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The Army’s no-war games

What should the Security Forces do when there’s no war to be fought? Now that three years have passed since the defeat of the LTTE and pretty much everybody is convinced that there will be no resurgence, this would seem to be a pertinent question to ask. Of course vigilance is needed. The Security Forces have to ensure that they are ready to deal with any new militancy. However, that’s a limited task in comparison with the all-out war they were caught up in until 2009. So what now?

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Sarath Fonseka’s Second War

The presidential pardon to General Sarath Fonseka (officially it is ‘ex-General’ as he has been stripped of his hard earned rank) after he completed only two years of a three-year jail sentence should come as no surprise.

As things happen in the Island nation, the idea touched off speculations on when and how he will be released. Of course, there was a lot of build up before it really happened with the perennial political go-between Tiran Alles MP took up the General’s case for pardon with his one time pal - the President. And the former Army Chief comes up once again in national focus with the speculation on what is he going to do?

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The Republic of Sri Lanka: Forty Years of Complete Independence

Forty years ago, on May 22, 1972, at the Navarangahala in Colombo, the Parliamentarians of Sri Lanka concluded two years of sitting there as the Constituent Assembly, by passing and accepting the new autochthonous Constitution of Sri Lanka. This home grown Constitution was formulated de novo by the elected representatives of the people of Sri Lanka, and was not derived in any way from the Constitution that was imposed on Sri Lanka by the British rulers, the Soulbury Constitution. By declaring Sri Lanka to be a Republic, the umbilical cord that tied us to the British crown was severed once and for all, and Sri Lanka became a fully independent country, free from British rule.

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Post-mortem on Geneva

We have to face up to the fact that the Sri Lankan Government suffered a serious set-back at Geneva. We can of course argue that adding the abstentions to the votes against the US Resolution shows that we lost only by one vote. That kind of statistical casuistry will take us nowhere. In fact the refusal to face up to ugly facts that motivates such casuistry could prove to be dangerous. It could even lead to the international isolation in which Sri Lanka found itself under the Jayewardene Government in 1987, as acknowledged by JRJ himself. It is true that two powerful countries, namely China and Russia, voted on our side. During a spell of service in Moscow from 1995 to 1998 I found that the strong Indo-Soviet bonds forged during the Cold War remained just as strong as ever, and my guess is that in the last resort, sometime in the future, Russia will side with India against us. We must acknowledge Sri Lanka’s vulnerability.

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The new imperialism

The country was agog with the news that after the visit of two American bureaucrats named Otero and Blake, [both from the State Department], they had announced that the United States would support the anti-Sri Lanka resolution bought by some western countries in the Human Rights Council. As usual the sanctimonious reason given by the Americans for this act of rank treachery was that it was to "provide an opportunity for the Government of Sri Lanka to describe what it intends to do to implement the LLRC recommendations and advance reconciliation as well as accountability, human rights and democracy concerns". Will anybody be fooled by this kind of nonsensical utterance?

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