MR calls for inquiry into general state of morale in armed forces
Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa says that several incidents since January last year have had the effect of seriously undermining the self esteem and morale of the armed forces to an extent unseen even during the years of the 2002 ceasefire. “Any inquiry into the causes of the Kosgama disaster should also look into the general state of morale in the armed forces at present,” he said, in a statement issued today (7). “Though we still do not know for certain what caused the fire, it can be said as a general statement that when self esteem and morale are at a low ebb in a military organisation, supervision, vigilance, leadership and the general state of alertness also suffers.” Rajapaksa said that during the war, the government took special precautions to ensure the security of the installation and after 2009, the army had been gradually relocating this armoury and that most of the ordnance in this location had been shifted temporarily to places like Veyangoda and distributed to Diyatalawa and Maduruoya for use in training. Two large farms in Oyamaduwa and Rambewa had also been identified to store the remaining ordnance on a permanent basis, he said. “But since our time no further action had been taken on this matter. Be that as it may, I am very surprised that a breakdown in security of this magnitude can occur at an installation like this.” “If something like this had happened during the war, the war effort would have been seriously undermined,” he said. The former President welcomed the government’s announcement that they will rebuild the houses damaged by the explosion.