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Soldiers turned teachers – militarisation of schools continues in North-East

The Sri Lankan military reported that it had organised a seminar for schoolchildren in Trincomalee last week, as it continues to involve itself with educational activities across the North-East.

The seminar, arranged for approximately 360 students from schools across the area, was held at Kantale Central College in Trincomalee.

 “General Officer Commanding, 22 Division, Major General Aruna Jayasekara advised the 222 Brigade Commander, Brigadier Deepal Pussella to coordinate the conduct of the seminar,” reported an official military website.

“5 Regiment Sri Lanka Artillery troops arranged all administrative requirements, including refreshments for students,” it continued.

The event is the latest in a long history of the Sri Lankan military involving itself in civilian activities across the North-East, despite almost constant criticism from Tamil politicians and civil society activists. Of particular concern has been the military’s involvement in schools in the region, where uniformed soldiers have frequently held various events.

Sri Lankan had pledged to de-militarise the North-East, yet continues to station tens of thousands of soldiers there.