Ex-military officers will always hold govt. positions whenever we are in power – PM

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Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa says that the Sri Lankan armed forces and police are the sentinels of the nation, ensuring the safety of the general public in all crises whether man-made or natural – whether the crisis is terrorism, floods or disease.

Issuing a statement to mark the 11th Anniversary of Sri Lanka’s victory against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), the Prime Minister points out this was not a war against the Tamil people but against an organization designated by the FBI as the deadliest terrorists in the world.

He says that the Sri Lankan armed forces and police, who won a war that was widely considered to be unwinnable, are now once again engaged in a successful joint operation with the state health sector in combating COVID-19.

Prime Minister Rajapaksa further says that he condemns the attempts of the Yahapalana political parties to create an artificial social dichotomy between ‘military’ and ‘civilian’.

“A person who has retired from the armed forces is a civilian and no longer a member of the military”, the Premier said.

He says that as long as they will be in power, there will always be former members of the armed forces and police holding positions in the government as the ‘Ranaviru’ constituency is now an integral part of the ‘Sangha, Veda, Guru, Govi, Kamkaru’ social line up of former times.

The full message of the Prime Minister:

“On the 19th of May, we mark the 11th anniversary of the victory against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. That was not a war against the Tamil people but against an organization designated by the FBI as the deadliest terrorists in the world. Due to the defeat of the LTTE, Tamil people are now free to live as they wish. Tamil children are no longer forcibly recruited by the LTTE. Tamil politicians no longer live in fear of LTTE assassins. Furthermore, due to the absence of the LTTE, elections can be held in the Northern and Eastern provinces and that has safeguarded the sovereign rights of the people of those provinces.

The armed forces and police that amazed the entire world by winning what was widely considered to be an unwinnable war, are now once again engaged in a joint operation with the state health sector in combating Covid-19. All indications are that Sri Lanka is winning the battle against COVID -19 as well. The frontline role played by the armed forces and police in working with the general public, has undoubtedly been of immense help to the health sector in bringing the spread of Covid-19 under control in the present manner.

This once again reminds all of us that the armed forces and police are the sentinels of the nation, ensuring the safety of the general public in all crises whether man-made or natural – whether the crisis be terrorism, floods or disease. In this context, I wish to condemn in the strongest possible terms, the attempt being made by the yahapalana political parties to create an artificial social dichotomy between ‘military’ and ‘civilian’. If a retired member of the armed forces is appointed to some position in the government, that is being portrayed by the opposition as ‘militarization’. A person who has retired from the armed forces is a civilian and no longer a member of the military.

Furthermore, the Ranaviru constituency is now an integral part of the Sangha, Weda, Guru, Govi, Kamkaru social line up of former times. So whenever we happen to be in power, there will always be former members of the armed forces and police holding various positions in the government. We must always be mindful of the historic role that the armed forces and police have played in this country in safeguarding the peoples’ sovereignty based on the universal franchise by defeating all attempts to destroy the democratic system of government.

On this 11th Anniversary of the war victory that amazed the whole world, I wish to reiterate that the manner in which the yahapalana government betrayed our armed forces internationally and the vicious manner in which they persecuted both retired and serving members of the armed forces have not been forgotten. We once again pledge that justice will be done to all those who faced humiliation and persecution under the yahapalana government.”