Do not politicise military victories

by W.G. Chandrapala

(November 30, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian)
When closely observing the present political situation in the country, it clearly indicates an election that could be held at a moment's notice at the whim of the government. The government appears to be continuing the war to strengthen its election propaganda campaign since it wants to establish a strong government at the next general election.

The government inquired about its popularity at the last provincial council election when troops were advancing towards Kilinochchi town. We were told that the troops were two kilometres away from the Kilinochchi and the town could be "seen" by the troops, on the day of this election. The security forces captured Pooneryn, a strategically important military base of the LTTE, rather coincidentally when the second reading of the budget 2009 was passed by parliament.

No doubt that all people in this country whether they are Tamil, Sinhala or Muslim will express their gratitude to our heroic soldiers who have gained a number of military victories during the last few months, liberating many areas in the north from the LTTE.

Unfortunately, the government seems to be degrading the troops by giving unnecessary 'publicity' on these military victories through the media. The only thing the government should have done is increase their salaries and allowances in a reasonable manner to motivate the soldiers without putting up banners in every nook and corner.

The declaration of Ranaviru Sathiya is mere political propaganda that will not help to improve the morale of our soldiers. Sri Lankans have a short memory, and one or two weeks later these banners and posters will be seen hanging on lamp posts and walls torn to bits. Is this not ingratitude to our brave soldiers.

Some politicians who pretend to be patriots make strong speeches in parliament but do not mention about the casualty figures of the troops and families of the dead soldiers. Maj. General Janaka Perera was treated as a traitor when he entered politics. Why these double standards?

It is true the government is facing severe economic crises due to this war against terrorism. Corruption, bribery, waste and malpractices have risen to unprecedented levels due to politicisation of the public sector. Most of the government institutions run at a loss and they are gobbling up state funds. The 17th Amendment to the Constitution was introduced with the intention of de-politicising the country, but that piece of legislation is yet to be implemented.

Now it has become a dream, since the President has sought more time from the SC regarding this important issue.

The situation would further deteriorate if a general election is conducted without the Independent Elections Commission since the ruling party will use all its state power to win the election by hook or by crook.
- Sri Lanka Guardian