Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa said though the military presence in the north had been drastically reduced, troops would continue to remain at strategic locations for security reasons but their presence will be non-intrusive.
“The number of troops deployed and the number of camps remaining in the North and East has also been reduced to a bare minimum. Twenty eight battalions have been relocated in the South and East. The overall number of troops in the North has been reduced by more than 21,000 since 2009.
Troops will remain in strategic locations for security purposes, but their presence will be non-intrusive. The day-to-day maintenance of law and order has been handed over to the police,” Mr. Rajapaksa said.
He made these comments speaking at the inaugural sessions of the ‘Defence Seminar 2012’ for lasting peace and stability with special focus on ‘Reconstruction, Resettlement, Rehabilitation, Reintegration and Reconciliation (5Rs)’ at Colombo Galadari Hotel. Several state administrators, academics, military leaders and resource personnel from here and abroad attended.
Mr. Rajapaksa speaking on the 5Rs described the ample gains that had been made by the government with the active support of the Army, which has now transformed from their fighting roles to protector roles.
The Army-initiated seminar held for the second successive year was attended by about 300 delegates, drawn from more than 43 countries including representatives from US, India, Pakistan, UK, China, Bangladesh, Brunei, Malaysia, Australia and Indonesia.
Mr. Rajapaksa spoke of the various challenges and obstacles that had to be overcome in the implementation of the programme for restoration of normalcy in the North and East.
They are using them for 'security' not to sell vegetables or to build roads or to give university students military training or for flying tourists or for whale watching etc. Those task should be done by civillians. The more the military gets involved in civillian matters the more our freedoms will get eroded. It will end up like Egypt, Libya and Syria where the only institution that was left was the military. Do we want that happening to our country? I say no
Saskia Wednesday, 08 August 2012 12:35 PM
You said that the number of army personal has been reduced in north. Where did you send them then? To their home as long leave or have they been moved to other camps? Anyway, it is a good move. We will see it when we visit Jaffna next time.
Sam Thursday, 09 August 2012 02:44 AM
Unfortunately world we live believe what people say loud….. Not quietly do….. So we are witnessing media shows everyday
Jena Thursday, 09 August 2012 02:52 AM
before the war , during the war , after the war - Not much for the Tamils.. but things are getting even worse..
Kondebandapucheena Wednesday, 08 August 2012 12:50 PM
Not a single solider should move back from North.
RuwanL Thursday, 09 August 2012 03:01 AM
He has to have seminars to educate the dumb foreign representatives who support the diaspora in foreign lands!
Jambalaya Thursday, 09 August 2012 03:21 AM
Agree with you Mr. GR. We should keep the military as long as it is needed till the diaspora tire themselves out of achieving tamil eelam
Sad Sri Lankan Thursday, 09 August 2012 08:44 AM
I have one question going out to our so called patriots..We won the WAR..But have we won PEACE ?
Give it some thought & I think a lot of our attitudes will change.
senavi Wednesday, 08 August 2012 02:41 PM
development of a sound technology capabilities and know how is very important for defense as well as the economy. Right now we have to depend on foreigners for everything down to carpenter nails.
alex Thursday, 09 August 2012 04:33 AM
Gemini-do you understand the meaning of bread and butter
alex Thursday, 09 August 2012 04:34 AM
keeping a close watch by organizing a seminar???
Nodrog Wednesday, 08 August 2012 03:02 PM
As long as its on someone else's account they want the best. Eg: Rambukewela stayed at a cheap hotel in Australia because it was at his expense.
malkanthi Thursday, 09 August 2012 09:57 AM
Bravo his speech is superb, excellency and convincing strongly recommend if this same this trend continues outside the podium it will be a blessing.
wickremasinghe dilip Wednesday, 08 August 2012 03:33 PM
The troops should remain in the north and the east.Ido not see why ,this should bother the peac loving people,if they are truly loving the peace. A lot of people have already forgotton what we went through,the last thirty years.I get the feeling,that some of the comments are from newly born ADULTS.(like the new rich).
Upul Gunawardena Wednesday, 08 August 2012 03:35 PM
The LTTE threat is not totally wiped out in SL. They are openly active outside SL, but only like amber under the ashes and can burst into action if no checks are kept. Therefore in my opinion Military should keep an eye on active LTTER’s released.
Gemini Wednesday, 08 August 2012 03:31 PM
Never ever decommission our forces. They are bread and butter of our nation. Use them to develop the Country. KEEP THEM MARCHING, just in case.
peeda mossa Wednesday, 08 August 2012 03:48 PM
I like your style, sir. Straight and simple, and no mincing words. Please don't relax security and intelligence gathering. We can't afford another war !
Senna Wednesday, 08 August 2012 04:29 PM
He is truly our savier, legend. Expenses now on seminars are nothing when compared to war period.
jayantha Thursday, 09 August 2012 05:28 AM
Hope the Galadari Hotel make some money because of this conference, poor mans EPF is one of the biggest stake holders of this hotel.
Chandana Fernando Thursday, 09 August 2012 05:12 AM
Please dont visit again. It is no good for the country or yourself because you never see the positive side of something
Dadoriya Wednesday, 08 August 2012 05:43 PM
High cost low quality labour. The main drain on Sri Lanka economy?
Senaratne Wednesday, 08 August 2012 06:31 PM
So everyone else who played their part is cardboard but your traitor is all gutts and glory ? LMAO !
Gamarala Wednesday, 08 August 2012 06:54 PM
Meeharakpatiyo. SF good and he got Bad with Western Mafia. Canterbury help.
bonnie mallie Wednesday, 08 August 2012 10:24 AM
Another seminar !! How much is spent on this seminar? How about using this money to feed some of the poor.... or are you'll waiting for all of the poor to get on a boat and go to Australia?
Bagalawathie Wednesday, 08 August 2012 10:25 AM
Go Gota Go. You are our saviour. God bless you.
Sarneris Wednesday, 08 August 2012 10:38 AM
LTTE has changed their war tactics. Better keep a close watch
wasanthi Wednesday, 08 August 2012 10:32 AM
good. move. we must be watch these LTTE sleepers more carefully.
Dadoriya Wednesday, 08 August 2012 10:32 AM
There should be no army for civilians activities. This is common sense. If there is too may members in for forces, decommission or release them. This is what is done in other civilized countries.
vignesh Thursday, 09 August 2012 06:58 AM
if you keep troops in sri lankan government land ,that is fine .who care where troops camps is.Still troops using private property as troops camps and at north
Dadoriya Wednesday, 08 August 2012 10:50 AM
Need to know as who is bearing the cost for the delegates from the 43 countries.
Arun Wednesday, 08 August 2012 11:04 AM
Statement is good and we have to be more vigilant. But the place at which the statement is made is questionable. Why spend so much on seminar, unless he got it free.
Singhe Wednesday, 08 August 2012 11:04 AM
Is that why the UK is using solders who returned from afghanistan for Olympic security?
sahdi Wednesday, 08 August 2012 11:07 AM
WHAT IS A MEETING WITH CARDBOARD HEROS WITHOUT OUR GENERAL MR.SARATH FONSEKA
Comments will be edited (grammar, spelling and slang) and authorized at the discretion of Daily Mirror online. The website also has the right not to publish selected comments.