Thursday, December 3, 2009

Another messiah plunges into the cesspool! - Island Editorial

The late General Denzil Kobbekaduwa still lives in our hearts as a revered warrior and gentleman who never compromised himself for expedience. But for the late President J. R. Jayewardene's capitulation to pressure from India, which he had antagonised unnecessarily, Gen. Kobbekaduwa, ably assisted by Gen. Wimalaratne, would have accounted for Prabhakaran and decimated the LTTE way back in 1987. Prabhakaran, it may be recalled, was trapped in Vadamarachchi, unable to face Operation Liberation, but India whisked him away in a military chopper, having frightened the JRJ government into submission with a parippu (dhal) drop.

Gen. Kobbekaduwa is still fondly remembered – the same could be said of Gen. Wimalaratne as well – because he made it known in no uncertain terms that he had no political ambitions, in spite of efforts in some quarters to lure him into politics. He was a brilliant soldier with an unblemished service record and wanted to remain so and fade away. And he did! But, unfortunately, a good general who led the Sri Lankan Army to victory over terrorism has plunged feet first into the cesspool of politics and sullied his image. Sarath Fonseka is his name. He has embraced the very forces that backed the LTTE, scoffed at the war effort, vilified him and carried out a sinister anti-Sri Lanka campaign. This is something never expected of a professional soldier of his calibre.

We are also disillusioned with an indefatigable campaigner who rose to fame in record time in politics for courageously exposing corruption and irregularities in the public sector enterprises and politicians responsible for them. He is Wijedasa Rajapakshe of the COPE fame. He fought valiantly against numerous odds to bring the culprits responsible for the corrupt deals revealed in his reports to book, but in vain. Frustrated, he broke ranks with the government, which had appointed him to Parliament on its National List and chose to remain independent in the House. He was thought to have taken a principled stand, when he stopped short of defecting to the Opposition at that time, as he had exposed the UNP-led UNF government (2001-2004) for illegal and corrupt deals during its brief tenure.

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