- Published on Wednesday, 11 July 2012 12:13
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Rehabilitated former combatants of LTTE will have the opportunity in the future to get involved in the local politics, Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa said.
Addressing Sri Lankan Ambassadors, High Commissioners and Consul Generals at workshop in Diyatalawa Sunday, the Defence Secretary said that not only former senior ex-LTTE leaders who are involved in national and provincial level politics but there is chance for others to involve in local councils in the future.
He said that youth and rehabilitated ex-cadres in the north and east will be given the opportunity during enlistment to man new police stations which are being established in the region.
"They could join hands with the Civil Security force in the development drive while doing a prestigious service and assist in developing their areas," he noted.
Addressing the issues of allegations of crimes committed by the security forces, the Defense Secretary has acknowledged that there may have been a few individuals who were guilty of acting outside orders and committing crimes.
However, he said, the notion of perpetrators getting away with impunity is completely wrong as the Sri Lankan military has strong systems to ensure compliance to accepted norms, and it has mechanisms to investigate and punish any soldiers or officers who violate those norms.
"If any soldier has been found guilty of having done something wrong, the full weight of military justice has been brought to bear in the past, and it will be so in the future as well," the Defence Secretary said.
The Defence Secretary said that only a part of the Palaly Camp is maintained at present in the North as a national security measure and the government has handed back 17 surrounding grama seva divisions completely to the civilians.
The Palaly cantonment is now the only area remaining with some security restrictions, but even within the Cantonment, civilians have free access to the airfield and the Kankasanthurei Harbor, he added.
The Secretary noted that despite the removal of security barricades, roadblocks and checkpoints, and the reduction in the High Security Zone, the Government will take all necessary steps to ensure the continuation of peace and security throughout the country.
However, the number of troops deployed and the number of camps that will remain in the North and East has been reduced to a bare minimum, he stressed.
"Troops will remain in strategic locations, but their presence will be non-intrusive. The day-to-day maintenance of law and order has already been handed over to the Police," the Secretary said.
Speaking of the police, the Defense Secretary has said that 11 new police stations have been established in the former LTTE-controlled areas and 1,214 Tamil policemen had been recruited to serve in those stations since 2009.
He told the diplomats that instead of suffering due to conflict, the people in the North and East are now at peace and their children are now free to learn instead of being forced to fight.
"There is no more war, there is no more suffering. That is the reality about Sri Lanka today, and that is what you must show to the world," he has told the country's envoys.