Leadership, best weapon in war - Major General Shavendra Silva in Sri Lanka

  • 5 Jan 2010 16:49:19 GMT

    This man goes kade for those people. He does not have a character to talk about those as he is a man with questionable integrity in the army. He found coping in an examination in the army. Good leaders never cheat or behave that way.

  • 5 Jan 2010 19:39:55 GMT

    Everyone know about the Zero question is what was the number in front of Zero Prince Gotta wanted?.

  • 6 Jan 2010 04:16:51 GMT

    What he is saying is that the General who provided leadership during the war was the best weapon and the person who won the war for us !

    How can a defence secretary provide battlefield leadership ? The army went forward becasue there was a saying `advance and you meet Jhonny ( anti personal jhonny mines) retreat and you meet Fonny ( general Fonseka)` meeting Fonny was considered worse that meeting Jhonny !

    This is the type of discipline that our society and public sector needs so badly in order to progress.

  • 6 Jan 2010 06:35:18 GMT

    What can I say....You are looking at the next Army Commander,I don`t blame him this guy lead from front he deserves it, Even with (if) SF elected.Commission officers are bound by it`s oath to serve the president at all cause.It is not Shavindras fault that MR and brothers Rajadrohi actions.this guy is a great Soldier equal to Denzel Kobbakaduwa.I`m sure if he takes his uniform off he will go against the JOKER...SF you are the man Jayaweva!!

  • 6 Jan 2010 11:45:21 GMT

    [By banning any non-state media personell from gong to the battle front?]

    Yes.... media personnel such as from the Sunday Leader BBC CNN etc etc who would have exaggerated stories and ruined the war effort of the govt were prevented from going because if they set foot onto the battle front distorted fiction would have been the news of the day for people like you to relish and spell out as the gospel truth and we would NOT have been able to pulverise the LTTE and walk freely ANYWHERE in Sri Lanka as we are doing now!!.

  • 7 Jan 2010 17:54:09 GMT


    by Manisha Fernando

    A Nation needs true leadership if it is to emerge a winner and a key player in the region. Selecting the most suitable leader is now 3 weeks away and though many argue on political affiliations and agendas, it would be prudent for the masses to mark the selection on proven leadership strengths, traits and skills. It is therefore crucial that Sri Lankans understand what leadership is about and the qualities that makes a strong leader, for it is without doubt that the Leader plays the key role in taking a nation forward or dragging it back - for true independence and freedom is when all people can live without fear or terror irrespective of caste, creed and political biases whilst enjoying our fundamental rights.

    Traits and qualities of a leader

    Among the many definitions of leadership, the simplest and perhaps the best says that Leadership is the art of motivating a group of people to act towards achieving a common goal. Put more simply, the leader is the inspiration and `CEO` of the action who has the personality and skills that makes others want to follow his direction. It is his Vision and directive that would be carried out by his subordinates or in this case ministers or military commanders. CEOs of organizations know how difficult it is to steer a company towards one direction, rallying people with various perceptions to achieve common goals. Therefore one key aspect for a leader is to have an achievable vision that he believes in - an absolute focus of what goals he would want to achieve! A leader without a vision is like a cone without the ice cream topping! After all if you don`t know where you are going - how would you select the correct path?

  • 7 Jan 2010 17:55:17 GMT

    As the Commander In Chief of all three armed forces and the President of the nation, Mahinda Rajapaksa was able to rally the majority of the people to defeat the LTTE uniting a virtually divided nation to proudly stand out as ONE SRI LANKA as envisioned!

    True leaders have common traits and one of the most important trait or skill of a lceader is his ability to identify individual talents and deploy the right man for the right job irrespective of cast, creed or political differences or various accusations from opposing parties. His firmness in appointing the right person for the right job will decide his success or failure in the long run. Therefore, despite the back-door critiques, it was perhaps the wisest decision in the war that a gentleman with military background and experience and patience to see a difficult mission to win a war against terrorism was appointed as the Defence Secretary. The Defence Secretary in return displayed his leadership talent in justifying and recommending the appointment of the three force commanders purely on their performance and skills and not on seniority or political affluences.

    The result was the victory that Sri Lanka proudly achieved in May 2009. As a Leader of a company or a political party or even a government, we must appreciate that decisions are based on the best available options and hence looking back at the selection of the Defence Secretary and the Team of Commanders, it is without doubt that the selection is the best then and even now for they have performed in line with the Leader`s vision to eradicate terrorism! This is perhaps a valuable lesson for many CEOs and Chairman`s of private and public companies to note that the right person deployed in the right job will carry out the winning strategy and achieve overall goals!

  • 7 Jan 2010 17:56:11 GMT

    True Leaders surround themselves with `advisors` who are experts in their own fields. Though Leaders possess a combination of power bases that illuminate them above the rest, the guidance of loyal and trustworthy advisors can give the Leader the cutting edge in leading a nation. Sometimes, it is more prudent to obtain the services of these advisors appraising them on their expertise rather than their political creed. In this sense though many accuse the appointment of Defence Secretary - the fact that he was the best suited for the role of Defence Advisor has now been proved. Similarly, winning the confidence of experts in various spheres such as human rights, foreign relations, economic and legal reforms etc. even of members of opposing political parties is undoubtedly the ability and skill of Leadership that was also displayed by the President. Leaders should have the skill to listen to their advisors, respect them without confining to petty politics whilst taking on calculated risks as appropriate!

    The leadership should have the ability and quality of delegation of sufficient authority to subordinates to carry out their tasks whilst being mindful that overall responsibility for the victory or defeat or any other consequences that may come with it lies with them too. In many instances we often see that in organizational cultures including the military, talented people are appointed without delegated authority to carry out tasks (for example, a battle hardened officer being given a desk job etc.). Some people on the other hand shun away from the responsibility even with appropriate delegated authority resulting in indecisive actions and political or organizational chaos dragging a nation or organization backward!

  • 7 Jan 2010 17:57:04 GMT

    The famous saying that you cannot delegate what you don`t have is very appropriate here and can be applied to the fact that as commanders of the three forces, they were under the direct orders of the President and hence whatever role they played and acted was dependent on the level of authority they had been delegated to them by the President. In any nation as history has shown both now and in the past, it is the Leadership`s dictum to issue the order to wage or stop a war, and therefore the responsibility, credit or blame lies solely with the leader. And though it was a Team effort that won the war, the true leadership was that of the President as actions have proved. Unfortunately, many people do not see this leadership quality in its true form - but yet this characteristic is what leaders should have in any arena. It is not prudent to allocate all the powers to any one single man. As Leaders, one must understand that power should be delegated to the right person in the most appropriate `quantum` and for a specified purpose or period. Too much power for one individual would result in building of personal domains or clans or anarchical groups such as the LTTE.

    Winning is always the result of Teamwork and Team spirit, not a `one-man` show - unless it`s a circus performance! Despite opposing schools of thoughts, it has been proved that Leaders with team spirit are destined to go a long way and achieve goals ethically and rewardingly than individualistic leaders. Team oriented leaders are aware that a single individual would only have a certain amount of skills and talents whereas a group of individuals would have multi-dimensional talents and skills that complement each other. When in a team, these skills and talents of members generate what is called synergy. Synergy is created with the interaction of two or more forces so that their combined effect is greater than the sum of their individual impact. This is very like wining a cricket match with bowlers and batsmen! Similarly the war on terrorism in Sri Lanka was won with the synergized team effort of the Army, Navy and the Air Force together with the Police and Civil Defence Force.

  • 7 Jan 2010 17:58:04 GMT

    Whilst the Army marched forward on the ground gaining the LTTE held areas, the Air Force took out terrorist targets, kept air vigilance on terrorist movements for strategists to plan further attacks and continued air rescue missions for the injured. The Navy destroyed vessels carrying weapons for the terrorists strategically reducing their military power and supplies and demoralizing them mentally, and made sure that the sovereign waters of Sri Lanka were not encroached by pro-terrorist groups. The mounting international pressures and baseless charges were held at bay with the deployment of expert teams - all this was meted out in true leadership style under the directions of the overall Commander of all the military forces of Sri Lanka, yet again proving the leadership capability.

    Traits and qualities unsuited for a Leader

    Inability to advocate team spirit and treatment of subordinates, peers as well as superiors. Unlike the days gone by and given the media coverage on the war, the masses are not fools and they know the war on terror was won due to the Team Effort - proved further by the mass recruitments for all three forces in the post war era. If one were to say otherwise that it was all due to one man, he or she would be ridiculed as a selfish and individualistic person lacking the strength to face criticism bravely and being egoistic about self-glorification and praise - which is in fact a dangerous weakness for any leader! Many studies have proved that such individuals can become tyrants or dictators and raises the question as to the capability of such an individual to withstand political or other pressure group especially when leading a nation. It is also proved throughout history that such people would not hesitate to betray their allies or even their own people to achieve the self glorification and safeguard their egoistic needs.