Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Vigneswaran said today the people in the North would be very happy if the armed forces were withdrawn from the Northern Province because of several allegations levelled against the army.
He told a media briefing at the National Dangerous Drugs Control Board (NDCB) head office where Public Order Minister John Amaratunga and NDCB Chairman Nilanga Samarasinghe held a discussion to educate the people on eradicating the drug menace that is taking root in the North.
Mr. Vigneswaran called for an impartial investigation to ascertain whether the continued deployment of the army after the 30-year armed conflict had ended was a contributory factor in the introduction and distribution of narcotics drugs in the Northern Province.
He said there was no such problem of heroin use in the province till 2009 when the 30-year war ended with the defeat of the LTTE.
"The northern people suspect that the spread of narcotics is an attempt by drug dealers to prevent the youngsters in the North from progressing in their education to curtail their sense of freedom and to be stunted in their work. We still have a lot of problems because of the long presence of the security forces. Our lands have been taken over by them, our cultivation, our fisheries, our businesses have been taken over by them and our women are not safe. The deployment of 100,000 army personnel is equivalent to one soldier to every four people. We will be extremely happy if the army is withdrawn,” Mr. Vigneswaran said.
Dr. Nilanga Samarasinghe said the Northern Province was not badly affected by narcotics, because the LTTE did not allow the drug trafficking business which was one of methods it used to earn funds to be carried out in Northern Province while they were peddling drugs in the South and overseas.
He assured that the mission to eradicate the drug menace would be carried out with equal vigour in all parts of the country.
Dr. Samarasinghe said an anti-narcotics force headed by Chief Minister Vigneswaran would be set up in the Northern Province and hotline will be available for the people to inform the police about the drug hideouts and drug dealers and peddlers.
Responding to Dr. Samarasinghe’s statement, Mr. Vigneswaran asked that in the same vein that if LTTE did not allow their drug trafficking business to take place in North till 2009, how did the drug menace take root in the North now when the security are in charge? This is why we want the forces to be removed from the North.
He said he requested Police Chief N.K. Ilangakoon to assist them to hold awareness programmes in schools where the children are educated on the hazards and menace of narcotics use. (Piyumi Fonseka)
UN should request persons suspected for war crimes to be handed over to international war criminal tribunal. By doing so UN can deliver justice to victims of war criminals.
Manel Monday, 08 June 2015 06:08 PM
Of course Mr Vigneswaran drugs are a menace anywhere, be it North, South, East or West but have you got concrete proof to show that Army is involved. There may be Silvas and Fernandos in the Tamil community too who are out to make a fast buck selling drugs and liquor. There is Army. Navy, Air force and Police in Colombo but drug menace goes on thanks to dirty politicians of previous regime, who allowed their colleagues to make money. After removing Army what is next, remove Police?
Mangala modaya Monday, 08 June 2015 06:15 PM
Yeah boss we will send all army back to south, so you guys can start terrorist terrorist again as you wish.
citizen a Monday, 08 June 2015 06:29 PM
High time for someone to explain him his limits and authority.
Karigalan Tuesday, 09 June 2015 09:50 AM
Let see the fact of what he saysHowever, he should avoid comparing LTTE era with now that will sure affect reconciliationLets move forward by solving current issues for better future
onlooker Monday, 08 June 2015 06:37 PM
Viggy giving a glimpse of his true colours.
kadmin Monday, 08 June 2015 06:37 PM
If he is pointing fingers at forces for the drug menace, it is just to create a bad publicity or reasons for the army deployed in that region. However the drug menace is not just in jaffna, it is all over the country. But it had been magnified to gain some political motives.
Ryann Monday, 08 June 2015 06:38 PM
public order minister is sitting right next to him!
Ravi Monday, 08 June 2015 06:41 PM
Vigneshwaran is a nut behaving like a cheap politician. No difference between south and north racist.
Push Monday, 08 June 2015 06:51 PM
Why are you so worried about the army being present if they they only provide protection to the people but no harm. In a region where there was ambush style fighting for 30 years what harm is there in army being present.
Kirthi Wednesday, 10 June 2015 11:17 AM
He can say whatever he wishes. This is a democracy. Anyways who is going to remove the Army?? Sorry Vignashwaran.
manu Tuesday, 09 June 2015 10:34 AM
He has forgotten how he and the tamils lived under LTTE barbarism and murderers.
Prem Nath Saturday, 13 June 2015 10:33 PM
Why not get Tamil Nadu out of the south of India first.
Ganesan Monday, 08 June 2015 07:35 PM
Dear Sinhala brothers and sisters, I am your Tamil brother in Australia. I was glad to see Vigneswaran able to share his thoughts openly in Sinhalese and English yet politely. Thanks to the Human being who is a Sinhalese and a Government minister. This is the type of discussions that the country must have to walk into a bright future hand in hand. Communities must stop suspecting each other. Stop worrying about another LTTE type movement. IT will never happen again. Rather worry about a foreign country taking over Sri Lanka . Before that happens let us unite and make our bonding stronger.
waruna100 Monday, 08 June 2015 07:37 PM
Guess he is not scared anymore to talk like this.
Thiresu Tuesday, 09 June 2015 03:05 AM
Make settlements of Sinhala and Muslims in North, then remove Army. Everybody will support.