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Unprecedented Glorious Victory | dailynews.lk

Presidentís leadership key to victory


President Mahinda Rajapaksa

 

It was in this scenario that the leadership of President Rajapaksa had to be reviewed. He had a clear vision, the necessary political experience and the background to face the challenge and as usual he gave the leadership to the armed forces and for the first time the public, even the man on the street saw that he was leading the three forces to victory

The humanitarian operations against the LTTE terrorists were not against the Tamil people but to free them from the yoke of the terrorists, President Mahinda Rajapaksa often said when the operations started after the LTTE terrorists closed the Mavil Aru anicut to deprive more than 30,000 people, of water.

In his mind there was not the slightest doubt that the LTTE were a group of hypocrite terrorists who would use each opportunity given to them for talks or ceasefires to buy time to strengthen their armoury and cadres and to collect more funds for purchase of arms.

It was in this background that President Mahinda Rajapaksa appeared in the countryís political horizon determined to end the long drawn-out terrorist war that had plagued the nation for three decades with death, destruction and sabotage while most of the previous leaders except perhaps President D. B. Wijetunga attempted to resolve by trying to reach a negotiated settlement with the group of terrorists who would have been laughing their sides out whenever any national leader proposed a political solution.

The President once he had decided to start the humanitarian operations called the commanders of the three Armed Forces and the Defence Secretary.

Gotabhaya Rajapaksa directed the LTTE had to be defeated as he was aware that would be counterproductive to start talks with them.

The commanders of the forces were given clear instructions that they had the objective of defeating the LTTE and it was very clear in his mind that the only way to achieve peace was by first completely defeating the terrorists.

Once on a task President Rajapaksa was determined to fulfill it and as an opposition parliamentarian, a minister or prime minister he always was known to be a person who worked to reach each goal he wished to reach.

At a time when a lot of leaders on both sides of the political dichotomy thought they could appease the LTTE with various offers of peace or devolution packages that the LTTE spurned with disdain as they were not interested, as like the Shakespearean Shylock demanded their pound of flesh the so-called separate state of the Tamils or Eelam - the President was not ready to waste time, more and more lives and national resources on comic exercises like carrying a white lotus or a brick to build a library as he knew they would never yield any response from Prabhakaran or the LTTE.

When he gave strong and clear leadership to the three armed forces he also had another advantage that the public at large were with him though they had been fed on myths that the LTTE could not be defeated, the war could not be won, even if the war was being won India or some other friend of the LTTE or the so-called international community would pressure the government to stop the war at the last moment.

It was in this scenario that the leadership of President Rajapaksa had to be reviewed.

He had a clear vision, the necessary political experience and the background to face the challenge and as usual he gave the leadership to the armed forces and for the first time the public, even the man on the street saw that he was leading the three forces to victory.

When the humanitarian operations in the east was going on, one UNP parliamentarian hailing from the Kandy district said in Parliament that he had information that the LTTE cadres retreating from Thoppigala had left behind 1000 or nearly that number of arms to be retrieved and used later.

And still later another parliamentarian of the same party said the actual numbers of the soldiers who died in the humanitarian operation were not being disclosed to the parliament by the Prime Minister.

Yet as the Commander in Chief President Rajapaksa did not seek to give replies to these comments that were not meant to hearten the armed forces nor help the country in any way.

Since he was convinced as the President and the Commander in Chief that the three Armed Forces and their commanders were capable of exploding many myths including the invincibility of the terrorist outfit, he stood by his decision and gave his strong leadership to the force as he had faith in the men and women in the Forces.

The clear sign of a true national leader in President Mahinda Rajapaksa was that he was not prepared to compromise the freedom and sovereignty of the country for any kind of pressure and in the present case he had to fight not only the terrorist outfit but also the major opposition party that could not be anything but anti-national and unpatriotic.

When Winston Churchill giving leadership to his forces was asking the British people to make sacrifices the main Opposition Labour Party gave Churchill un-stinted cooperation but in the case of our country the Opposition Leader and his party men were not seen extending any cooperation to the war against terrorism, but trying to bring up other extraneous political issues for their political advantage.

It was in this background that the strong leadership of President Mahinda Rajapaksa as Commander in Chief had to be viewed.

He had faith in his Forces, he had faith in the people and he had faith in himself that he could lead the troops and the Forces to victory. And like all true leaders he proved himself as a person who could be ranked among our heroic kings like Vijayabahu or Dutu Gemunu or among leaders like Churchill who led their Forces to victory.

 

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