24 high ranking military personnel have been appointed to oversee COVID-19 responses and quarantine procedures in districts across Sri Lanka.
The newly-appointed officers include 18 Major Generals, 5 Brigadiers and 2 Colonels.
The appointments were made on the recommendations of Sri Lanka's head of army, and accused war criminal, Shavendra Silva. Silva leads the National Operation for the Prevention of COVID-19 which has been widely criticised for failing to follow ethical guidelines and exacerbating existing ethnic divides.
Boram Jang, Legal Advisor at the International Commission of Jurists Asia & the Pacific Programme. stated that “having the military to oversee the public health policy and to act as the State’s first responders also normalises military occupation, exacerbates the existing ethnic divides, and further deteriorates human rights in Sri Lanka”.
Last October Tamil National Peoples Front (TNPF) lawmaker Selvarajah Kajendran raised the issue of increased militarisation in parliament following the navy and army takeover of a hospital in Vadamaradchi East for a COVID quarantine centre.
"Only one functioning hospital exists for 12,100 members of 4000 families of Vadamaradchi East, including nearly 3500 students…This sole hospital has been taken over for COVID quarantine purposes and the alternative provided is a 100ft dilapidated building filled with animal waste, which is now functioning as the OPD”
Read more here : Sri Lanka’s militarisation is destroying livelihoods – TNPF MP
The appointments are.
- Major General W.G.H.A.S. Bandara – Jaffna
- Major General K.N.S. Kotuwegoda – Kilinochchi
- Major General R.M.P.G. Rathnayake – Mullaitivu
- Major General W.L.P.W Perera – Vavuniya
- Major General A.A.I.J Bandara – Mannar
- Major General J.C Gamage – Polonnaruwa
- Major General H.L.V.M. Liyanage – Anuradhapura
- Major General A.P.I. Fernando – Puttalam
- Brigadier P.M.R.H.S.K. Herath – Kurunegala
- Major General K.W.R. De Aubrew – Colombo
- Major General N.R. Lamahewa – Gampaha
- Brigadier K.N.D. Karunapala – Kalutara
- Major General H.P.N.K. Jayapathirana – Nuwara Eliya
- Major General S.M.S.P.B. Samarakoon – Kandy
- Major General S.U.M.N. Manage – Matale
- Brigadier J.M.R.N.K. Jayamanne – Ratnapura
- Brigadier L.A.J.L.B Udowiya – Kegalle
- Major General C.D. Weerasuriya – Trincomalee
- Major General T.D. Weerakoon – Ampara
- Major General C.D. Ranasinghe – Batticaloa
- Brigadier E.A.P. Ediriweera – Badulla
- Colonel D.U.N. Serasinghe – Monaragala
- Major General D.M.H.D. Bandara – Hambantota
- Major General W.A.S.S Wanasinghe – Galle
- Colonel K.A.U Kodituwakku – Matara