Vision to make the Forces a part of society brought good results
Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa
His affection for the motherland and his vision to free this country
from the clutches of terrorism to ensure democratic freedom to all
citizen of this country bound him to serve for his motherland in the
prestigious position of Defence Secretary to make his dream of fully
defeating the LTTE from the Sri Lankan soil, a realistic one.
An ex-Army officer turned Defence Secretary, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa
stood firm behind each and every move of the Sri Lankan Security Forces
whether it was a setback or victory as he has understood ground
realities in the battlefront through his vast experience of the war
after serving in the Sri Lanka Army along with the Generals of the
calibre of Denzil Kobbekaduwa and Wijaya Wimalaratna.
“I was able to explain the ground realities and convince the
President that we are on the correct path to defeat LTTE whenever the
Government was confronted with political and international pressures”,
the Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa says explaining the way he
managed to settle crisis situations.
He was not only a Defence Secretary to the Commander in Chief who is
also the President of this country but also an excellent advisor to him
to face any crisis situation as it was his assessment on the battlefront
that guided President Mahinda Rajapaksa to take crucial decisions
regarding national security.
The crucial decisions to increase the strength of the Security Forces
and to purchase all what is required to continue the military thrust
against the LTTE were taken by the President on his recommendation to
the President. “Increasing the strength of the Security Forces and the
acquisition all weaponry were prerequisite for achieving this victory”,
the Defence Secretary says.
“It was not because I am his brother but it was due to my knowledge
on the subject and his good understanding about my experience that
helped us work towards achieving this victory”, the Defence Secretary
says dismissing arguments that the President endorsed everything what he
proposed as he was his brother.
It was his firm conviction that guided all three Armed Forces and the
Police under one direction to achieve this victory at last.
“If not for that firm conviction we could not have achieve this
victory eliminating the LTTE fully from the Sri Lankan soil. It was due
to the absence of that conviction and the determination that many
Governments failed to defeat the LTTE at several occasions”, he says.
He had to continue his battle not only with the LTTE, but also with
the disgruntled politicians and media personnel who tried to create
misconceptions among the public spreading false information about the
“My criticism on media was squarely against creating misconceptions
which may have adverse effects on the military operations and to
demoralize the troops in the battlefront sacrificing their lives.
We only reacted to those situations but did not physically assault
media personnel”, the Defence Secretary says.
The formation of defence.lk website was a step taken to defeat media
campaigns to belittle the military victories and create misconceptions
among the public. “Our effort have become a fruitful one today
considering the number of hits recorded by our website”, Rajapaksa says.
Not only on the media front, his outspoken comments on several
countries who tried to stop the military thrust on the LTTE were also
commended by the ordinary citizen of this country.
“We should not be scared to express our view as we did the correct
thing. The international community endorsed our victory at the Human
Rights Council special session”, the Defence Secretary says.
He firmly believe that LTTE would not become a threat to Sri Lanka
anymore as the existence of people like KP would not make any impact on
the Tamil community. But he says that there may be efforts by
disgruntled elements to take ransom and to engage in terror activities.
Therefore, he says that all steps have been taken not to allow the
LTTE to raise its head again in the country. “Our Security Forces,
intelligence agencies are active in curbing such a situation in the
country”, the Secretary says.
If not for his broad vision to make the military a part of society,
by launching programs like Api Venuven Api and the projects to construct
houses for the Ranaviru families, the military effort taken by the
Government would have been fully rejected by the people.
Today, those efforts by the Defence Secretary has reached its
pinnacle as the entire nation has joined with the military to celebrate
that magnanimous victory along with the Security Forces.