Amid claims that the Army has no plans to acquire lands in Jaffna to establish camps, the military said it would acquire only a limited extent of land to expand the Palaly Airport and the Kankesanthurai Harbour, which are being expanded.
Jaffna Security Forces Commander Mahinda Hathurusinghe said this during a meeting with British High Commissioner John Rankin on Monday.
Mr. Rankin who was accompanied by political officer Asma Edris are in Jaffna on a two-day visit.
He commended the Army’s role in helping ex-LTTE combatants and the war-affected civilians in post war Jaffna and inquired about the alleged acquisition of lands by the Army.
Maj. Gen. Hathurusinghe rejected these allegations and described them as exaggerated reporting by the media with a hidden agenda.
“Military presence in Jaffna has been gradually reduced after the war ended in 2009 while the remaining troops are engaged in humanitarian activities and development programmes. Like everywhere else in Sri the Army is essential for national security and only a required number of troops will remain in Jaffna. Troop reduction will be based on the security situation. The Army does not want to face a security risk similar to what happened in the 1980s,” Maj. Gen. Hathurusinghe said.