

There is no emergency in the country. As many may have noticed there are no road blocks or checkpoints. We do not conduct cordon and search operations. We want to bring normalcy to the country. But, we must remember – and this is very important – that the primary role of the Armed Forces is to protect the country, from internal and external threats. They have to be ready. They cannot relax though we have defeated the LTTE; we need to be cautious. The LTTE was in this country for 30 years, therefore there could be certain aspects that we need to be careful about.

We want to bring normalcy to the country. But, we must remember – and this is very important – that the primary role of the Armed Forces is to protect the country, from internal and external threats

We have rehabilitated and released all those who surrendered. They were all combatants. Some did not surrender. They could be leaders, we do not know who they are. We are still finding hidden weapons. Not one or two but a massive quantity. We know that the LTTE had a large armoury. We are recovering these weapons almost everyday. Those who did not surrender could still be among the people because it is only three years.

Furthermore, there is a huge threat from outside the country; that is the people who were able to escape and also the international network. Even during Prabakaran’s time there was a massive international network in UK, Canada, Norway and other European countries, Australia and US. The LTTE fronts have formed different organisations in these countries and while living overseas they are trying to destabilise Sri Lanka. They are bringing immense pressure on us. In such a situation there is a possibility that the LTTE can regroup and do something. But this is not what we want.

The Armed Forces have to be very careful. However, the way they achieve this – that is ensure security – is different. They do not want to disturb civilian life. We do not want to place roadblocks or conduct search operations. We do this through surveillance, gathering information and other different methods to ensure that the country is not in danger. That is the main task of the Military – to ensure the security of the country.

We have withdrawn the Military from civilian life and we have handed over the day-to-day law and order to the Police. But of course, one might ask “why are you still keeping the military in the North?” Obviously, the North is a part of Sri Lanka. Therefore we have to position the military in different parts of the country. It is not only in the North but also in Hambantota that we have stationed troops. In every district we have troops. But yes, in the North we have more. Why? That is because you position your military in strategically important places. There is always a possibility that some terrorist group can reorganise themselves.

That possibility is always there. In that case, to counter such threats you have to position the Military in strategically important locations. The Military decides on the strategic locations where the camps should be placed and we have positioned them accordingly. Though the camps have been positioned in these locations the Military personnel are confined to their camps where they continue with their daily training, intelligence gathering and other such activities.

At the same time today the Military is engaged in development work. They are a disciplined force and our Military consists of very young people. They are young, trained and disciplined and with many skills. We can use that in our country’s development. It is nothing but right to give them the opportunity as they are also part of the society. In many countries they do this, where while they engage in their military work they can also utilise their skills in other areas. Now, in Colombo, the canal system is maintained by the Navy.

If you take some of the tasks done by the Urban Development Authority, we use certain military officers because of their commitment and skills for various projects.

When you take the military, you must understand that there are various divisions in the military and it does not consist of only fighting soldiers.

There are engineers, who are very capable. Even during the war, they were engaged in similar activities such as building bridges and roads when the troops were moving and also clearing obstacles. That was their task even during the war. In a conflict, engineers are trained and also equipped to do that. Additionally, the engineers did the mamooth task of de-mining. Furthermore, we have civil engineers and engineering services, trained carpenters, masons and plumbers whose duty is the construction of buildings for the Military.

Now if you take the Dutch Hospital, which we have renovated in Colombo, it was completely done by the Army engineers. The Race Course, again done by by the Army engineering services. There are some other buildings renovated like this by the Navy. They are constructing children’s playgrounds as well.

Therefore we utilise the skills of the forces for development work and they are quite happy to contribute to these projects.

At the same time, within the Military they are being utilised to build houses for soldiers and disabled soldiers. The Military is building the houses, hospitals and places for the disabled soldiers, such as Mihindhu Seth Medura and Abimansala. The most important thing is that they are very keen to do this work, because they are motivated. They are trained and disciplined and as such can be utilised for development.

If we look at the general stability and security, how do you feel as the person who has been able to disassemble the underworld networks, crime, robberies and extortion, thereby creating a safe environment for everyone all over the country?

While a 30 year long conflict was raging with the LTTE, other illegal networks were also developing. There was a thriving underworld and drug network, I will not say that we were able to completely eradicate the drug problem but we have been able to control it very effectively. Of course, we all know that such networks are prevalent not only in Sri Lanka, however we have to continue this work so that the people are safe; the society is safe.

Today, we have achieved that. In the media we find various reports of crimes but what we are trying to control is organised crime. That is very important.

We need the assistance of the people. They have to believe in us. There was one time, when a large underworld network was taking over peoples’ houses and land, where people have sold land that does not belong to them under a false name, using a forged identity. The public has to be made aware and be extremely careful. We can arrest the culprit but what can you do if he says he doesn’t have the money? You are nowhere.

Therefore, the general public has to assist us. There were also kidnappings and ransom collection, most of the time the people are too scared to inform the Police. They just give the money. At times they feel that the Police might not be able to help them but we have solved many issues such as this and we have arrested many culprits who were trying to take ransom from people. We can do this only if the people help. They must not be frightened and should inform the authorities immediately. We should not give them the opportunity to engage in such illegal activities.

It is very challenging but our aim is to completely eradicate this menace of underworld and drug networks. Of course, we need the assistance of the public. They must support, they must believe in us. Together, we can achieve this. It is very important so that we can become a developed country where anyone can be safe. Tourists, investors and businesses must be confident. Whatever certain people say we have achieved this security.

Unfortunately, individuals who are not thinking of the country and the future are engaged in creating instability. Everyone must understand this situation and must not be a pawn in their game.

Why is it that certain people do not appreciate this effort?

The majority of the people appreciate what we have achieved. It is a very few who are opportunists, who want to criticise and show an inaccurate picture because they want to come into power. They want to create fear among the people. They just think of themselves. That’s all.

They are the people who do not appreciate but the general public do. It is the poor people who are at a disadvantage.

If you look at the entire society there is discipline as a whole.

The people want discipline and they want to see development happening and order maintained. A very good example is that when we removed all the garbage from Colombo, people too stopped throwing waste in public places.

Under how many administrations did they try to solve this issue. The people are also proud to maintain this clean environment. Many people who have come from abroad have commented on this because they see the difference. Even Heads of State, have commented on this. Lord Naseby who has been visiting Sri Lanka during the past 50 years said to me that he has never seen Colombo so clean and he had mentioned this to the President as well.

Tourists do not want to see garbage, they like to be in a clean city. It is not only the tourists, imagine the people living in the city itself, everyone likes to live in a clean city. There are many advantages including the prevention of diseases.

Similarly, you cannot ask people to walk on the pavement if there are no pavements. If the pavements are full of hawkers and potholes, how can you ask the people to walk on the pavement? They have no choice but to walk on the road. Today we have cleaned the pavements as well as built new ones. We must make our cities people friendly, not only for the motorists, as a majority of the people walk. That is how the discipline comes.

Take the Galle road, from Bambalapitiya to Colpetty. We laid new pavements and introduced pedestrian crossings. Today you don’t see people crossing the Galle Road from everywhere. They wait for the green light and cross. This is discipline. Give the people the opportunity to be disciplined. If there are no proper places to cross the road, people will cross from any point. Once they are used to that, once order is brought people will obey. The majority of the people want that.

If we take Colombo we can say that it is most probably the cleanest city in South Asia, why aren’t we promoting that?

It is very important to promote this because it is one way that we can attract tourists to our country. This should be done not through promotions or advertising but by word of mouth. Anyone who visits Sri Lanka today, talks about the cleanliness and discipline, therefore we have to maintain this. We can improve and we must improve and the officials must keep this in mind. Especially, if you take Colombo, the majority of the responsibility falls on the Municipal Council, though we are doing all this work through the Urban Development Authority.

We are starting a project with World Bank funding mainly for Colombo and its suburbs such as Kotte, Kolonnawa, Dehiwela and Mount Lavinia. It is a huge project to improve the infrastructure facilities such as the roads and pavements. We have also developed the Beira Lake and the areas surrounding.

I have developed many walking spaces and these are full of people, whether it is Vihara Maha Devi Park, Independence Square, Parliament Grounds or the new Battaramulla Japanese-Friendship road. All these places are crowded because people want to spend time outside with their families. We have to create more public spaces and we are doing that.

Floods was another issue. Today we have been able to solve this problem to a great extent. If we take the Parliament area, Waters Edge, Rajagiriya and further down, these places would have been under water during the rains. But today we are not experiencing any floods that is because we created more lakes and dredged tanks to increase the water retention capacity. We have cleaned all the canals and maintain them, therefore to a great extent we have been able to control flooding.

We have started a programme to remove unauthorised constructions such as slums and relocate them into proper housing. We cannot allow these people to live under such low standards. We are building apartments for this purpose. We must give them the opportunity to live well. With that, discipline will also come to them. It is not that they don’t like to live like that. If we take the Slave Island area, there are so many, sub standard and old houses.

Together with the private sector, we have created very good programmes.

Currently there are two projects where the private sector will develop the Slave Island area with accommodation and transfer these people to their new houses. The vacant land will be used for commercial purposes. In such a way it is a win-win situation for both the developer and the people.

Even for this type of project, there are those who are trying to mislead the public, which is very bad. This is for the benefit of the people alone. I have found investors, who are willing to take this land and build good houses for them, according to their requirements. The balance area to be developed is to cover the expenses. This is done by the private sector but the UDA is facilitating this project. Such projects will change the face of Colombo and uplift the lives of the people.

Development entails unpopular decisions.

Yes, but we are not throwing people out of their homes. We always look after them but they must understand, this is for their benefit. We have to do such programmes for the advancement of the people and the country. When we remove shanties, we house them in temporary shelters and once the shanties are demolished we build houses.

Unfortunately there are people who, without understanding or thinking of the country, its future and development, try to mislead. That is why they protest. It is very important for the public to understand what we are doing. We need to demolish unauthorised constructions and remove pavement hawkers if we are to move forward and develop their lives and standards. We must move fast because we were lagging behind due to the war that lasted 30 years.

How have you been able to achieve all of this where others have failed?

It is not that others have failed, it is that we have proven that nothing is unachievable. For example many people thought we could not defeat the LTTE but we did. Therefore if you have the commitment and the will , anything can be achieved. There are many people who have achieved great things because they believe in themselves and they are committed.

I am totally committed, I know what needs to be achieved and I work towards those objectives. As such the people who work with me and my subordinates also work towards achieving the set objectives. They will follow your lead. If you are not committed others will follow suit. The majority I know want to work and do their job well, but you need to give them leadership. For example the clearing of garbage, I do not personally remove the garbage; but I supervise and guide the officials to ensure that the work is done.

That commitment is the most important aspect. Furthermore you have to be genuine. I asked all the Government servants, whether they are committed.

When there is an opportunity to do something, it is wrong to place blame elsewhere. If you want to do something there is ample opportunity for that. The only thing you need is the commitment. And when you work to achieve that goal, you must have a vision, you must have dreams and you should work towards making those a reality. Many will support you and follow you. Subordinates will work. That is how we have achieved success.

Even the renovation of the Dutch Hospital and Race Course no one thought it was possible?

The two buildings at the race course were neglected for 40 years. It was an eye sore and there were various people living there. Though it was ultimately condemned, the buildings were not demolished because no one was interested. My initial reaction was why not? We can utilise it and that is how we started on its design and development. Work is ongoing now. You have to give leadership. Truly, I am thinking of the country. I want my country to come up to that level of a highly developed country. Therefore I always think of how I can contribute to achieve this aim.

The cleaning of garbage is not my responsibility, it is the responsibility of the Municipal Council. Urban Development or Defence has nothing to do with this. There have been instances where those in the Opposition have asked what the Secretary of Defence has to do with cleaning, but if no one is doing it, I thought how can we live in this way? We have ended the war, therefore we must move forward, develop this city and the country.

Therefore I analysed the problem and looked at the reasons as to why the clearing of garbage was not happening properly and I provided a solution. I supervised it and gave leadership, that is how everyone should work.

If you are bound to your duty to serve the people and the country, you overcome whatever obstacles and move forward. We must not fall into this trap where certain elements are trying to create disharmony in this country. It is my earnest request from the public, please do not be misled and fall into their trap. We are after all human beings and we want to live our lives in peace.

As you mentioned is Urban Development is progressing outside Colombo as well?

We have selected about 18 cities including Jaffna around the country to develop, as we have done in Colombo.

Could you also speak about the Eagles Golf Link in Trincomalee, which is a novel concept?

There is a great demand for golf, in the whole world. I felt that we can develop a golf course because such facilities are essential for tourism.

Beaches, heritage, wildlife and tea estates are some of the assets we have for tourists but that alone will not suffice to encourage tourists to the country. Facilities such as golf courses and hotels should be in these areas. Therefore I thought it would be a good idea to have a golf course in Trincomalee.

The Air Force was very keen, they selected this place in Clossenburg, Trincomalee and the golf course has become very popular. There are many people from abroad who have played at the golf course. Recently, the Managing Director of Noritake and other Japanese officials played on the course. Many people from Colombo go there over the weekend. It is a very nice and peaceful environment. If we look at the Navy they are conducting whale watching expeditions, so in that way the Armed Forces are also doing their part to develop the tourism industry of the country.

Everyone identifies you as a doer a person who can do the right thing, and we find that people from various sectors, even the private sector, saying that if they speak to the Defence Secretary he can get the work done. Why is that?

I do not know whether I am a doer but whatever responsibilities fall upon me I take it very seriously and I want to produce results. I look for results and I work very hard. I am committed to whatever is assigned to me. I always think of the country and the future. I will do whatever I can do to make this country better. With dedication and devotion I will do my duty and that automatically brings results. It is a very simple thing. That is why we were able to finish the 30 year long war within three short years. We worked to achieve set objectives with commitment.

I look for results and I work very hard. I am committed to whatever is assigned to me. I always think of the country and the future. I will do whatever I can do to make this country better.

At the time I saw the Dutch Hospital I thought, I must create a place like a mall. With that concept in mind we proceeded. We were able to achieve our aim. Therefore, you have to visualise what you want to achieve. With that you can move forward and accomplish your aim.

We have to be result oriented, that is the most important thing. Sometimes that is a weakness I have seen in Sri Lanka. Many people have nice plans and they think that just by having a plan it will become a reality. It is useless to just discuss plans unless you implement them. The end result is the most important thing. Without the result, making plans is a waste of time.

A new identification system such as the social security number is to be introduced to Sri Lanka. What are your thoughts on this and when can we expect this to happen?

This has been something that has been talked about for the past 30 years because we already have the ID card system which is not at all satisfactory. It has been a major obstacle during the terrorist period, because many terrorists and suicide cadres came to Colombo with forged identities.

Most of the suicide cadres were able to obtain forged ID cards claiming they are Muslims and disguised themselves. There is no security in the current ID card. A person, a genuine citizen will not do anything illegal but a person who wants to do these things, can.

The plan is to have a proper ID card and it will be a very sophisticated system. We will call for tenders from various interested parties and evaluate and make it a reality. It is very important because this will prevent crimes and will be a tool to maintain security. If you have a forged ID card you can take another passport. Therefore by forging they engage in many fraudulent activities. When you have a proper ID system you can stop such activities.

Visa on arrival was stopped. What was the reason behind this and so far how has it affected the number of arrivals to Sri Lanka?

No, the on arrival visa system was not stopped but what we introduced was a system where tourists can obtain their visa’s online. As a matter of fact the number of tourists to Sri Lanka has increased, it has facilitated people because now a lot of people are applying through the internet.

We do still issue visa on arrival but for some reason if the visa is rejected the tourist has to leave the country as soon as they arrive.

Therefore we have made it easier by providing this facility for them to obtain their visa online prior to their departure. You go online and apply, within 48 hours you are given the visa. This has prevented long lines assembling at the immigration counters.

Now with the end of the military campaign and with the work you are doing for urban development, are you planning to enter politics?

No.

Now that we have peace and security, how do we maintain this freedom?

That is up to the people. We have to move forward rather than go back. The Government is very keen to bring normalcy and ensure that all people live in freedom. Many restrictions have been removed including the emergency. To move forward we need the support of the public. It is very unfortunate that certain pressures are being exerted by the international community. They must see what we have achieved during this time period.

We have gone very far on ground. That is the reality. Rather than get entangled in these unnecessary problems, as Sri Lankans we need to move forward as one country and one people. We should shed any petty differences in the name of the country. The Armed Forces and the Police are committed to that. Therefore it is up to the public.

Politicians should understand that Sri Lanka is a democratic country. After Independence, we had many parties and many Governments. At one time the JVP was part of the Government and they had ministries under their purview. The Marxists were also part of the Government. The UNP was in power and subsequently the SLFP was in power. People change so do the Presidents, Governments and Ministers. Why is that? That is through the ballot.

Ultimately, this is a democratic country. The people appoint the Government and the President after they govern their term. If the people are not happy they can always change the Government because the ballot decides.

As a progressive country, you must allow the process to go on rather than be an obstacle to it. Opposition is good but it is not their duty to use undemocratic means or create instability or to harm the country. Sometimes, they use methods which will not change a particular government or harm the President but it will harm the whole country.

There are certain media institutions today, that are spreading wrong information. It is very detrimental to our country. It will bring disharmony among the community and that will give a wrong impression to the world. That will cause more and more foreign involvement, which will bring instability.

We are a peaceful country but are we moving forward like Vietnam, China, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia or Singapore? Or are we going to follow the countries that have protests, fighting and bombings with unnecessary foreign involvement? Are we going in that direction or are we going in this direction. It is up to the public. If you want to come to power you have to use the correct method. Don’t bring unnecessary instability into our country. If you are thinking of governing, you must have a country to govern. Think of moving forward. The President has solved the most difficult problem. Now it is up to us to move forward.

Finally,

We have this great opportunity which we have not had for a long time. Now we must use this opportunity and develop our country and develop our society. At the end what we want is for everybody in this country, every citizen, to improve their living standards. Live in dignity. Live as a Sri Lankan. Courtesy: Business Today

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48 Comments

  1. When I read government version of state of affairs in Sri Lanka the spokesman always remind me of The Times Journalist Louis Heren’s often repeated quote:

    “When a politician tells you something in confidence, always ask yourself Why is this lying bastard lying to me?”

    It also applicable to minions.

  2. Well,

    Folks now you have heard it from the man him self.

    Lets see how the blog comments unfold.

  3. This evil man brutally killed more than 50 thousand innocent people and still counting…..

    It is hard to believe he is still continuing his madness in this 21th century.

    What kind of world we live in ?

  4. There is a woman behind every successful man – an adage runs like this.
    Mahinda Rajapaksha has a dubious distinction of war success after committing a genocide and behind this there is an “EMAN” not a “WOMAN”,that is Gotabhaya Rajapaksa.
    Actually credit goes to Fonseka,but what happened to him?Isn’t Gotabhaya Rajapaksa responsible for his arrest?

    Gotabhaya Rajapaksa will have to face war crime allegations one day.
    Wind will not be favorable always.
    There is a saying in Tamil,

    “அரசன் அன்று கொல்வான் தெய்வம் நின்று கொல்லும்”

    It means
    “King will punish a criminal the same day but God will punish him later”

    So he cannot escape from his war crime.

    “Truth will always triumph” – வாய்மையே வெல்லும்

  5. Max, the number could have been a lot more. Thank God (and a few others), it was not to be..
    The world we now live in? Do you seriously mean it’s worse than the what we had three yrs ago?

  6. The following article of The Hindu News paper divulges the qualities of Gotabhaya Rajapaksa

    A brother out of control – The Hindu

    http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/editorial/article2359597.ece

    President Rajapaksa would be well advised to distance himself swiftly from his brother’s stream-of-consciousness on sensitive issues that are not his business. This includes an outrageous comment that because a Tamil woman, an “LTTE cadre” who was a British national, interviewed in the Channel 4 documentary was “so attractive” but had been neither raped nor killed by Sri Lankan soldiers, the allegation of sexual assault by soldiers could not be true. For this statement alone, Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa must be taken to task.

  7. We need few more of those guys who gives leadership to things which would make a huge difference … Gota’s contribution to the Sri Lanka’s march towards development is huge and it would be immensely admired by the future generations more than present one. Gota has proved himself as a person who could deliver excellent results in what ever he does. He had learned on the job and I could see now that the rough edges of him had been smoothed out by himself … Srilankans should be happy to have these kind of persons in high positions with power to make a difference. He should definitely think about serving the country by occupying highest position ….

  8. “Compared to the time of the war, the security situation in the country has improved significantly. There are no killings”

    Gota has conveniently decided to forget about the antics of the white van brigade who operate freely under his command with military-issue weaponery. Also Gota does not seem to mention the excellent work he has done in promoting sinhala-tamil unity by using pro-govt Tamil paramiliataries like TMVP and EPDP to scare the Tamil population and to assist the Defence secretary in getting rid of ‘undesirables’. Also Gota does not seem to have answered why he has heavily censored the domestic SL media as I was under the impression that such activities do not occur in a land where everyone is living peacefully.

    Daniel writes: ‘Will Gotabaya stop the Reign of Terror in the north, by the army?’

    If this question was asked then Gota would reply with ‘what army?’ and ‘what reign of terror?’ in the same way he was replying ‘who is Lasantha’ when some journalists were attempting to get some information about his killing.

  9. Unmai writes: “Mahinda Rajapaksha has a dubious distinction of war success after committing a genocide and behind this there is an “EMAN” not a “WOMAN”,that is Gotabhaya Rajapaksa”

    We need to be thankful to the brave soldiers operating under Gota’s command who showed great initiative to video-tape their crimes on film before selling via intermedaries to Channel 4. I therefore agree with Gota’s statement that his soldiers ‘are young, trained and disciplined and with many skills’ including media recording abilities as well as raping and executing skills as demonstrated on captured Tamil prisoners.

    “Actually credit goes to Fonseka,but what happened to him?Isn’t Gotabhaya Rajapaksa responsible for his arrest?”

    Having skimmed this article I notice there is no mention of this ‘lion’ of the nation who survived brutal LTTE atttack to lead the nation to victory then picking up majority of Tamil votes in North-East in election before being imprisoned by the brothers.

    “Gotabhaya Rajapaksa will have to face war crime allegations one day”

    The western nations are fully briefed on the antics of the brothers which is why our beloved President has not shown his face in England after being expelled from Oxford Uni campus in Dec 2010.

    “Truth will always triumph” – வாய்மையே வெல்லும்

    Is this not the motto of the Indian republic? How fitting then that the Indians are now engaging on behalf of Tamils and slowly removing their support for these criminal brothers as shown by the Geneva u-turn.

  10. Hope we dont have to listen to this story for the next 30 years.

    Not for the next 30 years…even if we have to listen to it again and again for 100 years, it is OK. It is part of our history and it is a fact. We won the war..! Those of us who lived through it will never forget it.

    There are some people that would very much like the typical Sri Lankan to forget that we fought and won against the LTTE.

    It is like this, we are the 1996 cricket world cup champions regardless of how many matches we have won or lost since. That is the fact. This too is like that.

  11. This guy. Gotabaya, is a psychopathic torturer who is militarizing and running military businesses with state subsidies since he’s trying to avoid a war crimes trial. He has not got a basic degree like his brother Basil the so called Minister of Economic development and both would be jobless if it were not for MR winning election in Lanka! These two and their development plan is the reason for the huge balance of payments crisis and the depreciating rupee and rising cost of living – along with that Central Bank joker and lier Nivard Cabrall who needs to be interdicted
    This troika and their development policy are slowly but surely turning Sri Lanka into a military dictatorship on the Pakistan model where the military has unlimited power to land grab and take over civilian businesses and property. This is extremely dangerous for democracy in Lanka but this stupid interviewer does not seem to realize this!
    Since he had to stop white vanning people after the Kumar episode. GR is now arresting and harassing people in the eastern province. He is a psychopath because he constantly needs to be hurting people and watches sharks in his spare time!

  12. there is much to admire in the defence secretary, and to be grateful for. The LTTE being no more is thanks to this man, along with MR and Sarath Fonseka.

    The subsequent rehabilitation of LTTE cadres and also the resettlement of the displaced, he deserves a large anount of credit for

    What he has achieved in Colombo, is what no other administrator or politican has ever achieved

    But there is a lot to fear him too. I think he would be an unforgiving man to those he percieves as being enemies of the rajapaske state or the country, and he would not tolerate any form of dissent. A very dangerous man i think.

    He states that he has no interest in politics which I find quite interesting. I think he would be more of a Putin than an Obama.

    But then again why bother, when he is probably the second most powerful person in the country today.

    It will be interesting see how things pan out, come the day MR is not around – not that I am wishing any particular harm to him.

    Basil, Princeling or Gotabaya.

  13. Daniel says:

    “Will Gotabaya stop the Reign of Terror in the north, by the army?”

    Are being serious? You must be joking.

  14. Gota says,

    “Presently, except for approximately 7,000 IDPs all others have been resettled in their original homes”.

    Amazing! Are all the original homes still intact and in place? Isn’t anyone living in tents or rusted G.I. sheds today?

  15. “Everyone identifies you as a doer a person who can do the right thing, and we find that people from various sectors, even the private sector, saying that if they speak to the Defence Secretary he can get the work done. Why is that?”

    For peerless questions such as this, the interviewer should be given the Pulitzer Prize!! Journalism Lankan style. A people like no other..!

  16. even if we have to listen to it again and again for 100 years, it is OK?

    Maybe Ok for you but not for everyone. We were liberated from the LTTE, now we are suffering under the Rajapakse family rule. The entire country and economy is being looted and ruined. People are being abducted and bumped off. State Bank and EPF money is being squandered to fund supporters of the regime. Ever increasing burdens are being heaped on the common people while the ruling gentry have a field day. You will be lucky to get through the next five years like this let alone hundred years.

  17. Bruno Umbato writes: ‘He should definitely think about serving the country by occupying highest position’

    Lol- the expert passport forger as President? What a cabinet it would be with Duminda Silva, Col Karuna and Mervyn Silva all vying for the top jobs. I definitely predict good things for such a govt and certainly not more widespread murder, kidnapping and intimidation of journalists of which these fellows are experts.

    TCK writes: ‘we are the 1996 cricket world cup champions regardless of how many matches we have won or lost since. That is the fact. This too is like that’

    An excellent argument presented by TCK. Let’s continue the cricket analogy and ask the supporters of Mahinda to enjoy 1996 victory whilst we enjoy the Indians and Westerners beating Lanka like they did in last 2 world cup finals.

    “did the forty become fifty – is it 33,000 per yr x 3?”

    Let’s not get carried away by numbers Dilshan- all we know is that Gota is an expert passport forger and mass-murderer who is continuing his activities even today with his mechanized white van division of the SL army. The western nations have been fully briefed about his activities by Channel 4 news thus Gota needs more support than ever from the likes of China and Cuba (who are currently trying to stop their dissident people from leaving en-masse to USA as Gota once did)

  18. I see many “mad” comments here. 7%(Tamils) believed madly to runover 70%(Sinhala) population with terrorism. Those who supported LTTE and its criminal activities now talk about HUMAN RIGHTS. That is the fun.

    During the last days of LTTE and before we witnessed many false propagandas about LTTE and its “military might”. But LTTE was on the run like jackals. Even they gaveup the “cyanide” capsules. “MIGHT” of the 70% felt and the diaspora Military Analysts who elevated LTTE criminals as a”HARDCORE” military and gurrilla force, never open their mouths after the demise of the LTTE.

    Canadian TVI, CMR and other LTTE propaganda stations blared lies and never asked the LTTE to release the ordinary people who were taken as captives by retreating LTTE. These pro-LTTE people now become saints of peace and never send a single dollar to the remaining Tamils in Sri Lanka. They keep their mouths shut about the death of Prabhakaran too.

    CH 4 is a joke. With a few thousands of dollars anyone can make such movies anywhere in the world. Those who talk and support CH4 have “no idea” about the gound realities.

    Now the guns are silenced and the killings stopped. No double taxation(One by LTTE and other by state) for Tamils. No kidnapping of children. Farmers and fishermen are thriving and make money.

    All these done by Rajapakse brothers and their supporters. Thank you Col.Gota for the answers which are very essential to understand the realities.

  19. To kill a streak of tigers in a jungle,Gotabhaya has masterminded to wipe out the entire forest destroying the flora and fauna disturbing the ecological balance in the process.Gota doesn’t seem to have a healthy mind,his immatured off the cuff remarks on diplomatic issues corroborate this.His luck is very strong which still helps him from being penalized for his unpardonable war crimes of greater magnitude.History shows these kind of guys will meet their fate proportionately but exponentially many times higher than the sins they have committed.Out of all these Paksas only this Gota looks eccentric but definitely lunatic.This Gota is celebrating the third anniversary of the victory against his own people.What a tragedy? Is the war not a national calamity like Tsunami?This war is not between two but between LTTE and many other countries helping Sri Lanka as mentioned in Surya starred Tamil Movie “7th sense” which was released even in Sri Lanka after censoring this dialogue.
    Gota needs some counseling before it is too late to cure him.

  20. Max says:

    “What kind of world we live in ?”

    Its a mad, mad, mad world.

    Its a MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction), MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction), MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction) world.

  21. Chaps, Lieutenant Colonel Gotabaya Rajapaksa, RWP, RSP, psc, GR was defending our country against LTTE murderers long before it became fashionable to join SLA. He is doing a brilliant job keeping us safe.

    Cheers!

  22. M.Sivanathan writes: ‘I see many “mad” comments here’

    As M.Sivanathan holds a PhD in ‘madness’ he is no doubt the best expert on the subject in this forum. Remember this was the fellow who said that the USA was actively abducting and raping its people though declined to provide any evidence for it other than he was ‘the witness’ to this happening.

    He then goes on to write: ‘7%(Tamils) believed madly to runover 70%(Sinhala) population with terrorism. Those who supported LTTE and its criminal activities now talk about HUMAN RIGHTS. That is the fun”

    M.Sivanathan operates in his own little world therefore he imagines everyone speaking against the SL govt are naturally LTTE supporters despite us having to tell him a thousand times that it’s possible to be against both group terrorism and state terrorism. However this expert in ‘madness’ obviously refuses to listen.

    He continue to write: ‘the diaspora Military Analysts who elevated LTTE criminals as a”HARDCORE” military and gurrilla force, never open their mouths after the demise of the LTTE’

    Again M.Sivanathan continues with his obsession with LTTE supporters abroad even though a quick skim through the above comments should show us that there is not much talk here about Prabhakaran’s exploits possibly because the military leadership of LTTE died in 2009 therefore there is not much relevance to talk about them in relation to current SL affairs.

    “These pro-LTTE people now become saints of peace and never send a single dollar to the remaining Tamils in Sri Lanka. They keep their mouths shut about the death of Prabhakaran too”

    Again M.Sivanathan continues with his delusions. Let us state here yet again that it’s possible to be against both Prabhakaran’s and Rajapaksa’s thuggery and let us admire M.Sivanathan as he refuses to acknowledge this.

    “CH 4 is a joke. With a few thousands of dollars anyone can make such movies anywhere in the world. Those who talk and support CH4 have “no idea” about the gound realities”

    M.Sivanathan continues his campaign against Ch 4 and his ‘mad’ thoughts that LTTE funded killing fields even though a quick visit to Channel 4’s website on killing fields states under the synopsis for the first programme that ‘also examined in the film are some of the horrific atrocities carried out by the Tamil Tigers, who used civilians as human shields’

    http://www.channel4.com/programmes/sri-lankas-killing-fields/episode-guide/series-1/episode-1

    “Now the guns are silenced and the killings stopped”

    Let us remind the ‘mad’ M.Sivanathan yet again about the continued killings orchestrated by Gotabhaya via the white van brigade and point him towards DBS Jeyaraj’s excellent article on the subject. Let’s see if M.Sivanathan is ‘mad’ enough to accuse DBS of LTTE sympathies despite his long-held opposition to their violent methods

    http://dbsjeyaraj.com/dbsj/archives/5508

    “All these done by Rajapakse brothers and their supporters. Thank you Col.Gota for the answers which are very essential to understand the realities”

    As M.Sivanathan seems to be a big fan of Gota, maybe he can somehow get into the defence ministry building and obtain a fake passport like Col Karuna in order to travel to USA more freely and thus ‘witness’ more crimes against US citizens by their govt that he can report back to us without any back-up evidence.

  23. Konappu writes: “Lieutenant Colonel Gotabaya Rajapaksa, RWP, RSP, psc, GR was defending our country against LTTE murderers long before it became fashionable to join SLA. He is doing a brilliant job keeping us safe”

    Can Konappu explain Lt.Gotabhaya’s hiatus from military service in order to emigrate to USA when LTTE was at its worst in late 1990s?? Or was this an extended intelligence mission to find out about USA and its devious methods???

  24. Konnapu Bandara says:

    “He is doing a brilliant job keeping us safe.”

    Indeed he is, people are bound and gagged, if necessary in white vans.

    Double Cheers

  25. Ramanan

    Gota and M Sivananthan are two sides of the same madness, suffering from bipolar personality disorder. Gota uses physical force and M Sivananthan uses the force of the keyboard. By the way M Sivananthan is a long term secret admirer of V Prabaharan.

  26. In nearly all the former colonies, it is interesting to see the connection between the length of time from ‘independence’ and the size of nepotism. Until 56, nepotism didn’t seem to thrive in Ceylon, but during Mrs. Sirimawathie Bandaranaike’s regime, it began to shoot up.
    Junius Jayawardene specialised in surrounding himself with despicable sycophants so that the humanoid could feel himself a cross between a jumbo and jengis khan. His succesor continued the good work until the brute was bumped off by one of its minions while a scape goat was found to take the blame.
    Now, Ceylon seem to enjoy the shade of such a tree of nepotism, the country would soon be the envy of such capital crooks like Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria, no mean ruffian by any standard.
    Rajapaksa clan seems to show the country what a determined bunch of buffoons can do, when the majority are educated or uneducated poltroons, and the capable minority is too fastidious to wallow in the post-independent muck of politics.

    DBSJ RESPONDS:

    Now dont blame SWRD for this also. Nepotism in a big way began when Dudley succeeded his father as PM & then DS Senanayake’s nephew Sir John succeeded his cousin

    The UNP was dubbed as Uncle Nephews Party(UNP)

    It was this Senanyake nepotism which made Banda realise he had no future in the UNP and break away and form the SLFP

    Obviously SWRD had no control or anything to do with what happened after him. Sirima entering politics was a post-SWRD event

  27. I thought people writes mad comments but now I see a real “mad” Tamil in the name of Ramanan.He has no explanation how the MAD Tamils believed in defeating Sinhalese with some guns. This idiots can simply find the facts in the internet about the abductions in USA. But he added a “chilli” to make other people happy by adding “raping”. Can this fool provide my comments talk about raping of abducted people? 1200 people are missed/kidnapped everyday in USA. That is the reality there.

    Those who bark for TAMIL are always good at telling “stories”. It may be a practice of the Tamils who left Sri Lanka. The story telling is part of the “refugee” claims in Canada and elsewhere.

    CH 4 is still a joke and nothing there to believe. Can this Ramanan bring a relative of the victims in the CH4 videos? He or any other fools believe CH4 cannot bring a person because all the killed people in the videos were captives of the LTTE and the killers are LTTE criminals.

    CH4 cannot approach the relatives of those victims because they are not LTTE or never support these “WHITE” human Rights companies. That is why now American authorities distanced from CH4 and refused to acknowledge the 2nd video of CH4.

    90% of the vans in Sri Lanka are WHITE. One Canadian Tamil too used a white van to kidnap and kill his ex-wife in Chavakachcheri, Jaffna. But the Tamil “uthayan” blamed Douglas for the kidnapping at the start.

    Now Sambandan is waving the Sri Lanka Flag. The TAMIL racists always tell the Flag is a Sinhala flag while forget it is the national flag.

    USA/UK/Isreal and many other countries issue “FAKE” passports to their intelligence operatives. Sri Lanka cannot be blamed if it gave “FAKE” passport to Karuna or Kittu! It is part of the operational mode of espionage.

    Again I thank Col.Gota for destroying the LTTE terrorists and opened the A-9 High Way to Jaffna for the terror/LTTE tax free travel to the Tamil people.

  28. Ramanan, my good man, Lieutenant Colonel Gotabaya Rajapaksa, RWP, RSP, psc, GR retired from SLA in 1992 after 21 long years of distinguished and heroic service to our beloved republic. During those 21 years of brilliant military service, he received awards for gallantry from three Presidents of Sri Lanka, J.R. Jayewardene, Ranasinghe Premadasa and D.B. Wijetunga. He joined SLA as a cadet officer and rose up the ranks in the military, serving as the second in command of the 1st Gajaba Regiment and latter commanding the 1GR from 1983 – 1990. He served in the battlefronts of Jaffna, participating in Operation Liberation, the offensive mounted to liberate Vadamarachi from LTTE murderers in 1987. He also commanded the same battalion in Operation Strike Hard and Operation Thrivida Balaya in 1990. He was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel, and served as the Commandant of the Kotelawala Defence Academy (KDA) at the time of his retirement in 1992. Yes, indeed he migrated to the United States upon retirement. Any reasonable person reading the above would say he served our beloved republic above and beyond what can be asked of any citizen. Then to top it off he returned as our Defence Secretary in 2005 and masterminded the successes achieved by our Military in defeating the same LTTE murderers. We should all be so thankful and proud that our beloved republic produced a man of such high caliber.

    Cheers!

  29. We, Sri Lankans, are such a gullible lot we have stomach what these people say. We elected them to power, they manipulated to hold on to power for ever and we have no way to get back power from them.

  30. What a remarkable recovery from the the ravages of 30 year Terror campaign.

    Colombo among the cleanest cities in Asia,

    Sky rocketing Tourist arrivals,

    18 major towns ear marked for improvement to the same level as the Capital,

    Good housing for slum dwellers.

    No suicide Bombs, No Assasinations, No Ethnic cleansing and the list goes on.

    The most important among them, the Per Capita Income reaching nearly USD 3000 at the end of 2011.No wonder the UNDP Country chief said he was fortunate enough to witness one of the most remarkable recoveries and development he has seen in his time at the UN.considering the state of the country which he witnessed in 2007 and what it is today.

    Wonder whether any of the Defence or State Ministers or Secretaries of the countries which masterminded and executed the liberation of Libya Iraq,Sudanand Afganistan ever given such a detailed report card on the progress on items listed in the interview and in particular the number of combatants and non combatants of the enemy forces who have been rehabilitated and resettled back in the society as mormal citizens.

  31. M.Sivanathan writes: “He has no explanation how the MAD Tamils believed in defeating Sinhalese with some guns”

    The hilarious M.Sivanathan continues with his nonsense with the above statement. Having said to him on repeated occasions that I do not condone LTTE’s violent methods such as suicide bombing in civilian areas, he inexplicably is asking me to explain the rationale of LTTE supporters of which I’m clearly not affiliated. This stupidity is characteristic of M.Sivanthan with a recent example being the time he asked me why Amnesty International could not investigate alleged chemical weapons in Iraq, when I had to point out to this imbecile that AI is a human rights organisation so only fools will be asking them to run laboratory investigations.

    M.Sivanathan then continues with his idiocy with the statement: ‘this idiots can simply find the facts in the internet about the abductions in USA’

    Here we need to point out to M.Sivanathan’s slowly declining brain that no convincing evidence exists in credible circles that the US govt is actively abducting and murdering its own citizens therefore if he is to make such wild accusations he needs to back them up with legitimate sources such as newspaper articles, investigative reports run by credible NGOs and other such links instead of asking me to look it up in the internet in a lazy and slovenly way just like I could say that the Queen of England is an alien lizard in disguise and that evidence for this exists in the internet but I cannot be bothered to present it.

    “Can this fool provide my comments talk about raping of abducted people? 1200 people are missed/kidnapped everyday in USA. That is the reality there”

    Yes M.Sivanthan but you have decided to conveniently forget your original argument that these murders and abductions were being planned by the US govt in Washington when I said this is clearly not the case. The white van abduction phenomena in Sri Lanka is clearly being carried out with the complicit acknowledgement of Gotabhaya and therefore his older brothers as shown by the many articles and reports on the subject (of which I recommend you re-read the one by DBS I had helpfully attached for your consideration). Will you be providing us with any links about the US govt engaging in similar activities on its own soil against its own people??

    “Those who bark for TAMIL are always good at telling “stories”. It may be a practice of the Tamils who left Sri Lanka. The story telling is part of the “refugee” claims in Canada and elsewhere”

    Here M.Sivanathan demonstrates evidence of the bipolar personality disorder that Native Veddha had correctly diagnosed for him earlier. If an intelligent person were to compare the above posts of mine and M.Sivanathan, we can clearly see how I had presented some links regarding Gotabhaya’s crimes such as blasting away thousands of Tamil civilians in 2009 (via Channel 4’s award winning, BAFTA-nominated documentary that was cleared by the independant UK media regulator OFCOM for not breaching the broadcasting code) followed by his ‘rubbing out’ of undesirable elements via the white crime phenomena (as shown by DBS’s excellent article on the subject).

    A quick glance at M.Sivanathan posts, and you will see a lunatic that cannot be bothered to present any back-up evidence of his claims apart from optimistically asking his readers to ‘find the facts in the internet’ like a similarly ‘mad’ person can request people to find evidence of the Queen being an alien lizard in disguise. Thus M.Sivanathan truly is a master story-teller in that his tales have no grounding in fact or reality.

    “CH 4 is still a joke and nothing there to believe. Can this Ramanan bring a relative of the victims in the CH4 videos?”

    Here M.Sivanathan continues his brave campaign against Channel 4 before strangely asking me to intervene in Channel 4’s programming as if I sit on the editorial team of that broadcaster. This is consistent with my original opinion that M.Sivanathan lives in a different reality to the rest of us.

    As a side point, I don’t think many Tamils will be looking to openly come forward and talk about the SL govt especially if reports like these filter back to the diaspora:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-18039631

    ‘Canada says it expects Sri Lanka to make a full investigation of the murder of a Canadian citizen in northern Sri Lanka last week. Reports say Anthonypillai Mahendrarajah, of Sri Lankan Tamil origin, was killed when he went to reclaim property lost during the war. Media reports and sources in northern Sri Lanka said villagers reported seeing men in balaclavas attack Mr Mahendrarajah. He had struggled with his killers and his genitals were mutilated’

    There is obviously still a huge climate of fear and tension in Northern Sri Lanka and coupled with the recent disappearance of 2 JVP activists after they went into military custody in Jaffna, it leads me to agree with Amnesty International’s damning assessment of the human rights situation currently in Sri Lanka. Here is their latest report from 2011:

    http://www.amnesty.org/en/region/sri-lanka/report-2011

    “90% of the vans in Sri Lanka are WHITE. One Canadian Tamil too used a white van to kidnap and kill his ex-wife in Chavakachcheri, Jaffna. But the Tamil “uthayan” blamed Douglas for the kidnapping at the start”

    Here M.Sivanathan ventures into the world of comedy with this statement that as most vans in Sri Lanka are white, I am as stupid as him and thus believes all the questionable activities undertaken by Sri Lankan white van drivers are ultimately Gotabhaya’s fault. Let me again remind this ‘mad’ person that I’m not blaming Gotabhaya for all crimes involving white vans in Sri Lanka, merely those involving military personnel with army-issue weaponry abducting people in broad daylight under the watch of 200000 SL soldiers and 75000 policemen 3 years after LTTE military leadership was wiped out.

    “Now Sambandan is waving the Sri Lanka Flag. The TAMIL racists always tell the Flag is a Sinhala flag while forget it is the national flag”

    M.Sivanathan is now labelling me as a ‘Tamil racist’ whilst I struggle to recall any occasion where I said anything remotely racist or offensive about sinhala or muslim people on this forum. Indeed I welcome the TNA forging links with their sinhala and muslim brothers in the south. Again we need to defer to Native Veddha’s assessment that M.Sivanathan has a rather strange obsession (and probable secret admiration) for all things LTTE & Prabhakaran such that even when I write on multiple occasions how I disagree with group i.e. LTTE terrorism, that M.Sivanathan is still asking me to explain the psychology of LTTE supporters.

    “USA/UK/Isreal and many other countries issue “FAKE” passports to their intelligence operatives. Sri Lanka cannot be blamed if it gave “FAKE” passport to Karuna or Kittu! It is part of the operational mode of espionage”

    Please can you provide evidence that Col Karuna was engaged in espionage activities in London when all reports suggest that this visit was to settle his wife and 3 children in London (after they had applied for refugee status) such that when his residence was raided by UK security forces he was found there with a diplomatic passport under the name of Kokila Gunawardena whilst his wife and children revealed their real identities.
    http://transcurrents.com/tamiliana/archives/415

    Again please can we request M.Sivanathan to present some credible links to back-up his ‘mad’ claims as opposed to present more ‘mad’ stories with no grounding in reality.

  32. Konappu writes: “Yes, indeed he migrated to the United States upon retirement. Any reasonable person reading the above would say he served our beloved republic above and beyond what can be asked of any citizen. Then to top it off he returned as our Defence Secretary in 2005 and masterminded the successes achieved by our Military in defeating the same LTTE murderers. We should all be so thankful and proud that our beloved republic produced a man of such high caliber”

    I am not questioning Lt Gotabhaya’s credentials prior to 1992, merely stating how he followed the American dream as opposed to continuing to serve the country against LTTE terrorism until 2005 however enjoys making unflattering remarks about opposition UNP MPs including Ranil, despite the fact they remained in the country at considerable risk to themselves from LTTE attacks. Also this man of high calibre oversaw his forces engaging in some of the worst war crimes in the 21st Century as shown by the award-winning Channel 4 news team. This has improved the standing of the country as shown by the mess in Geneva, India’s withdrawal of open support and lack of appearance of Mahinda at Oxford and other such places.

  33. M.Sivananthan says:

    “Those who bark for TAMIL are always good at telling “stories”. It may be a practice of the Tamils who left Sri Lanka. The story telling is part of the “refugee” claims in Canada and elsewhere.”

    They share the same DNA with Sinhalese therefore they have the same traits.

    If you care to remember the story of Kallathony Vijaya and his thug mates arriving in the island and changing it into a Sinhala Nation and producing 19 million stupid descendants. Would you not rate it as the greatest story of all time? The lion fathering humans, poignant delight.

  34. I do not understand why some bloggers here do not appreciate the peace Sri Lankans have
    after 30 years of Tamil terrorism.

    No doubt the average Sri Lankan does not think like that.

    Or do they expect Sri Lanka to become a little England or Canada?

  35. Ramanan:

    Who cares about your opinion on EELAM or LTTE? But you have failed and not acknowledging the stupidity of the Tamils who tried to over-run the 70% Sinhalese with few guns!

    You barked a lot without any of the so called proofs. How can you bark that GOTA order this or that? Have you anything to prove your stupidity?

    You prove yourself as a fool by asking evidence for espionage. No one in the world give such information. I thought you have some “masala” in your head but now I realise you have some cow-dung there.

    Many old residents of Jaffna who lived alone and killed by Jaffna people for money or jewellery. When a Canadian killed, it become an issue. Canadian HC never issued any public statement about the Canadian Tamil who used a WHITE van to kill his estranged wife. Why?

    CH4 is a crookish org. and bark for LTTE or others. Anyway you or CH4 cannot find a relative of those victims. That is the reality. Without knowing the “propaganda nature” of those videos, you try to accuse the army.

    The presentday problems are the bi-product of the stupid Tamils’ EELAM WAR. If you are intelligent, try to know it from the atrocities of the LTTE.

    Did Native Vedda find out his DNA? I heard the DNA of the VEDDAS too the same of the Sinhalese and Tamils! I hope NV too wrote a “story” to get refugee status!

    Vedda is another fool to cry about Vijaya story. SINHALA language is not imported from India but it is NATIVE to Sri Lanka only!

  36. M.Sivananthan says:

    “Did Native Vedda find out his DNA? I heard the DNA of the VEDDAS too the same of the Sinhalese and Tamils! I hope NV too wrote a “story” to get refugee status!”

    I know who I am, I don’t need DNA test to reconfirm it.

    You only heard about it but you don’t really know anything about the tests carried out by the experts. This reconfirm your ignorance. Ignorance is a virtue of Tamils and Sinhalese. I envy both people. Though I must admit you have a boundless imagination. I envy you.

    “Vedda is another fool to cry about Vijaya story. SINHALA language is not imported from India but it is NATIVE to Sri Lanka only!”

    Was Vijaya imported from India? Was he born in the island?

    The native language was Elu among other.

    Sinhala language was manufactured from Elu, Tamil, Sanskrit, Pali, Portuguese, Dutch, and English. A version of Sinhalese exists in Maldive.

    Now that you have manufactured another Sinhala story what would be your next theme? I am eager to read your next chapter. Have you ever attempted science fictions?

    By the way 3 years since the end of war, will you be mourning Prabaharan on your own or together with like minded people?

  37. The ‘mad’ M.Sivanathan writes: “But you have failed and not acknowledging the stupidity of the Tamils who tried to over-run the 70% Sinhalese with few guns!”

    Please can we ask the idiotic Sivanathan yet again to explain why he wants me to delve into the psychology of LTTE supporters when I said to this clown earlier that I do not subscribe to their views.

    “You barked a lot without any of the so called proofs”

    We have another confirmation of M.Sivanathan’s visual blindness as he seems to have ignored all the links I have provided

    “Have you anything to prove your stupidity?”

    Yes M.SIvanathan- unlike you who chooses to rant without providing any evidence, I actually do make an effort to provide such material. Here is another link that goes over Gotabhaya’s role in the passport mess:

    http://dbsjeyaraj.com/dbsj/archives/5618

    We look forward to M.Sivanthan confirming his ‘madness’ by denying the existance of supporting material as that provided above

    “Canadian HC never issued any public statement about the Canadian Tamil who used a WHITE van to kill his estranged wife. Why?”

    If the SL govt wants Canadian assistance I’m sure they can ask for it. The Canadians are intervening as they know how wonderfully the SL govt investigates crimes perpetrated by their security forces as shown by the huge number of arrests after killing fields programme.

    “CH4 is a crookish org. and bark for LTTE or others.”

    M.Sivanathan when I presented evidence that Channel 4 described the LTTE engaging in ‘horrific atrocities’ please tell me why you insist on being dumb and thinking it was a ringing endorsement??

    “knowing the “propaganda nature” of those videos, you try to accuse the army.”

    As I told you before M.Sivanathan, this programme was cleared by the independant UK media regulator OFCOM therefore only Mahinda supporters are thinking it’s a propoganda video as opposed to the passport forger Gotabhaya’s ‘lies agreed upon’ video that no one outside of SL took seriously.

    “If you are intelligent, try to know it from the atrocities of the LTTE.”

    M.Sivanathan when I made the above statement to you about how I disagreed with LTTE’s methods inc. suicide bombing of civilian areas, please tell me why you are confirming your stupidity yet again by refusing to acknowledge my original statement? Are you illiterate in English language? This would explain much of your ‘madness’.

    “SINHALA language is not imported from India but it is NATIVE to Sri Lanka only!”

    Let’s congratulate M.Sivanathan for thinking an Indo-aryan language (with its origins in Central asia and the Caucasus) is in fact wholly indigenous to a small island in the Indian Ocean.

  38. Kalu Albert writes: ‘What a remarkable recovery from the the ravages of 30 year Terror campaign’

    Indeed Kalu- by conducting its own terror campaign in white vans!

    “No suicide Bombs, No Assasinations, No Ethnic cleansing and the list goes on.”

    Also include increase in unexplained white van abductions conducted by military personnel, continuing intimidation and threats towards journalists, unexplained deaths of political activists in Jaffna, mosque demolition in Dambulla and protests by muslims, failure to counter Killing fields programme effectively, loss of Indian support in UN, lack of appearance of President at Oxford Uni and in West in general, failed Commonwealth Games bid etc as well Kalu…

  39. Native Veddha writes: ‘By the way 3 years since the end of war, will you be mourning Prabaharan on your own or together with like minded people?’

    M.Sivanathan remembers LTTE by continually asking us to delve into the psychology of Prabhakaran’s supporters despite us having to tell this idiot 100 times that we do not agree with LTTE violence. This love affair will never die for M.Sivanathan and he will still be using LTTE excuse in 20 years time when anyone expresses displeasure at SL govt.

  40. Gopalan writes: “I do not understand why some bloggers here do not appreciate the peace Sri Lankans have
    after 30 years of Tamil terrorism”

    That’s because Gopalan the SL govt is still engaging in murder, intimidation, censoring media, not reducing military etc. You may choose to stick your head in the sand or think that murdering anti-govt critics without trial is acceptable behaviour but unfortunately this is not the view of most democratic nations. Your govt should remember this next time it launches another failed bid for Commonwealth Games.

  41. Ramanan

    Thanks for your clarification however I would like to hear it from the horse’s mouth.

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