The war crimes accused head of the Sri Lankan army visited Jaffna this week, where he told occupying troops that local Tamils are “well aware of tireless services” of the military, despite “misleading utterances” by “elements in the North”.
Shavendra Silva, a commander who is currently barred from travel to the US over his role in war crimes, arrived at the Security Force Headquarters - Jaffna (SFHQ-J), with the military having occupied the peninsula since the invasion 26 years ago.
In his address to troops, Silva reportedly “thanked all of them for sustenance of the status quo soon after the troops eradicated terrorism from the country”.
“Different elements in the North in order to suit their agendas and other advantages are trying their best to change the mindset of the common masses living in the peninsula but the Tamil community here is well aware of tireless services, being rendered by you all despite their misleading utterances and the troops, not deterred by such attempts continue to pay the same attention on the Jaffna masses, like how they did even during the period of humanitarian operations,” he continued.
“All those projects among the tri-services have been made possible due to the unstinted forthcoming support of HE the President, Prime Minister and the Secretary Defence who is also a veteran military officer who knows more about you,” Silva added, referring to the war crimes accused Gotabaya Rajapaksa.
During his visit, Silva handed over refurbished vehicles to the Sri Lanka Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (SLEME) any inspected new military built houses in the region.
Despite years of calls from Tamils for the region to be demilitarised, Sri Lanka continues to maintain a heavy presence across the Tamil North-East. Earlier this year Sri Lanka's Ministry of Finance presented its Appropriation Bill for 2022 with the largest allocation, 12.3% being allocated to the Ministry of Defence.