NO CONSCRIPTION (98 Sep 23)
The government has decided against conscription to the armed forces even though the higher ups are of the opinion that there is a shortage of army personnel. The defense ministry in a communique to the secretaries of the ministries has said that although the government was aware of a shortage of men in the armed forces it does not favour the introduction of compulsory military service.
However the defense ministry has urged the secretaries of the ministries to collect funds from the employees for the National Defense Fund (NDF).The communique has requested the secretaries to collect at least one week's pay of the employees as donations.
One week's pay is definitely too much for most of the underpaid employees in the public sector. Also the government should have set an example by requesting the ministers and the MP's to donate money to the NDF.
In any case the government has to make use of the media to instill in the minds of the people that the LTTE has to be defeated. The government while spending millions on tamashas cannot expect the poor people to contribute to the NDF. The people will respond willingly to the government's call for funds only if the request is done wholeheartedly and without any talk of negotiations with the LTTE.