Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa denounced attempts of reactionary forces seeking to underestimate the unprecedented battle-field victories in the East achieved by the Armed Forces, by land, air and the sea.
Gotabhaya Rajapaksa addressing the Maha Sangha on the current situation in the North East at the Presidential Secretariat last Thursday opined that the LTTE which has suffered severe setbacks in the battlefield, will obviously strive to utilize diverse strategies to undermine and misinterpret the situation to both the local and the international community.
As it has been the norm, the LTTE will in the wake of defeat, invariably bounce back and use its well-established media machinery to propagate and plant baseless allegations to destroy the will power, self-confidence and the morale of the Armed Forces.
They allege of human rights violations, political instability and instill fear and panic in to the civilian polity within the country by their recent air power offensives and isolated bomb blasts in certain selected locations. The pressure exerted on the general public by this situation will in turn impact on the President and the Armed Forces.
The Defence Secretary was of the firm view that as learnt from past experience, weakening the LTTE militarily was inevitable for a political solution. This time around, they have recorded an unprecedented victory in the East, even transcending that achieved by the IPKF.
"Victory was in the psyche of the soldier and that if there was dissonance in it, then the soldier and his colleagues will have to pay the price of sacrificing their dear lives. The Armed Forces undergo a very hard life for the sake of their motherland and nation", he noted.
The Defence Secretary ruled out alleged corruption in the procurement of arms and ammunition for the Armed Forces, stating that he had established a separate institution for the purpose.
"A third party was not required as such purchases were based solely on necessity and on the terms of the three forces. Although we cannot eliminate corruption 100 percent on such deals, we are confident that we have definitely minimised them. Unfounded allegations in this regard would only fortify Prabhakaran", he said.
He added that they have consolidated their links with the United States, the UK, India, China and Pakistan and in no way isolated. He himself had served the Army for 22 years and was in battle with the LTTE, under the UNP regime, when his brother President Mahinda Rajapaksa was in the Opposition.
"Politics was never an issue then and my brother consistently encouraged me to fight on to the best of my abilities", he said.
The UK's Defence Secretary, Mr Des Browne, is in southern Afghanistan visiting both British military forces there and British civilians involved in reconstruction in the area.
The UK’s new Defence Secretary, Mr.John Hutton- in his first major speech on Afghanistan- says British forces will continue to play a full part in building a secure and democratic Afghanistan.
The UK’s Defence Secretary, Mr.John Hutton, says Britain is at the beginning of what he calls “a new chapter” in its relationship with Iraq. He was speaking in the House of Commons. BSN will have a full report.
The UK’s Defence Secretary, Mr.Bob Ainsworth, has been explaining the latest situation with British troops in Afghanistan; and of Britain’s continuing commitment to that country.
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Nick Harvey MP, the Liberal Democrats' Shadow Defence Secretary, reflects on five years' of military operations in Iraq, calls for an inquiry into the war and for Labour and the Conservatives to apologise for their role in it.
The British Foreign Secretary, Mr. David Miliband, and the Defence Secretary, Mr.John Hutton, bring fellow UK politicians up to speed on the latest security positions in both Iraq and Afghanistan.
The UK’s Defence Secretary, Mr. John Hutton, speaking at an important conference on the future of NATO, has called on Britain’s NATO allies to do more to back the present mission in Afghanistan.
Merlin and Puma helicopters in a flypast at their Royal Airforce base in the UK as the last helicopters to leave service in Iraq.The Defence Secretary talks about a new deployment in Afghanistan.
BY CAMILLE MAESTRACCI
ANCHOR JIM FLINK
You're watching multisource world video news analysis from Newsy.
The British army is under fire -- for allegedly torturing an Iraqi civilian to death.
A new report details the circumstances surrounding the death of Baha Mousa.
It concludes Mousa died of asphyxiation and 93 injuries to his body while under UK detention in 2003.
One of the soldiers in charge of the prisoner tells the BBC:
“Mr. Mousa was standing and he was heading toward the door trying to get out. He looked quite dazed. He was saying shouting something in Arabic. I shouted it. Two of the guys got Mr. Mousa, took him back into the room, screaming, punching, kicking going on. He was just screaming out—wanted out of the room.”
Top British Army General Peter Wall said the incident cast a ‘dark shadow’ on the Army. But Defence Secretary Liam Fox says the incident won’t stop interrogation:
“Defence Secretary Liam Fox said Mr Mousa's death was ‘deplorable, shocking and shameful’… But he rejected the inquiry's call for the MoD to ban the use of the verbally threatening ‘harsh approach’ in tactical questioning, the immediate interrogation of suspects to obtain valuable intelligence.” (The Independent)
Mousa’s family was expecting more from the report and is still awaiting sanctions. Al Jazeera reports, though the inquiry criticizes the British army, it does not draw broader conclusions.
“While the inquiry criticised individual soldiers for using unlawful methods of interrogation, Gage did not suggest there had been systematic abuse by the British army... A leaked report last month suggested that the army would be cleared of systematic torture.”
But Germany’s Deutsche Welle reports, the incident -- in fact -- could point to evidence of a widespread issue for the British Army.
“At least 127 other Iraqis were allegedly abused while in British detention. The growing number of Iraqis who claim they were mistreated could point to broader systemic abuse.”
And there is historical precedence.
In 2007, several members of a British battalion faced similar allegations.
All were cleared except one, who became the first member of the British armed forces convicted of a war crime.
Prime minister David Cameron tells ITN News another incident like this will never happen again:
“Britain does not cover these things up, we do not sweep them under the carpet, we deal with them because we want the British army, which I think is an excellent institution, to have uphold the higher standards. The army wants that, I want that and we must make sure this doesn’t happen again.”
Transcript by Newsy.