(lanka dissent)Thursday, 06 November 2008 19:29
Spokesman of ‘Defence Watch’, Mangala Samaraweera has issued a press release explaining reasons for setting up an alternative defence information centre.
The absence of an extensive public dialogue on the war and the lack of information for such a discussion have been the main reasons for the establishment of an alternative defence information centre, he said.
It is widely believed in society that such a dialogue could have serious repercussions, the press release says, noting that the state media and government politicians brand attempts at such a dialogue as discouragement of morale of armed forces members.
This belief is also having a psychological effect on society due to the violent methods being used to silence voices questioning the state’s war policy, it adds.
War is the means to the state’s largest financial investment. Therefore, the public has the right to know how the investment is made. Sadly, this is rather lacking in the country and the situation has intensified to lengths where falsehoods and distortions of the truth are given to the public, the press release further says.
There is a saying that ‘When war is declared, truth is the first casualty’. This saying has become a reality in the ethnic war in Sri Lanka. Under such a backdrop, ‘’Defence Watch’ was set up to ensure the public of their right to information and to initiate a public dialogue, Mr. Samaraweera says.
We believe that Sri Lanka should remain strong as a multi-opinioned country based on ethnic harmony as well as strong economic and international relations, he adds.
The political independence and right for political equality of minorities are being challenged. All masses should be treated equally. We are of the opinion that attempts of the LTTE to create a separate state can only be defeated by such a practical political solution, he further says.
The ‘Defence Watch’ would act in a responsible manner on the following matters:
01. Reveal the government’s attempts to create a police state under the pretense of defeating terrorism.
02. Reveal the true nature of the war.
03. Reveal hardships of the security forces and the police in the battlefront.
04. Reveal details of the war affected
05. Expose scams and the fraudulent activities committed under the pretense of war.
06. Terrorist activities of the LTTE as well as state terrorism and human rights violations.
07. Violent unleashed on dissenters and media suppression conducted on the façade of war.
We welcome your support for these measures taken with the hope of creating a better social environment that ensures democratic and human rights, the press release adds.