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Still no signs of de-militarisation

The military has no intention of withdrawing army camps in Jaffna despite intense pressure exerted by the international community and Tamil political parties, reported The Sunday Leader.

The Jaffna Security Forces Commander Major General Mahinda Hathursinghe defended the excessive military presence, alleging that the LTTE is still active.

“The army is aware of this and remains vigilant,” Hathursinghe told The Sunday Leader.

Hathursinghe went on to imply that, the building of new military camps on ‘government land’ were, in fact, aiding resettlement as the military could move out of occupied civilian homes.

“Now we are using government land to build army camps. So gradually we are returning civilian homes,” he said.

Demonstrating the intense military presence, Democratic People’s Front (DPF) leader, Mano Ganeshan, said,

“The government is telling the world the war is over. We are saying if that is so then remove the new camps. In the whole country there are only 20 divisions. Of this 10 are in the north and 5 in the east”

Incidentally, the British High Commissioner to Sri Lanka and the Maldives, John Rankin, also outlined  that if the army was to be considered a non-occupying army, the military presence in the north should resemble that of the army presence seen in other 

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