"A war in a country can only be declared by the head of
that state. In our country too, this can be done only by
President Mahinda Rajapaksa as Commander-in-Chief of all armed
forces," Disaster Management and Human Rights Minister Mahinda
Samarasinghe said at public rally near here yesterday.
"After the war is directed towards victory, the credit
may be claimed by several persons. In this context, people of
the country are ever grateful to the President who tenaciously
stood firm against foreign pressures to protect motherland?,
the minister said, adding Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa
also contributed to the victory with his methodical planning.
Even after the war ended, Rajapaksa had many challenges
such as resettlement of displaced people, rehabilitation and
development of war-ravaged areas and the infrastructure
development in other areas of the country, Samarasinghe said.
"Our people are never willing to betray the sacrifices of
war heroes or the victory of our motherland," he said.
Meanwhile, Major General Kamal Gunaratne, Commander of
Wanni security forces, said the victory against LTTE was
victory of the entire nation.
"All could enjoy the benefits of this victory, as it was
achieved through the collective efforts of the whole nation",
Gunaratne told a gathering in North.
He said although the war had ended, the security forces
continue to contribute to nation building by cooperating in
the resettlement of displaced people.
The government and the security forces have taken
measures to prevent the spread of the germs of terrorism once
again, the top military officer said.
Colombo: President Mahinda Rajapaksa is the
only authority to declare a war and responsible for its
outcome, a Sri Lankan minister has said, apparently seeking to
downplay ex-army chief and opposition presidential candidate
Sarath Fonseka's statements taking credit for LTTE's defeat.
First Published: Wednesday, January 20, 2010, 17:22