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More Sri Lankan soldiers in schools - Militarised vaccine drive for Mannar students

Sri Lankan security forces administered COVID-19 vaccines for Mannar students preparing for the GCE Advanced Level on Thursday.

Military personnel facilitated and administered Pfizer vaccines alongside Mannar Regional Health Services Director Dr. R. Vinodan and hospital staff in select schools in Mannar, Nanattan, Musali, Manthai West and Madu.

Troops in the North-East continue to facilitate vaccination clinics under the leadership of Sri Lankan army commander and accused war criminal Shavendra Silva’s coronavirus initiatives. 

Silva, who has been subjected to a US travel ban for accusations of war crimes, faced criticism for poor management of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the resignation of Dr. Ananda Wijewickrama from the COVID-19 Prevention Technical Committee, as he claimed the vaccination program in Sri Lanka was not being implemented as per the recommendations of the experts.

The militarised response to the pandemic has also seen an escalation in incidents of harassment, intimidation, and surveillance across the Tamil homeland and inadequate facilities used for the treatment of quarantined individuals. 

Many human rights advocates have voiced concern over Sri Lanka's militarised response to the coronavirus pandemic that state forces have used the virus as a guise to target, harass and surveil Tamil communities.

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