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Surveillance in North to continue: Commander

2013 Oct 08

BY HAFEEL FARISZ
Army Commander Lt. General Daya Ratnayake responding to allegations of high-level military surveillance and involvement in the North said although surveillance would continue, there was no evidence of the Army going beyond its mandate in the North.

He said Army surveillance would continue due to the existence of external threats to the country.

"You cannot term it as heavy or unusual surveillance – that’s the usual surveillance that we have to maintain. The elimination of the LTTE was only physical but the intelligence organisation, those who did covert operations and all other facets except for the material and physical ones still persists, therefore to ensure the security of this country and its people, surveillance must be carried out" he said.

He vehemently denied allegations of the Army being involved in the Northern Provincial Council elections.

"We totally deny these allegations. Certain segments make such allegations when they see the army interacting and working together with the community; this is considered beneficial by the people. Some people want the Army completely out of the picture because they know that when the military does get involved, many of the civilian problems are sorted out. Especially in a post-conflict scenario, there are bound to be problems, so the people look towards us for solutions. This is not an unnatural phenomenon; it is common - especially given that it is only 4 years since the end of the conflict.

The military is the most respected organisation by both the people of the North and the people in other parts of the county, and our involvement is the same in all parts of the country" he said in an interview with Daily Mirror.

Lt. Gen Ratnayake further said those making such allegations should furnish evidence and if any of the allegations were found to be true, the Army would take necessary action.

"People can make allegations but they have to prove these allegations that they constantly make.

If any of these allegations are proved, by any organisation or person be it political or civil we are willing to take action.

We would never tolerate any indiscretion by our soldiers, and if there is proof of anyone being involved in any activity that goes beyond the framework of the army we will take stern action." he said.

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