Gotabhaya and Mangala

With reference to the news item appearing m the Island of 10 January 2009, under the heading "America owes an explanation for Gotabhaya’s undemocratic conduct", the following observations are made, to enable Mr. Samaraweera to give the necessary clarifications:

Mr. Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, no doubt, holds dual citizenship of America and Sri Lanka, because a non-citizen of Sri Lanka cannot become an employee of the Sri Lankan Government. Therefore, whatever Gotabhaya does in Sri Lanka, comes under the jurisdiction of the Sri Lanka Government and any misconduct on his part in this country should be brought to the notice of the Sri Lankan authorities.

In such a scenario, to state that America owes an explanation regarding Gotabhaya’s purported acts in Sri Lanka is a statement without any foundation whatsoever and would, no doubt, be subject to sarcastic reactions. Moreover, America has no control whatsoever over his actions in Sri Lanka and the American authorities will treat the said statement with contempt which it justly deserves.

Moreover, if Mangala still insists that he is right, and then it is strange why he did not ask for ‘an explanation’ from America, when Gotabhaya, was attacked by the LTTE and almost lost his life. He should have then blamed America for not providing sufficient security to one of its citizens!!

Be that as it may, Mangala has totally ignored, for reasons best known to himself, the immense contributions/sacrifices made by Gotabhaya, to ensure Sri Lanka is free from terrorists who during the last 25 years, has carried out one third of all suicide attacks in the world, the only terrorist organisation with air power, attacked Colombo seven times, killed thousands of innocent Sri Lankans, etc. The list is endless. In fact, this organisation violated the C.F.A. signed with Mangala’s bosom friend, Ranil, over 4000 times, totally eliminated our intelligence units etc., prevented citizens of the South travelling freely to the North, etc. Why didn’t Mangala then write to America requesting them to stop these atrocities. Surely, what is more serious, the atrocities referred to herein or the purported remarks of Gotabaya, who has served the Sri Lanka Army well, making immense sacrifices and after he became the Defence Secretary, he almost lost his life. A person taking such risks should be showered with praise, without indulging in fashion designing. Mangala has referred to America as the country which preached the importance of media freedom. In this connection, his kind attention is drawn to an article which appeared in the Island on 2nd January, 2009 under the heading "Lack of appreciation of existential ground realities". The Boston Globe of December 26, 2008 has carried an editorial under the heading "Sri Lanka’s ignored war" which had contained serious and numerous inaccuracies. The letter sent by Mr. Neville Ladduwahetty to the Boston Globe was never published, for some unknown reason. Mr. Samaraweera should, in fact, have referred to this glaring omission on the part of an American newspaper, when referring to "the country which preached the importance of media freedom" Perhaps, the American ambassador for Sri Lanka, whose photograph appears frequently in the press, will let the country know why the freedom of expression was denied to an eminent Sri Lankan by the Boston Globe.

G. H. Wijedasa.

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