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Sunday, 22 November 2015

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Dear reader, the Sunday Observer welcomes your letters. Letters should be brief, legible and contain the name, address and contact number of the writer. Mail your letters to: 'Letters', The Sunday Observer, 35, D.R.Wijewardene Mawatha, Colombo 10. Email: [email protected]

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Fighter jets for SLAF

A recent newspaper report that the Indians were trying to persuade the Sri Lanka Govt. to purchase Indian fighter jets instead of the Pakistani ones that the Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) was interested in. Is this true? Again, is it true that the SLAF is looking to upgrade their existing fighter jets? Why is this scheme not given the exposure that it deserves? Must everything in this land be done hush-hush?

If there is a semblance of truth to this plan, the question isudly] is 'why on earth does little Sri Lanka NEED fighter jets at all?' Obviously, there are commissions involved here, Yahapalanaya or no Yahapalanaya! Once the country has armed itself with these fighter jets, what next? A flypast on Independence Day? If Sri Lanka comes under attack from whatever quarter, can one even imagine that a few fighter jets can handle such a situation [the infamous 'Indian parippu drop' comes to mind]? What is the likelihood of such an eventuality? Even if it came about, would we even dare retaliate?

The Sri Lankan economy is at present in dire straits. This is a time for austerity. Every shoulder has to be behind the wheel. Our rulers should be leading this fight against a fast-sinking economy. Every effort has to be made to cut down public expenditure as an initial step. The country is borrowing more money just to meet the debt servicing of loans already taken. Where or when is it ever going to end? Enough is enough! A resounding NO must be the answer to this cockeyed plan to upgrade the SLAF armoury.

-Ainsley de Silva
Kohuwala.

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