Army Denies Stats On Soldiers In North
By Dinouk Colombage
The Army denied international reports that there is currently 1 soldier for every 5 civilians stationed in the North of Sri Lanka.
Army spokesperson, Brigadier Ruwan Wanigasuriya, denied these reports claiming that “currently our army is 200,000 strong. There are nearly a million people in the north of the country. If we were to station one soldier for every five civilians the entire army would have to be moved there.”
Wanigasuriya went on to say that currently there are 20,000 security and police personnel in the North. “With the inclusion of the police force and the air-force and navy there are just under 20,000 personnel stationed there”, he said.
According to Wanigasuriya in 2007 at the height of the war there was a maximum of 50,000 armed personnel stationed in the north. “As you can see from 2007 there has been a steady decline in the number of military personnel.” These denials come in the wake of international media reports claiming that the Sri Lankan government is increasing its military presences in the former war zones. These reports have drawn comparisons with war torn countries such as Iraq and Northern Ireland, claiming that Sri Lanka has topped the list of soldier-civilian ratio in an area.