The Sunday Leader

Army Refuses To Budge

By Niranjala Ariyawansha

The military has no intention of withdrawing army camps in Jaffna despite intense pressure exerted by the international community and Tamil political parties.
Jaffna Security Forces Commander Major General Mahinda Hathurusinghe said despite the end of the war almost four years ago, the LTTE is still active.
“The army is aware of this and remains vigilant,” Major General Hathurusinghe told The Sunday Leader.
The United States and Britain has repeatedly urged the government to reduce the military presence in Jaffna following the end of the war. The Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) appointed to probe the 30-year war which ended in 2009 had also called for a reduction in the military presence in the former war zones.
“In 1995 when we went to Jaffna we used civilian homes as army camps. Now we are using government land to build army camps. So gradually we are returning civilian homes,” Hathurusinghe said.
He added that the number of soldiers in Jaffna has been reduced as compared to the number seen during the war. He says in Jaffna alone there are 15,100 soldiers.
Meanwhile, Democratic People’s Front (DPF) leader Mano Ganeshan said that Tamil political parties have not called for the removal of army camps which were already in Jaffna.
“We had only called for the removal of new camps which were opened during the war. The government is telling the world the war is over. We are saying if that is so then remove the new camps. In the whole country there are only 20 army divisions. Of this 10 are in the north and 5 in the east,” he said.
Britain had in May this year urged the government to reduce the military presence in the north, especially in Jaffna and the Wanni.
The British High Commissioner to Sri Lanka and the Maldives John Rankin said that the military presence in the north should resemble that of the army presence seen in other parts of the country.
“The President said in his victory day speech that the military is no longer involved in civil administration in the north and east of the country. It is very important that should be the case and we will continue to monitor the situation.
“It is important that people have a say in the day to day decisions that affect them and that normal civil administration is restored to the greatest extent possible,” he had said.
US Assistant Secretary of State, Robert Blake had, in September, also called on the Sri Lanka government to reduce the presence of military in North and accelerate implementation of the LLRC action plan.

29 Comments for “Army Refuses To Budge”

  1. The Tamils want to live with dignity in their own homeland. Sadly today in particular in North the Tamils have been subject to harassment by Army. Major Hathurusinghe knows this very well. Tamls are happy to live in Srilanka together with Sinhalese and Muslims. But Army Commanders like Hathrusinghe wants to suppress the Tamils and they want the Tamils to live under their control. We live in a civilised world and people should have the freedom to express their own views. If a Tamil make an opinion he or she will be considered as LTTE. LTTE is dead and burried and there is no way they will surface again. It should be noted that LTTE came to power with the blessing of India. Today the same India who helped LTTE is against LTTE and the Tamils. So Srilankan government need not worry about it..If Srilankan goovernment want to harass the Tamils in future International Community will certainly support the Tamils and then Eelam will become a country. We don’t want that and I hope the Sinhalese dont want that either. For politicians this is a playiing field and they enjoy.

    • jude

      Ampattan, Whether Tamils, Sinhalese & Muslims like it or not, Armed Forces presence in North essential. Period!!!!.., No Country or Oganization can dictate Sovereign SL Govt. where to deploy their Armed Forces.

    • mike

      heloooo there is no such thing as a tamil homeland here. that is TN. this is home to all srilankans. dont catogarize north as tamils only as that wl create more issues. army will be stationed anywhere in the country as national security cannot be compramized. learn to think like a srilankan not a racist! today we enjoy peacefully. merry xmas!

    • Gamunu

      LTTE is not dead and buried as you quoted. You only need to look at what they are trying in the west. Rudrakumaran et al are visibly trying to organise the next wave of LTTE attacks. We have undergone enough sufferings for decades and it is proper to ensure a repeat of the LTTE is thwarted at any costs. Ampattan go and sell your views to Tamil net.

    • Sri Babu

      Only cry babies of Tamil Diaspora Inc. founded by LTTE leader late Piribakaran will agree with you.

    • sangaralingham

      all wil reflect in countrys progress and prosperity of the future. character make a man or a woman. attitude create respect future leaders need to watch unity in diversity is there to be protected by all. leadership does not come cheap it all depend intelligent respect trust we have for each other.

    • sangaralingham

      there is a way we all retreat to primity progress is depend respect each other support each other learn from each other cetain role are not suited to some but there are there by the fate of the society.

  2. Psycho

    They should not budgeaslong as there are LTTE rumps.

    • gamarala

      Any civilian who disagrees with this government is labelled ‘LTTE’ .
      Police should do law enforcement – NOT the army which has nothing to do and preys on tamils along wiith the EPDP goons.

    • tomsamusa

      please note that there aren’t any Tamil rumps but ONLY Tamil freedom seekers for the establishment of Eelam.

    • rakavan

      An army that forcefully occupies Tamil areas against the wishes of the Tamils, clearly befits to be called an army of occupation. Occupation of this sort goes beyond all democratic norms practiced world over in the absence of war. The armed forces of Sri Lanka 99.9% from Sinhalese community and forcing them to occupy the lands and lives of a people whose language, religion, culture and heritage are totally different, is no way to win the hearts and minds of Tamils.

    • Gota the hero

      hey Psycho, didn’t the GOSL say they eliminated the entire LTTE? Then what is the fear?

  3. jude

    Military presence required in North as well as other parts of the country. No country should dictate where SL Govt. can deploy their Armed Forces.

  4. dagggy

    If Tamils want to live with dignity they need to stop their rhetorics.
    Since when did Tamils have their homeland?? Where is it by the way? Certainly not in the North.

    Once upon a time they only opened their mouth to eat and with the present conditions they seems to use it even when unnecessary.

    Therefore, the Military will remain.
    Let the barking diasspora too know that.

    Tamils lost the freedon to express with the demise of Vepupillai. The LTTE yet exists.
    India is strongly against because Tamils failed to listen to India and instead listed to a potato called Velu & LTTE.
    Tamils have dug their own graves backing the wrong horse. Remove those blinkers.

  5. Andy Sydney

    North, Mannar, and East are where we need to base our forces. No country can oppose it. The biggest external threat to Lanka come from that direction for last 2500 years.

  6. Jayantha

    After 04 years still army camps in Jaffna …. Better to have a Military HQ there than the camps , that way there will be activiated for future .
    like in Iraq , they had removed 90% of check points once the country had changed with real democratics within a year ..

  7. Psycho II

    The international enquiry into the killing of 40,000 Tamils and the LTTE diaspora power will decimate genocidal SL. They army murderers will then have to put their tails under their legs and run for cover.

  8. Sampath Happawana

    No wonder tourists don’t come to SL anymore when Tamils are being killed openly in broad day light all around the country.

  9. Sathyam

    This is Sri Lanka and the beloved Sri Lankan Forces can camp, establish headquarters, work, travel, live anywhere in the country. There are no ghetos, no go areas or home lands. If Tamils cant live in Sri Lanka they should bugger off to the Toilet nadu in India their home land. They could go to US or Britain if they are so concerned about the Tamils. We Sri Lankans request our forces to stay in the north and east, monitor northern and eastern seas, land and protect us from terrorism.

  10. suren soysa

    These buffoons like the TNA & Mano ,UK ,US & the alike should sign a common open memorandum that if there is a single LTTE or any Tamil terrorist attack in the south, without question they will provide arms & funds to re-establish all the new camps in the North & East & will never demand for a withdrawal of Forces. At a time when LTTE are trained & dispatched to SL from Nadu, what nonsense are these idiots talking? This government too is also living in a fools paradise,boasting about the eradication of the LTTE,when all the LTTE logistical front liners live unscathed in Norway,US,UK,Canada & Australia,indulging in every terrorist act under the sun,against a democratic nation. They are the pets of the top shrewd politicians of those countries. How come Tamils complain of army presence,when they lived with the killer LTTE for 30 or more years? Every person who talks in support of army withdrawal are terrorist in disguise. Are the Sinhalese complaining about the Army camps in the south, where there are over 200,000 of the forces? As long as the Army is present in large numbers the Terrorist minded Tamils find it difficult to raise their ugly heads & that is the most serious currant issue for the Tamils with hidden terrorist agendas. These Tamils pray for a UNP regime,for they know that a west sucking regime would be their only salvation to establish separatism.

  11. Saro

    The mono-ethnic military is deployed in the north and east to keep the population in fear psychosis. Some Tamils and Muslims are given favourite treatment to spy on civilians and report of any activity that is anti-government or anti-military. The mono-ethnic police also collaborate on checking and punishing the dissidents. The recent arrests are meant to keep the lid tight in order to keep the entire community subservient.

  12. The Govt. & Militry need to keep fabricated stories of the Tigers are training ect. for their survival, the militry is leading a luxurious life in the North & East , MaRa & crooked brothers need to make money on the pretext of importing arms & ammo. & tell the public that there is much more payments to different countries are pending by way of purchase of arms & ammo . by credit. The Diffence budget is deposited in foreign Banks in the names of MaRa & Bros. thus the Govt has proof of sending money out of the country.

  13. Martin Milton

    The Army certainly must NOT leave the North or any other base in Sri Lanka as this is far too early to consider. A constructive suggestion would be that the Forces who perform or take part in CIVIL ceremonies or civil duties need to wear CIVIL clothes and NOT Army Uniforms. This will go a long way to help I feel. MM

  14. Sri Babu

    It is Sri Lankan Army not a foriegn military force. They can establish the army camps any where in the unitary state of Sri Lanka to prevent any threat to the security of Sri Lanka and its citizens.

  15. Mervyn

    The US and Britihsh should realize that Sri Lankan Government has the right to place it’s Military installations any where in the country which is called Sri Lanka. The Army Installations are there to safe guard the citizens and protect the country from threats either from inside or outside like America which has at least one Military Installation in each state and Britain the same mainly to protect it’s citizens and the land from any kind of threats either from inside or outside. These are inaddition to having their Military Installations in other countries, however Sri Lankan Government never complained about it, so why are they worried over the locations of Army Installations in Sri Lanka?. In previous years their (US & British) excuse was to protect thier countries from any attack mainly from Russia. But, now that threat is gone, but they still maintain huge Army, Navy and Air Force iInstallations in the Continental Europe and in other countries like before spending millions of Dollars. Once, one of the Presidents said that if there is war it will be fought in Europe thereby protecting America. So the same hypocrites demands that Army Installations in some parts of the country be removed. It is better that these countries dismantle NATO and remove their soldiers from foreign countries and close all the Bases in each state and then call other countries to do so simply because it is better you practise what you preach.

  16. Vimal Carlos

    Obiviouse we needs to never forget and forgive what the “LTTE” and the tamil disapore did and do ..during the war and after…We shuld never relax and think …everything is fine….We shuld allways be ready for another war….Tamils will NEVER stop complaining and fighting to they have there own land and state, and own army, and a Pure racialy cleaned Dravidia homland. Its a dream they have had for long time….a sick neo-zionist copy…of israel state…..

  17. Siva

    SL army MUST stay in Jaffna. I am a Tamil who doesn’t want another war.

  18. Ananda Aluwihare

    Should we remove the camps at the behest of the ‘International community’, the pro-separatists groups and their supporters OR stick to the planned gradual reduction?

  19. lol mono-ethnic

    Tamils refuse to join the army — see the recruited girls freaking out article — and then complain about the Army being 99 percent Sinhala. WOW!

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