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Sri Lanka Army

Defenders of the Nation

Security Forces to be Strengthened by 50,000

ANOTHER 50,000 personnel will be recruited to the Security Forces to maintain the administrative areas liberated from the LTTE.

Addressing the media at the Media Centre for National Security yesterday, Defence Spokesman Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said that the LTTE had been holding and controlling over 600 sq km in the North and the Vanni, as well as 2/3 of the coast.

“All these areas were liberated and the LTTE administration has collapsed. Now these areas have to be maintained and administrated by troops. We need the Security Forces and Police to be in action to safeguard our country.” he said.

”Therefore, around 50,000 personnel are to be recruited to the Security Forces to maintain a presence on the ground and the sea coast liberated from the Tiger cadres”, he added.

Meanwhile, Minister Rambukwella said that the Government’s first and foremost priority is to help the Internally Displaced People to get back on their feet and ensure for them a prosperous future.

“The Government’s first, second and third priorities are to ensure that we are focussed on around 300,000 IDPs who were liberated from the LTTE clutches and living in the IDP centres are returned to a normal life. “The Government had taken this issue as a priority concern resettling and rehabilitating the IDPs”, he added.

He reiterated that the Government’s goal is not only to resettle the IDPs in their original dwellings but also to restore livelihoods.

He said that while the whole world accepts terrorism as a cancer that is spreading round the globe some have also at the same time called for a negotiated settlement with the LTTE and claimed that the LTTE can’t be defeated militarily.

”The government had embarked on its humanitarian operation to liberate the innocent civilians trapped under the LTTE. The mission was successful. We not only defeated the LTTE militarily but also dismantled their infrastructure and weakened their fighting capability. The LTTE leader and his cadres were dealt a humiliating defeat. The LTTE had completely lost its power”, he added.

In the process of eliminating terrorism around 300,000 civilians have become IDPs. “They are our brothers and sisters. They are part of our society. The entire focus of the government is to make sure that these people were looked after and provided with all the facilities while restoring their livelihoods. The government is going beyond sheltering the IDPs into counselling, family reunion, education of children and to give them the feeling that they are part of the country.

He noted that some political parties ignoring the realities are trying to make political capital. Some of them are talking about the 13th Amendments, devolution of power and some others are quering what the Government plans to do with the massive defence expenditure which will now be saved with the end of the war.

These are not the issues to be discussed at the moment. The priority is to resettle the IDPs and provide them a better livlihood.

The Government’s main geal is to ensure the country gots back to normal,” he added. (Courtesy: Daily News)