Sri Lanka to keep army posted in north
Colombo, Jan 19 The new Sri Lankan government Sunday said it would keep the army stationed in the northern part of the country and give priority to national security.
Sri Lankan State Minister of Defence Ruwan Wijewardena said that after President Maithripala Sirisena won the Jan 8 presidential election, there were several false reports that the army would be withdrawn from the north.
According to a Xinhua report, Wijewardena said President Sirisena had made it clear from the day he won the presidential election that he will not allow the country to be divided.
There were concerns over a possible withdrawal of the army from north Sri Lanka after Sirisena won the presidential election, as he was supported by the country’s main minority Tamil political party, the Tamil National Alliance, which has been pushing for a reduction in the army presence in the north, following the end of the war with the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).
The rebels were defeated in May 2009, but the former government had refused to diminish the army’s presence in the north.
Wijewardena said the new government would ensure that the security forces were treated with respect and given all the facilities they might require.