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Fonseka failed to deliver many times: Gotabaya

[Express Buzz, Thursday, 3 December 2009 09:02 No Comment]

General Sarath Fonseka, who is contesting the coming Lankan presidential election as a “wronged war hero,” could not claim to be a military genius because he had failed many times in the past, Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa told Daily Mirror on Monday.

“There were a lot of failures under him. In fact, he’s the one who ordered the withdrawal of troops from Jaffna in 2000,” Gotabaya said.

Over 30,000 Sri Lankan troops were trapped in Jaffna when the LTTE struck devastatingly in an operation codenamed Oyatha Alaigal (Unceasing Waves) III. Though Fonseka had ordered withdrawal, President Chandrika Kumaratunga and other higher ups in Colombo ordered the troops to stay put and fight it out. Pakistan had flown in multi barrel rocket launchers and ammo desperately needed by the besieged troops, and the LTTE was driven back into the Wanni jungles.

Fonseka had told reporters recently that he had never failed in his life and that he had always kept his promises to the nation. In his latest press conference Fonseka quoted India’s National Security Advisor, M K Narayanan, as saying that he was the “best General in the world”. But, according to Gotabaya, there were better leaders in the Army than Fonseka.

WHO WON THE WAR: On the controversial political question as to who won the war for Sri Lanka, Gotabaya asked the people not to forget the contribution of “everyone from privates, whose numbers were the most sacrificed in the field, to security forces commanders or the battalion commanders or Brig. Shavindra Silva whose division captured Pooneryn and went all the way to Pudukudiyiruppu.”

“If the Army Commander claims that his was the only contribution, then what of all these persons? Then everyone can individually start claiming credit. This was purely a team effort. And what about the Navy, thanks to whom the Sea Tigers couldn’t get out to the sea, or the Air Force?” Fonseka is behaving like a “cheap politician,” he said.


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