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Sri Lankan army denies closing camps and maintains it is ‘on alert’

The Sri Lankan army has denied it has closed any military camps and maintained that it remained “on alert to face any eventualities”, in a statement released on Sunday.

The statement challenged critics of the military “to publicly name what those operationally important camps, said to have been closed down, if any.”

Instead the army said that there had been a “relocation” of some camps, but stated it had only taken place after “assessing security developments at ground level particularly on the recommendations of respective field commanders”. It did not elaborate on whether any of these camps were in the heavily militarised North-East, where Tamils and international human rights groups have criticised the military presence in the region.

The statement went on to add, “Battalions with lesser number of troops have been reinforced under the Army's right-sizing programme having taken all necessary measures to place all Battalions and Units on alert to face any eventualities in an organized manner”.

It ended by stating the military was “taking all measures to prevent any resurgence of warfare”.

See the full text of the statement here.

The official remarks from the military come after the former head of Sri Lanka’s army slammed attempts to release military held lands in the North-East to Tamil civilians as “stupid” last month and vowed to block any attempts at demilitarisation of the region, as Tamil calls for the army to leave continue.