President is to be credited for LTTE`s defeat: Minister
Last Updated: Wednesday, January 20, 2010, 17:22
  
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.

"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.

PTI


First Published: Wednesday, January 20, 2010, 17:22


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