VIDEO: UNP concerned over ‘militarization’ of sports, foreign service

VIDEO: UNP concerned over ‘militarization’ of sports, foreign service

July 23, 2013   05:19 pm

The United National Party (UNP) today charged that the civil society is facing a grave danger due to the “militarization” of Sri Lanka’s sports and foreign service and warned of a possible diplomatic crisis.

UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake stated that a top sports coach in the country had recently given an interview to a newspaper, in which he had made a statement regarding the downfall and militarization of the country’s sports because a majority of the positions in sport governing bodies have been given to retired or serving military officers.

According to the statement made by this popular coach, those who are actually devoted to sports have been disregarded through the militarization of sports, he told reporters in Colombo today. “There is a truth in this statement.”

While warning that militarization is dangerously increasing within the island, he stated that either retired or serving military officers have been appointed to top posts and to head almost all the sporting organizations in Sri Lanka.

“This is the first step of the militarization within sports,” he stressed.

Attanayake claimed that this problem not only applies to sports but to foreign services as well.

He stated that 70% of the foreign service officers in the country’s diplomatic missions or not professional diplomatic staff and that a majority out of them are military officers. “The professional Foreign Service expected by the Ministry of External Affairs currently does not take place,” the MP said.

Attanayake stated that the foreign ministry is facing a grave crisis today because there are no trained, professional diplomats with knowledge to counter certain activities and campaigns being carried out in other countries to discredit Sri Lanka and its leaders.

The UNP General Secretary assured that they do not object to the military’s involvement issues pertaining to national security and that they mean no disrespect to the army, however pointed out that the tradition of civilian rule of a democratic nation by civilians is slowly falling apart in Sri Lanka.  

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