26 September, 2020

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Lanka Reduces Forces From Tamil-Dominated Jaffna

By Press Trust of India –

“The number of troops in the Jaffna Peninsula, at present has been reduced to around 15,000, a reduction of over 60 per cent troops deployed at the beginning of the humanitarian operation,” military spokesman Brigadier Ruwan Wanigasuriya has said.Bowing to international pressure, Sri Lanka today said it had “drastically” reduced its troops presence the former war zones of Tamil-dominated Jaffna peninsula from 50,000 to 15,000.

He said at the peak of the military campaign launched against the Tamil tigers in 2006, there were 50,000 troops deployed in the area, whose strength had been brought down to 15,000.

The army spokesman said that troops had been thinned down after making a “threat assessment, ground situation and capabilities in meeting these threats.”

Western nations had recently demanded that Colombo thin out forces from the former war zones in view of improvement in the situation there.

The troop withdrawal comes even as Sri Lanka government recently protested over comments by British High Commissioner John Rankin, who had suggested that the government should thin out forces from the Tamil areas. The envoy had also suggested that the military presence in the north and east also be reduced to the levels in the south.

The High Commissioner was summoned to the foreign office to lodge a formal protest over his remarks.

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Latest comments

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    There isn’t any concrete evidence to this claim and the real problem of heavy military presence is experienced in the Wanni region. People are really scared for their safety from any excesses from the army personnel in this area. Besides, the GSL is embarked on many programmes of re-engineering the ethnic balance in the area like it has been doing in the East.

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      Civilian governance must be restored, provincial council elections held and the military entirely withdrawn into barracks in Jaffna. They cannot barge into events as uninvited guests.
      On a visit to Jaffna recently I witnessed first hand how the military is a huge source of insecurity, particularly for women from impoverished communities on the coast, who are watched constantly by these army and navy fellows who carry guns, who have nothing better to do..
      5 minutes after we got out of the car to talk to women selling milk as part of a livelihood project, two soldiers appeared to quiz us on why we were there – perhaps because we were foreigners. The surveillance is stifling and makes people fearful and curtails women’s mobility and ability to move about freely. The grease yakkas are still lurking..

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    If the announcement by the Army Spokesman is true it is a step towards peace and reconciliation. In the nature of things, it is best a neutral source confirm this fact. Thanks go more to the international community – and more specifically Secretary Clinton, the UK and India – who have pressing for this something that should have flown spontaneously from GoSL/President Rajapakse in the months after their
    victory against the Tigers.

    Senguttuvan

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      Most important the military and must be reduced in Vanni and the east and not just in Jaffna and the paramilitary units disbanded. The armed forces need to be down sized, reduced and right sized for peace time. The Defense budget must be to be halved, and given to the education sector for investment in knowledge production and human resource development for high quality jobs generation.

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    This is an absolute lie.
    Where are the logistics to prove that 35,000 troops left the peninsula? How, when and where? Air, Sea and Land, and nobody had seen them leave?

    Then they must have closed some camps?

    Where are the details? Bloody liars.

    35,000 troop reduction is 70% and not 60%.
    Anyway, who had verified the correct number of troops at 50,000?
    There are also Navy in the JP…

    There has to be confirmation from reliable NGO’s, TNA, and evidence from the street that the army are not harassing those going to work, and school. They expect us to believe this story?

    There must be also plenty of accommodation that should be available and the homeless can make use of it? Was there any reduction of the HSZ if 70% of the army had moved out, literally overnight?

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    The biggest joke of the day. UK, US and India demanded troops reduction from North.

    Never thought that our govt is able to reduce overnight.

    What a flexible govt we have in SL!

    That is why we say we need an independent observer!

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    The regime is adding to their list of monumental lies. In London Bandula Jayasekera dishonestly claims “MR had a warm and cordial meeting with British PM David Cameron” The Office of the British PM deny this and are unable to get hold of Bandula.

    Elsewhere they used the Daily News to front-page an article where the Northern Governor made the announcement over Rs.1 million per family in Jaffna was spent last year in infra-structural investment. Readers took exception to this and pointed out the inflated expenditure is really to build army camps and capital expenditure thereto. What a shame? Here the much-acclaimed reduction of the army’s presence – demanded by the USA, India and the ICC – is under question. Irt might be good to learn from a Tamil saying “poiya sonnalum porundath chol”
    (If you want to lie make sure there is a semblance of realiy- roughly put that is)

    Senguttuvan

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    Very good news for all Sri Lankas who seek harmony between Major communites of Sinhalese Tamils and Muslims ,& other as well.
    We want security forces to be protected civilian life of Island. Without presence secutity forces in north,is quite impossible provided law and order,deciplined for citizens of the country.
    Ours past exprinces has learn many lessons, country law and order had been totally undermine by Terrorist-cum anarchist over 45 years in island of Sri lanka.( North and South)
    Terrorist govern by gunpoint and jungle laws and kangaroo courts.
    After the end of war against terrorist in 2009 May, we must restored disciplied in North as well as south.
    That is bound duty and responasibilty of Security forces and STATE.This is not against any race,indeed protected citizens of nation.
    Peace and stability will bring improved livehoood nation of all communities as well as economy developement. The central task of security force has to safegurd sovereginity and democracy of the country.

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    I guess it’s not just an issue of “numbers” but about the sensitivity and ethical behaviour of troops.

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