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Soldiers turned teachers - Army 'grooms' Tamil school children and teaches English

The Sri Lankan military continues with its militarisation in the North-East by teaching Tamil school children English, claiming it is "grooming" the future of the North-East.

The Sri Lankan state military created the program with the intention of developing “the coexistence between civilians and the Army”. The military also claims the militarisation scheme is a part of a “reconciliation process to maintain the peace in the Northern area”. The continued presence of the military in Tamil schools and institutions has been repeatedly criticized and protested against by Tamils living in the North-East, international organizations, civil society groups and local politicians. 

The programme was created for grade 6 to 9 students in Kevil and Kaddeikadu villages at the HQ 55 Infantry Division. More than 20 school children had to attend the inauguration ceremony for the military-led program. 

Students will be expected to attend the English classes being conducted at the 55 Infantry Division military base every Saturday. 

The Sri Lankan military has been credibly accused of committing war crimes, during the culmination of the genocide in 2009 with the Mullivaikkal massacre, in which tens of thousands of Tamils were massacred. 

Despite such criticism, the military has been ramping up its militarisation of the North-East since 2009, entrenching itself in every facet of North-East civil society. Military-run schools, businesses, resorts, and factories are ever-present across the North-East and have been decried for fostering a culture of fear and surveillance amongst Tamils.  

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