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Sri Lankan minister thanks navy for ‘cordial environment’ in Nainativu

A senior UNP leader and Sri Lankan government minister thanked the navy for creating a “very cordial environment” in Nainativu last week, where the military maintains a large camp and has helped to construct a Buddhist vihara.

Harsha de Silva was visiting the island, which has been occupied by the Sri Lankan military for years, when he tweeted photographs posing with the chief monk of the vihara on the island.

The monk “had been here throughout the war and now with the Navy created a very cordial environment here,” he stated.

File photograph taken March 2018.

Nainativu continues to be highly militarised with a large navy presence, who have previously assisted in constructing various buildings for the vihara.

File photograph taken March 2018.

The vihara, which continues several statues of the Buddha, continues to display large posters of several senior military and government leaders visiting the area, including former president Mahinda Rajapaksa, who oversaw the killing of tens of thousands of Tamils in 2009.

The military continues to occupy large areas of land across the North-East, despite continued calls for demilitarisation from Tamil politicians and civil society groups.

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