The Leader of the Opposition Ranil Wickremesinghe when he addressed the members of the Eastern Provincial Councilors yesterday (04) stated that the media has the right to criticize military matters and those who do cannot be considered as "traitors". He also stated that the real "traitors" are those who abandoned their Units, Battalions and the Army and left the country for the United States of America while the others stayed behind and even sacrificed their lives to continue the war to eliminate terrorism in Sri Lanka.
The statement of the Leader of the Opposition needs to be clarified to avoid misconceptions and misunderstanding especially at a time when the Secretary Defense is successfully providing the leadership to eliminate terrorism in Sri Lanka . It has to be pointed out that the real "traitors" are those in the then Governments as the present Leader of the Opposition who gave support to provide weapons to the LTTE and also made agreements with the terrorists for them to bring in sophisticated electronic, communications equipment, heavy weapons and ammunition to continue the armed conflict against the Armed Forces, Police and the people of Sri Lanka. The then government of which the leader of the Opposition was a Minister was also responsible for the deaths of 600 policemen.
The present Secretary of Defense, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa was commissioned on 25th May 1972 and was posted to the Sri Lanka Army Signals Corps and after serving in the Sinha Regiment and Rajarata Rifles he joined the Ist Battalion of the Gajaba Regiment (1GR) after it was raised 14th October 1983. He was promoted as a Lieutenant Colonel on 15th December 1988 and was the Commanding Officer. He retired from the Army after serving the stipulated 20 years as an Officer .
As an infantry officer , Mr. Gotabaya Rjapaksa provided leadership for many historic battles fought by Sri Lanka Army against LTTE terrorist. From the first ever major military operation conducted in Jaffna - Operation Dash up during early 80s , he led his men in many other battles including operation Liberation (Wadamarachchi battle), and operation Trivida Balaya (Rescue of Jaffna fort). He was awarded with gallantry meddles Rana Wickrama Padakkama (RWP) twice and Rana Sura Padakkama (RSP) once for his gallant and meritorious acts in the battlefield.
Following his retirement , he migrated to the USA ands as a computer system analyst at prestigious Loyola University in Los Angles.
The East has been "Liberated ". Provincial Council elections have been conducted after nearly twenty years. The LTTE "Floating" warehouses have been destroyed by the Navy. Many terrorist targets have been successfully engaged by the Air Force. The present operations are being successfully conducted under the leadership of His Excellency Mahinda Rajapaksa and the Defence Secretary despite many "doubters" , pessimists and critics as the Leader of the Opposition and LTTE supporters stating that defeating the LTTE and eliminating Terrorism was not possible .
It is inconceivable that the Leader of the Opposition has made these remarks as Lt. Col N.G Rajapaksa was awarded the gallantry medals in recognition of his bravery and participated in military operations at a time he was a Government Minister and also as Prime minister during the UNP regime when the Presidents were J. R.Jayawardena, R.Premadasa and D.B Wijetunga .
Lt Col N.G Rajapaksa retired from the Army after serving his period of twenty years service as an officer, a privilege used by many officers even today.
Courtesy : MCNS