The Sunday Leader

Cardboard Hero New Chairman Of Gem And Jewellery Authority

  • Daluwatte even awarded himself a gallantry medal

By Frederica Jansz

Rohan De S. Daluwatte

What is it about each successive government in Sri Lanka, that it is indebted to promote and sustain military men who have as commanders brought disrepute and disaster to the security forces as a whole?
This time around it is former Chief of Defence Staff Rohan De S. Daluwatte.  Not only has Daluwatte failed as a military commander, he has also obtained the esteemed Weera Wickrama Vibushana Award by making a false claim and writing his own recommendation.
The tragi-comedy of this situation is that despite Daluwatte’s dismal performance as a military commander including him forcefully seeking a highly esteemed military decoration, he has been now chosen to chair the National Gem And Jewellery Authority replacing former Chairman Anil Koswatte who was removed following repeated exposés in this newspaper which detailed his fraudulent activities at the State Authority.   If anything, Daluwatte is a bigger disgrace than Koswatte – unfortunately for President Mahinda Rajapaksa, either his government is bankrupt for men of integrity to head State institutions or Rajapaksa himself simply does not care if one fraudster replaces another.
As for Anil Koswatte, instead of being reduced to a nonentity and a fraud case filed against him in court, he has also been parachuted to now perform as Chairman of Laksala.  With no gold and gems involved the government must keep its fingers crossed and hope that Koswatte will refrain from dipping his hand into the till of local handicrafts. This in a way confirms the suspicion that the President did not sack Koswatte for fraud but was furious that he did not get the  gem studded bust of himself and the first lady a million rupee necklace. How else do you explain a man sacked for fraud being appointed as chairman of another state institution within 48 hours. The message is simple. Make as much money as you want but do not deprive me of mine.
If media exposés on corruption, abuse of power, fraud and waste leads to the sacking of the perpetrators then thousands of  them would today be jobless, and if court cases are filed then most of them would be in jail. That would include almost 99% of the politicians of all parties in the last 40 years, while we would not have a police force or a government service because most of them too would be in jail. Most of the captains of industry in the private sector would be keeping them company for paying them billions in kickbacks to get government projects at massively inflated prices. In fact Sri Lanka could create another Guinness Book record for having more people in jail than outside.
While this free-for-all continues, a majority of the people are struggling to make ends meet. Sri Lankans simply don’t get it. That for every rupee they spend, at least 20 cents is because of corruption.

41 Comments for “Cardboard Hero New Chairman Of Gem And Jewellery Authority”

  1. mohamed wadood

    If I had to agree with Ms Jansz, This editorial is the best of all for the time beign.
    Never bow down on fear or reprisal for telling the truth, True journalism is to expose the evil and corrupt not been biased or politically motivated charactor assasinations.


    this a Premadasa the Rajani style.

  3. dagobert

    Dear Fredrica,
    Quote : Daluwatte is a bigger disgrace – One fraudster replaces another..

    This article get interesting with the above quotes.
    Being the Investigative Journalist you are, could you continue into next week exposing these “disgraces” & ” frauds”

    Looking forward to the next week on same topic the exposures.

    Thank You.

  4. higannaa

    lokka horek!

  5. Hasari

    like giving ginger and getting chillies

  6. LELA


  7. mohammed raza

    Ive heard a lot about Mr Daluwatte. The good and the bad. The bad is mostly from jealous parties,so thats only natural. But almost everyone seems to have the opinion that personally, he is a thorough gentleman. Well bred and well mannered, traits which are sadly lacking in most of todays lankan society. We still like you as much as we respect Mr Daluwatte.

  8. vintage voter


    • mohamed wadood

      VINTAGE traitor, as well as a voter,you are a govt hater . MR and his great brother GOTA has done and accomplish the best to our country than any other politicians or kings have achived in life time.
      I do want every journalist to be fair and truthful to expose corruption,mismanegement and abuses.

    • Only 40 in the buch (not 100 odd).

  9. Justitia omnibus

    Kapila Bandara:
    It would help if you phrased whatever you are trying to say in comprehensible English instead of trying to impress us with your non-existent “expertise”in the language.

  10. Asanka Gunawardene

    It is beggining to look like a bunch of Gota military buddies are heading our commercial institutions too. Does this Daluwatta character have proven credentials for running a business succesfully?

    This whole deck of cards is going to come down soon when people cannot live with the burden of cost of living. Thats the botton line..

  11. DeMel

    Extracts from three reputed websites are given below with the links. Please read and come to your conclusions regarding this article.

    1.Source: Wikipedia Operation Riviresa 1995.
    This operation was the best example in modern Sri Lanka military history, how a highly successful campaign can be conducted when there is a unified political will combined with extraordinary military leadership at all levels of command. Political leadership against the advice from the military planners expected the LTTE to collapse after the loss of the Jaffna city. However, LTTE fell back to gain time to re-group and was back in little time, fiercer than ever.

    2. Source: Jane’s Defence Weekly (June 12, 1996).

    To consolidate recent gains in the ongoing civil war, the Sri Lankan Army hopes to expand its strength by nearly one- quarter through new recruitment and an amnesty offer to deserters. The plan, announced on 29 May by army Chief Lt Gen Rohan Daluwatte, seeks to recruit an additional 10,000 troops for the regular forces and 5,000 for paramilitary units. Observers have said that the army’s strength and training do not allow it to operate effectively in both the north and the east, a deficiency the LTTE has skilfully exploited for several years. The recruitment drive seems aimed at countering this problem, presumably by using new troops to garrison northern areas to free experienced combat forces to pursue the LTTE in the east.

    3, Source: SITUATION REPORT by D B S Jeyraj: Sunday Times 23/04/2000)

    It is in this backdrop that President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga directed from London that General Rohan de S. Daluwatte, be appointed Chief of Defence Staff with effect from Friday. He has been given full powers with the security force commanders and the Inspector General of Police being brought under his direct control for operational purposes. Among them was the appointment of Major General Janaka Perera as Overall Operations Commander (OOC), a position where he is solely in charge of the conduct of all counter terrorist operations. Major General Sarath Fonseka, another veteran in counter terrorist operations, was named as Security Forces Commander, Jaffna.
    It was only on May 27, last year that Gen. Daluwatte was named Chief of Defence Staff. However, on June 9, last year, he was relieved of this title and the powers vested in him were withdrawn.

  12. Jim Douglas

    This fellow is a much bigger rogue than Mervyn.

  13. A senarathne

    What is happening to the former army commanders?

  14. Well said Frederica….call the spade a spade….absolutely correct.

  15. Buddhadasa

    This government is totally bankrupt of quality persons. That is why they have to appoint people like Koswatte, Daluwatte, Mervyn Silva, Duminda Silva into different positions either as Chairman or MP’s or Ministers. This is a disgrace not for this government but for all of us Sri Lankans.

  16. lanka putra

    If someone can correct me , it is Gen. Rohan De S Daluwatte who was the Chief of Defence when the LTTE ambushed the ‘Elephant Pass Camp’ killing more than 1500 sodiers and our army’s pride and the vital gateway to Jaffna using A-9. The permanent secretary to the Ministry of Defence was Chandrananda De Silva ( Former Elections Commissioner). Wrong job for a public servant. The message came in the wee hours of that fateful day from HQ to vacate camp . Poor soldiers started moving away under heavy LTTE artillery in the hot Jaffna sun. All but few perished.Some dehydrated to death by drinking sea water. Thanks to the wonderful commanders we had at that time. Not a single Helicopter in sight .

  17. lanka putra

    Well done Fredrica.

  18. Lioncolombo

    Mr. President, and forign minister, you are realy running out of good men for different posts. diplomats are corrupt….highly or not worth only playing teaters in europe and you belive it.

  19. eurolion

    Corruption- Un banki moon also corrupt he dont wants to investigate corruption inside UN. according to press release today from norway/sweden banned militant groups are very active in UN .

  20. tushi

    What a shame!
    Under this general’s command, SLA lost more soldiers than any commander due to bad judgement and priorities.

  21. Jade Silver

    Frederica is absolutely right. In fact she has been quite circumspect. They should ask what happened to the “commission” he received from the purchase of Tanks for the Armoured Regiment, many of which were broken down, but also has proved totally unsuitable for operations in our terrain and when used, required large numbers of troops to protect them against RPGs. He should be asked to declare his overseas assets before being appointed to any Govt position.
    Also, how his incompetence caused the loss of more than 1000 soldiers when the Pooneryn camp he was in charge of was lost to the LTTE. For that alone he should have been court martialled. Read the report about this incident by the then Commander of the Army Waidyaratne.
    One Mohammed Reza thinks he is a gentleman, but he should first check out the sordid affairs he has had with junior officer’s wives.
    Gotabhaya had nothing to do with this man. Please don’t try to put Gotabhaya in the same boat with this scoundrel.

    • Sinha

      Jade, Daluwatte benefitted from the death of Denzil. Otherwise he would have retired as a Colonel. He was supported by Sepala and Cyril Ranatunge for boot licking. The most amount of destruction, loss of land equipmennt and lives was during Daluwatte’s period of command. He was rewarded for incompetance by the previous regime. It’s now happening again.

  22. Malraj de Silva

    I have known this soldier, officer and gentleman since 1977. Do these commentators know that if Gen. Dalu never captured Jaffna during his late stages under his command what would have been the situation in our final war with LTTE? Why those forget his success. Did he have the backing during his command from then Commander in Chief (Specially from CBK and her one legged uncle the Sec of Def). If he had a commander in chief like HE Mahinda and Sec. of Defense like Gotabaya who understands the ground situations and procured men and equipment, Gen. Dalu would have been successful and won the war. Some have claimed he took commission. Instead of writing false information, why these guys can’t come forward and prove. I truly know he did not. It’s a shame how jealousy creates all this stories of this true Gentleman. No doubt he is a hero and he deserves much more.
    My sincere congratulations and best wishes Gen. Dalu.

    • Neomal

      @Malraj de Silva. What aboiut the Pooneryn and Mullaitivu debacles? Any praises for this soldier?

  23. 'BrigadierSir'

    Frederica—. ]
    Truth has no fear.! Well done. Colleague ‘higannaa’ and myself also have served under this who was good showing outward good manners to fool his superiors,

    Also What about Air -Marshall Roshan Gunarileke’s [ 'Kunckles' Sir] Rs 140 million- to buy land AND build his luxury mansion in environment protected Knuckles range? Everyone know that he was a broke drunkard at the Katunayake mess, so where did he get these millions ? Gotabaya must know this.

    One disgarce follows another and you can publish the truth about the 140 million with your investigative reporting.

    Keep up your good work. Remember tell the truth and the Gods will
    stand by you,

    ‘Brigadier Sir’

  24. DeMel

    I refer to the comment by Lanka Putra “If someone can correct me, it is Gen. Rohan De S Daluwatte who was the Chief of Defence when the LTTE ambushed the ‘Elephant Pass Camp,’ killing more than 1500 soldiers and our army’s pride and the vital gateway to Jaffna using A-9.

    Please read this Situation report by D B S Jeyraj of 23.04.2000 mentioned in my earlier comment.

    According to it, it was only after the fall of Elephant Pass that he was appointed as the Chief of Defence Staff. It also says, “It was only on May 27, last year, that Gen. Daluwatte was named Chief of Defence Staff. However, on June 9, last year, he was relieved of this title and the powers vested in him were withdrawn. The fact that the powers of Gen. Daluwatte has been restored barely an year later is not only a clear indication that Minister Ratwatte’s contentions do not hold good but is also acknowledgment that a unified command structure to maximise the use of resources is an imperative need, more so (Censored)”

    As mentioned by Ex Army officer Malraj de Silva, who has the guts to reveal his name, If he had a commander in chief like HE Mahinda and Sec. of Defense like Gotabaya who understands the ground situations and procured men and equipment, Gen. Dalu would have been successful and won the war.

  25. Truth

    Malraj was never a military officer. He was taken as a garrison engineer in the Works Services and sent for two months training. He could not complete it and was discharged from the Army. He continued to collect his pay for 12 months by coming to the Regiment just one day. The Commnding Officer, who was a drinking buddy of his father allowed it. This went on till the new Adjutant got wind of this and got him discharged. Malraj and Daluwatte are birds of a feather. Equally dishonest.

  26. Malraj De Silva

    Dear Friend who calls him “truth” but utters lies,
    The truth is I was a commissioned army officer to the 1 Field Engineers Regiment under President Junius Richard Jayewardene and its true when the army did not keep with the promise when I was recruited as a directly enlisted officer, and I purchased my discharge by paying my own money prior to five year period. My father never knew any commander in the army and I never collected any salary for any time I did not discharge my duties like you. I did assist Works Services Regiment by saving them money during construction of sergeant quarters by providing my services a professional quantity surveyor / engineer and also trained two other rankers. No adjutant helped me to have my discharge, except Rtd. Brig. Ramanayaka. I like you to let the world know who you are and come forward as a man with guts. I sure you were never a soldier as you do not have back bone. This is the difference between previous presidents and H. E. Mahinda who had the guts and wisdom to say “NO” to who were to stop our humanitarian operation to liberate my motherland. President has selected best of all to run our motherland like Sec. of Defense and economic development etc., We have seen the results and we see it more.
    I like to thank you “: Mr. Truth” giving an opportunity to clear myself. Similarly Gen. Daluwatte is one of the most honorable, humble, truthful, a god’s servant; I have met during my short carrier in the army. What a shame. I request and urge people to comment with their name badge so we all will know who they were, if they were in the forces and what they were.

    • Truth

      Field Engineers got officer cadets after commissioning. They looked down on directly enlisted officers. The army does not make promises to all and sundry.

    • Sinha

      1 Field Engineers took in cadets. Never directly enlisted officers with two months training. The Army does not make any promises – especially to a trainee. Those without character to complete training were rightly discharged. If, as you claim, you were a professional, can’t understand why you had to run behind Ramanayake. That shows the character or lack of it.

    • KSK

      @Malraj. I know you were directly enlisted to he then Work Services of the Army. Work Services did Civil Engineering work and were proud of it.

      When Brig. Ramanayake (RIP) was contacted before you joined the Army, you got the impression that you were joining Field Engineers. Field Engineers did not recruit Govt. Technical Assistants directly as officer cadets. Works Services did. So, you were disappointed. At the same time, you did not perform as expected at training.

      Brig. Ramanayake helped you to get out of the Army. This whole thing can come to light if the Adjutant of the unit at that time, who was a Gunner Officer can be contacted. I was told that he lives in Canada now.

      Bottom line, Work Services officers are proud of their Regiment and don’t lie.

  27. Priyanka

    Gen Dalu was a good Commander who commanded “Riviresa” and brought glory to our Mother Lanka.

  28. Lion

    Shame Shame,When the real hero is in jail fake heros are given a place by this corrupt government.

  29. KD

    Malraj de Silva’s contribution to the Army is zero and speaks for itself.Why did he have to pay his own money for his discharge when he had the option of fighting in the front for his great leader Dalu. Dalu has disgraced himself enough in the Army that it needs no mention.Speak to any honest and battle hardened senior officers and you will know the facts.He was a stooge to the corrupt Chandrika regime.Elphant pass and Poonarin are his debcles and the commission of Inquiries report has testified to this.

    As for Lanka Puthra where was the Air Force and Navy who are now claiming their total commitment at Elephant Pass when 1500 of our boys perished?.How many airborne attacks, at least water drops and evacs were carried out by the AF and how many landings or at least covering fire from the sea was provided by the Navy? These are questions that must be asked now and justice be done to the thousdands who perished due to these commanders.

  30. Wikileaks

    gen daluwatte is a true officer & a gentleman; he is not a glory seeker like other recent army generals. factually he was instrumental in leading the battle against terrorists in jaffna which was the turning point for the defeat of the LTTE. battles are won by soldiers & officers working as a team & not individuals. only true leaders can steer their teams to success n daluwatte is one of them.

  31. Nilamal

    It is true that during the General’s rule he had a few failures and it is also true that he gave leadership to RIVIRESA and won. He may not have been the best general the SLA had but then again his political leadership wasn’t the best either. So as the commander in cheif is the president of the country those failures have to be shared by her as well as the glory of winning the RIVIRESA.
    There are many aspects to military victories. The political leadership is vital and unfortunately Gen. Dalu did not have a powerful; leader.

  32. Dee

    I am not familiar with the career history of General Daluwatte. However, we salute him for his decades of service to our Motherland.

    I think this is a time for us Sri Lankans to be united and stand together to build our motherland.

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