By P. Soma Palan –
I refer to the front page news report in the Daily Mirror of 26th August under the above caption and wish to express my views as follows:
I am a free thinker and not a qualified celebrity in any field or a public figure of sorts. When the nation is gasping for its very survival due to a chain of unprecedented crises in its history, the President of the Nation seems to be preoccupied with the task of training the Sri Lankan Military in modern warfare. He has got his priorities wrong.
Firstly, I am at a loss to understand with whom Sri Lanka is poised to go into a war? Why is such a preparation in modern warfare necessary? Is there an imminent or later threat of conquest by any country or even an internal armed threat? This is ludicrous and a futile bloated ego to be militarily powerful. Can an insignificant small country like Sri Lanka face the military might of larger nations, even if the military forces are equipped with training in modern warfare? Isn’t this grand scheme a futile exercise in investment, when a large segment of the population is in poverty and facing an existential crisis? Shouldn’t attention and resources be applied to alleviate conditions of poverty rather than prepare for an imaginary threat of war?
It is my conviction that instead of strengthening the military, all Nations of the world should get together under the sponsorship of the United Nations Organization and take a unanimous and positive resolve to abolish standing Armies of all nations of the world. A complete disarmament by dismantling all the weapons of destruction, military infrastructures, armament Factories is necessary to save the Planet Earth from total destruction, so that the planet Earth can be a utopia of peace and harmony. It is the existence of Armies that poses a real threat to world peace. Existence of Armies is justified for self defense. If there are no Armies, the need for counter defense does not arise. Further, isn’t the very existence of Armies, an insult to human intelligence and cultured living? The world has reached the pinnacle of human civilization and yet we carry with us relics of barbarian tribalism in our blood. Armies and civilized living are mutually contradictory and antagonistic. Leave aside the two World wars of 1914 and 1944/45, and see the carnage that is inflicted on humanity in the ongoing Ukraine War today. It is reported that about 28,500 people have been killed and 1.2 million people have fled the country, and 140,000 residential buildings have been destroyed. This is what Armies of nations led by mad people can do. Ukraine is for all purpose a de facto and de jure a separate country by its own volition, though a former part of Russia. It has a sovereign right to exist. But Russia thinks it has the right to reclaim it for itself. If this is so, one can argue that similarly India has stronger case to annex Pakistan and Bangladesh, which only the British created at the time of granting Independence to India. Similarly, China has its One Country policy in respect of Taiwan and thinks Taiwan is part of China. But de facto Taiwan is a reality and exists, and has a right to exist. Nations are armed with Nuclear weapons. If you have Armies with nuclear weapons, it is for use and not for show. One day a lunatic leader will use it and that is the end of the Planet earth. That is why I say that all Armies of nations should be disbanded along with their weapons and military infrastructures, so that resort to war to solve bilateral or multilateral disputes will give way to civilized discussion or arbitration by International Court.
Just imagine the vast allocation we make for defense and maintenance of the Military forces with no contribution to the Gross National Product. The Military forces are virtually idling, except their deployment in limited and occasional disaster management and rescue operations, and as at present to help the Police in enforcement of Law and Order at queues at Gas and Petrel outlets. Military forces are mere ornamental show-cases. The real need is to down-size the military forces, rather than to give a training in modern warfare.
Nathan / September 2, 2022
Dear P. Soma Palan, I was right with you for a short while. Yes, until the end of the 3rd para. Then, you started running wild. That is when I lost you!
“It is my conviction that all Nations should get together under the sponsorship of the United Nations and take a unanimous resolve to abolish standing Armies”.
That is what is called a fantasy!
If you have said anything worthwhile later on, sorry. I had discontinued reading.
old codger / September 2, 2022
Rather like getting wolves and chickens to sleep in in the same coop.
old codger / September 2, 2022
The notorious Field Marshal too is on the warpath over “weakening the Army”. This guy was always a neanderthal racist to the core. He still believes that the LTTE is a threat.
“Firstly, I am at a loss to understand with whom Sri Lanka is poised to go into a war? “
Not India. Or even Bangladesh. But we forget Maldives, over whom we would have more than a 10 to 1 advantage. Lest some forget, that’s how SF beat the LTTE.
Jeeves / September 3, 2022
You are right. Sri lanka HAS to maintain that incredible number advantage over its only possible and perceived adversaries Maldives and LTTE. (That excludes the possibility of an invasion by the Andaman tribes which might necessitate even more resources). Sri lankan army lacks the guts to achieve a victory over an enemy on an equal footing.
Human Touch / September 2, 2022
We are still talking about going to war when we have no fuel to keep us moving as a country.
And with whom are we supposed to fight? We don’t have any neighbors sharing borders and we don’t have a navy fleet to take us across the sea.
The training is to oppress and kill our innocent citizens, further.
When will our leaders get their priorities right?
We are supposed to reduce military expenditure and rationalize unwanted expenses.
Sri Lanka is headed in a bad way, sooner or later, the people will react in a very violent way and that day our leaders will learn a bloody lesson. Perhaps it will be too late then.
What did we do wrong, to deserve such unpatriotic inhuman criminals as leaders?
Plato / September 5, 2022
Mr. Somapalan. Relax.
The President is flying a kite. But at the same time he had compared himself to Churchill not long ago. Perhaps it is that hang over
…….We shall fight on the beaches [Galle Face ? ]
………We shall fight on the landing grounds [ Mattala? ]
………..We shall fight in the fields and in the streets.
………….We shall never surrender…………..
Ranil is going off his rocker………….