FB   
 
Powered bysps
        Society for Policy Studies
 
 

 
Is Sri Lanka serioius about demilitarization
Posted:Jul 7, 2016
 
Print
Share
  
increase Font size decrease Font size
 

By Taylor Dilbert

 

Sri Lanka’s Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera is talking big yet again. This time it’s about demilitarization. Speaking in Colombo on July 6, Mr. Samaraweera said that the government hopes “to complete the demilitarization process” by 2018. And we’re not just talking about the war-torn Northern and Eastern Provinces, the foreign minister is referring to the entire country.

 

Where is this coming from? Should a statement like this be taken seriously? “The top brass in the army still call shots with this crisis ridden government,” says Colombo-based journalist Kusal Perera.

 

Perhaps Mr. Samaraweera would be willing to reveal the precise number of troops currently stationed in the north and the approximate rate at which a military drawdown would occur. In light of the foreign minister’s remarks, should we look for the defense budget to finally stop growing?

 

In fact, 18 months into President Maithripala Sirisena’s tenure, demilitarization has yet to begin and the military remains heavily involved in civilian life in the north and east. What’s more, various government officials - both civilians and military personnel - have justified the country’s continued militarization on specious national security grounds. This even happened last month.

 

Frankly, if demilitarization is such a high priority for the government, then the president and the prime minister should be conveying that message to the public. “A weak, conflicting leadership shared between President Sirisena and [Prime Minister] PM [Ranil] Wickramasinghe will not be able to handle demilitarization, even if their government survives that long in one piece,” notes Perera.

 

To conclude, Mr. Samaraweera’s recent remarks should be looked upon with profound skepticism. This appears to be another disingenuous effort designed to deflect diplomatic pressure. The bottom line is that, if Colombo is truly serious about demilitarization, the coalition government has a very unusual way of showing it.

 

The World Post, July 8, 2016

 
 
 
 
Print
Share
  
increase Font size decrease Font size
 

Disclaimer: South Asia Monitor does not accept responsibility for the views or ideology expressed in any article, signed or unsigned, which appears on its site. What it does accept is responsibility for giving it a chance to appear and enter the public discourse.
Comments (Total Comments 0) Post Comments Post Comment
Review
 
 
 
 
spotlight image A career diplomat, Chitranganee Wagiswara, High Commissioner of Sri Lanka, is the first woman to be the island nation’s envoy to India. As Foreign Secretary, she was Sri Lanka’s top diplomat for 18 months before being posted to New Delhi.
 
read-more
"Look forward to welcoming India's PM Modi to @WhiteHouse on Monday. Important strategic issues to discuss with a true friend!" US President Donald Trump tweeted Saturday ahead of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s arrival for a three-day official visit. 
 
read-more
“Prime Minister Modi and President Trump found some common ground on international security and economic growth.
 
read-more
With weird concoction like "Beer Yoga" getting popular as the next big international fitness craze, the ancient art of inner blossoming is seemingly going topsy-turvy. And as yoga hogs the limelight on its third International Day, the loud call for saving the spirit of the ancient and modern practice can't be swept under
 
read-more
“We cannot allow the state brutality to which we are subjected each day snatch our humanity and values,” the Mirwaiz said, asking: “What will be the difference between them and us then?”
 
read-more
India First meets America First and agree Pakistan is third-rate. The most tangible consequence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s maiden summit with the United States president, Donald Trump, has been the blacklisting of the Hizbul Mujahideen leader, Syed Salahuddin, and an agreement both countries should go after terrorist safe
 
read-more
The city of Marawi in the south of the Philippines has been engulfed by a deadly, ongoing siege since late May, when government forces began to take on heavily armed militants linked to the Islamic State. Local media estimate the death toll to be above 300. Over 200,000 residents have fled what has effectively become an urban battlefie
 
read-more
The Iraqi city of Mosul this week celebrates its first Eid free of the oppressive rule of the self-styled Islamic State (IS) in three years.
 
read-more
President Donald J. Trump hosted Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India at the White House on June 26 for an official visit to Washington, D.C.
 
read-more
Column-image

Title: Reporting Pakistan; Author: Meena Menon; Publisher: Viking/Penguin Random House; Pages: 340; Price: Rs 599

 
Column-image

  A former Indian civil servant, who is currently a professor of Public Policy and Political Science at Duke University, US spent long periods in distant villages and city slums of India. The result? A scholarly book that presen...

 
Column-image

  Title: The Exile; Author:  Cathy Scott-Clark & Adrian Levy; Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing; Pages: 640; Price: Rs 699

 
Column-image

Jim Corbett was a British-Indian hunter and tracker-turned-conservationist, author and naturalist; who started off as an officer in the British army and attained the rank of a colonel. Frequently called in to kill man-eating tigers or leopards,...

 
Column-image

Title: Bollywood Boom; Author: Roopa Swaminathan; Publisher: Penguin; Price: Rs 399; Pages: 221

 
Subscribe to our newsletter
Archive