By R.M.B Senanayake –
The Secretary Defence has pointed out that the demand for the replacement of the Governor Chandrasiri was not justified merely because he is a retired Army Officer. He has pointed out that Colin Powell a retired U.S Army General was appointed as the Secretary of State in USA.
A better comparison is perhaps General Douglas Mac Arthur who commanded the Pacific Forces that defeated the Japanese. He was appointed as the Commander of the Military Occupation and carried out extensive reforms of the structure of the Japanese State democratizing it and recognizing civil liberties and human rights. Japan was transformed into a democratic State. On April 10, 1946, an election with 78.52% voter turnout among men and 66.97% among women gave Japan its first modern prime minister, Shigeru Yoshida. The 1947 Constitution also enfranchised women, guaranteed fundamental human rights, strengthened the powers of Parliament and the Cabinet, and decentralized the police and local government.
Thereafter the Military retreated to the background. Troops were reduced drastically and when the Korean War broke out shortly thereafter the balance U.S troops were deployed in South Korea. The San Francisco Peace Treaty signed on September 8, 1951 marked the end of the Allied occupation, and after it came into force on April 28, 1952, Japan was once again an independent country, but with a democratic Constitution for the first time in its history.
General Chandrasiri was the Commanding Officer I believe during the war against the LTTE. True that he is now a civilian but does he have the flexibility of mind to change from being a military officer who waged war to a peace time Governor who will respect the Tamil people and their representatives. Could he be committed to democratic rule and respect the rights of the NPC to govern according to the wishes of the Tamil people like General Douglas Mac Arthur did after the occupation of Japan.