Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Sri Lankan drama - Opinion : Editorial

To be fair, Army Chief Fonseka commanded the respect of his men and had a reputation for professionalism — as long as he stayed a soldier. The problem was that, from time to time, he crossed the lines and betrayed quirkiness, triumphalism, chauvinism, and hints of political ambition. At the height of the Eelam War IV (August 2006 to May 2009), he went on record with assertions like “I strongly believe that this country belongs to the Sinhalese” and that the minority communities “can live in this country with us but they must not try to, under the pretext of being a minority, demand undue things.” Immediately after the final victory over the Tigers, he went completely over the top — publicly demanding a 50 per cent increase in the Army’s numerical strength for the peacetime challenge! Nor were the general’s political transgressions confined to domestic issues. He caused diplomatic embarrassment to the government he served by characterising sections of Tamil Nadu political leaders as a “bunch of jokers.”

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