23 February, 2024


No Troop Cuts In Tamil Areas: Mahinda Rajapaksa

By R. K. Radharishnan – The Hindu –

Three years after the end of the war that obliterated the Tamil Tigers, Sri Lanka celebrated the victory with great pomp and show, emphasising its resolve to forge its own destiny, stationing troops where it chooses to, and blaming foreign countries of supporting Tiger fringe elements. President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s message to the international community was clear: keep off; we are creating a new society on our terms.

“Armed services camps are not found in the North alone,” Mr. Rajapaksa said on the occasion of Victory Day at Galle Face Green, responding to requests by the United States, India and some other countries to reduce military presence in the North. “They [Armed Forces] are seen throughout the country. They are in Colombo and Giruvapattu in the South. These are found in our country. Not in any foreign country,” he said, making it clear that the army-to-civilian ratio in the North will not be altered. “We must ask if we are in a position to remove the armed forces camps in the North and reduce our attention national security. That is not possible,” he added.

Diplomats stationed in Colombo reckon that as much as 60 per cent of the Sri Lankan Army is deployed in the North. Another similar estimate puts the army-to-civilian ratio at 1:4.

‘No interference’

“We are aware that the armed forces do not participate in the administration of the North or East,” he said, though according to many prominent Tamils in the Northern province, the Armed Forces interfere in all functions in civil society. “These regions are administered by the public service and the police. Despite this there are many who shout that the security forces camps in these areas should be removed. They ask us why they are not removed,” he said.

Though the media reported on Friday that a student union leader was attacked by a person wearing a mask, and though there have been disappearances from the North, the President claimed that all armed groups and militias in the North and East have been disarmed.

“It is no secret that through 30 years there were armed groups and militias operating, especially in the North and East. All such groups have now been disarmed,” he said.

On the question of reconciliation, the President said the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) was appointed “with great expectations of bringing about reconciliation among communities”. “We are already carrying out what we can agree to and can implement among the recommendations of the LLRC. This is not due to any pressure from anyone. We will not abandon our responsibilities,” he said.

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  • 0

    Sri lanaka had been suffering form anarchist-terrorist since 1965 after founded of JVP terrorist outfit.Then LTTE came into being 1975,but grow after 1983 July riots. Long years of war had been undermine daily life of Tamils in North east and South people of Sri lanak.We like it or not as nation were complled end this WAR GAME LUNACH BY INTEREST OF RULING CLASS.
    Now we want to stability and PEACE in North and East for certain period.Need manintain Armed forces NORTH THE VITAL interest of THE COMMENER.

  • 0

    …..simple Keynesian economics…. the more Military expenditure ….. the more economic growth can be expected ….. because the soldiers spend the money they are paid with back into the economy …..
    …But if we buy foreign weapons then there is no point …. as the foreign exchange reserves get depleted …..
    The Northern and some southern towns need to be Garrison Towns for a while until peace settles into the lifestyles of the people…..
    …But the Leaders of all sides must negotiate and talk into making peace on the other side while the forces keep watch ….

  • 0

    I see the Gutter Rag of The Hindu.. since the 80’s is still telling the socaled narrative from a purely ethnic basis… Tamil Areas.. One wonders what happend to the Other Ethnic People of Lanka who lived in these socalled Tamil Areas.. No doubt the Gutter rag left out that during the 30 year war the eelamist policy of a pure Dravidian state was carried out by clensing these Tamil ares of other Races who did not conform to the Eelamist ideology.. and Ruthlessly carried out by the Eelamist proxy the LTTE….Even by the admission of the eelamist 3 yeras ago now we are going to achieve Eelam by democratic means.. Which admitted to its support and the crime of Terrorism to clense these ares..Yet still cling to the belief of a Racially pure Dravidian state.. No mention of the Restoration of the LAnd that belong to these Ethnic Miniority of the North.. some democracy….. Still the Sri Lankan army which took 30 years to get to our Nothern Borders must stay there and Guard our Borders.. As these were the Points where Terrorist openly arrived with wepaons to carry out ther policy to achieve these socalled Tamil areas.. Just like how the Hindu argued whi the Brave Indian Jawan must have its military bases in J&K to prevent Pakisthani Infiltration……

  • 0

    Sri Lanka has no borders with any countries. If natural border by sea with India and Maldives. India is a superpower and it is impossible for Sri Lanka to fight against India. Maldive Islands has alomost no soldiers.

    So having troops in such dimention has no sense in Sri Lanka. LTTE is defeated

    If we find a political solution creating the harmony between ethnic minorities we don´t need troops.

    Power sharing was the topic, during peace negotiations, decentralization was the code word.

    Even the insurrection in south had the slogan ” Kolombata Kiri, Apita Kakiri” ( For Colombo milk, for us (in south)some rubbish vegetable )

    We can reduce the army (reduction of mass) – or recruit soldiers by ethnical percentage – or having differnt regiments like India – Madras, Calcutta, Sikhs, Gurka etc., in Sri lanka for example Sinha, Kottiya, Hyana and Cheetah regiments…

    The condition is a common policy for all ethnic grouphs should be implemented under which we all could indentify us as our mothercountry.

    This could not be the Sinhala Chauvinism like today. We need another 100 years to reach a level of mentality like the most other countries in this world

  • 0

    Stationing troops is an internal matter of a country. Our Prez is right on this. How long after WWII did US maintain troops in Germany? Does anyone ask why US is maintaining troops in Okinawa so many deacdes after WWII? Now they say US/UK troops in Afgahanistan are needed for the security of these countries. Does any one ask why India is maintaining troops in Kashmir/Jammu or Assam /Arunachal? People suffered for 30 years on account of a terrorist war in this country.As long as Tamil Nadu threat is there the country has to be prepared.The Govt.is accountable to the people here and not to aus or any other country.

  • 0

    Why should GOSL reduce troops in the north?Does India reduce troops strength in Kashmir?The Barbaric Tamil Tigers chased hundreds of thousands of Muslims and Sinhalese from the north.It’s time that GOSL provide the resources for Muslims and Sinhalese to be settled in the north.If the Tamils in the north doesn’t like it they can go to their motherland,Tamil Nadu.

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