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Sri Lanka’s army chief lashes out at police for ‘unethical’ behaviour after masked soldiers stopped in South

The heads of Sri Lanka’s army and police force publically clashed today, after the war-crimes accused military head Shavendra Silva demanded an inquiry into two Sri Lankan police officers, after they stopped a group of masked and armed soldiers on unmarked motorbikes near protests outside parliament. 

A statement released by the Army said,

Shavendra Silva has requested the Inspector General of Police to immediately conduct an inquiry into the 'unethical and ill-mannered behaviour' of two Police officers (Assistant Superintendents of Police) and initiate disciplinary action against them when a four -member team of Army Riders on the directions of the Director Operations of the Army HQ arrived at the road entrance to the Parliament complex this evening (5).

Defence Secretary General Kamal Gunaratne (Retd) has also already informed the IGP and the Secretary to Ministry of Public Security in regard to the incident and requested them to inquire into the unacceptable conduct of those Police Officers (Ends).

The statement from the army comes after the group of soldiers were seen with the guns pointed in the air, as protests took place in the South earlier today, sparking outrage amongst Sinhala social media users.

A four-member team of masked armed soldiers drove toward the crowd of protestors before being stopped by the police line, after being confronted by protestors. In footage captured by demonstrators, police officers appear to take the key out of the ignition of one of the bikes.

The footage widely circulated online led to some commentators to note that the soldiers wore similar uniforms to those from the newly raised 1 Corps, which is based in Kilinochchi. A video released by the 1 Corps states that the new unit "is the highest tactical organization” in the Sri Lankan army, with a range of units including the war crimes accused 58 and 53 Divisions. The new unit will “eliminate the internal and external threats to our motherland”  the narration continues. 

Read more Sri Lanka’s deadly new unit in the heart of the Tamil homeland

Other commentators were however, also quick to note that the presence of unmarked armed military personnel intimidating the local population, was not a new occurrence on the island. Across the North East, the Sri Lankan military has constantly surveilled and harassed the Tamil and Muslim populace. Despite the armed conflict ending nearly 13 years ago, militarisation is rampant across the North-East.




Mullaitivu-based journalist K Kumanan tweeted footage from November 2021, depicting masked riders circling Tamil protestors who were commemorating Maaveerar Naal. 


Sri Lankan Military in Mullaitivu - November 2021

Read more: Sri Lanka launches crackdown on Maaveerar Naal


Read more:Jaffna University students shot dead by Sri Lankan police 

Read more at Newswire and Army.lk

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