President Mahinda Rajapaksa lied publicly about troop presence in the Northern Province claiming the military had been scaled down to 12,000 men in the former conflict zone despite 16 out of 19 Sri Lanka Army Divisions still being stationed in the region.
Declaring open the Trail Tellipallai Cancer Hospital in Jaffna on Sunday, President Rajapaksa made the claim that only 12,000 soldiers remained in the North.
On the contrary, Sri Lanka’s army has grown larger in size since the end of the war, with the military continuing to recruit personnel. From 200,000 troops at the end of the war in 2009, the number of soldiers has increased to over 250,000.
16 of the Sri Lanka Army’s Divisions and Task Forces – 19 in all – are situated in the Northern Province. (See list below). With a minimum of 10,000 soldiers per division, 16 divisions within the Northern Province would hold a total of at least 160,000 soldiers.
The country’s Defence budget is second only to the allocation for debt servicing and despite international and domestic calls for demobilisation and demilitarisation of the former war zones, the military continues to play a major role in civilian activities in the Northern Province.
Security Forces Headquarters – Jaffna (SFHQ-J)
51 Division, based in Jaffna
52 Division, based in the Jaffna Peninsula
55 Division, based in Elephant Pass, Jaffna Peninsula 
Security Forces Headquarters – Wanni (SFHQ-W) 
56 Division, operating in the Vavuniya District
61 Division, operating in the Vavuniya District
Area Headquarters Mannar
Security Forces Headquarters – Kilinochchi (SFHQ-KLN)
57 Division, operating in the Kilinochchi District
Task Force 3, operating in the Kilinochchi District
Task Force 7, operating in the Kilinochchi District
66 Division, operating in the Kilinochchi District
68 Division, operating in the Kilinochchi District
Security Forces Headquarters – Mullaittivu (SFHQ-MLT) 
59 Division, operating in the Mullaittivu District
Task Force 2, operating in the Mullaittivu District
64 Division, operating in the Mullaittivu District
65 Division, Thunukkai, Mullaittivu District Divisions
53 Division, based at Mankulam 
58 Division, based at Paranthan (formally referred to as the Task Force 1)