Issuing a statement, the Army Headquarters denied reports to the effect that 59 Army camps have been closed down in Jaffna since January 2015.
Former president Mahinda Rajapaksa alleged that 59 Army camps in the Northern Province were shut down by the Government providing the opportunity for the revival of the Tamil Tiger terrorists. The former president made the allegation last week in a letter addressed to participants in a “Bring Back Mahinda Rally” at Matara.
Mr. Rajapaksa said he was “shocked” by the removal of the 59 camps and charged that the withdrawal had taken place at a time when Eelam flags had reappeared in the North, indicating a revival of terrorism.
The Army Headquarters refuting the claim said since the termination of the Humanitarian Operation on 19 May 2009, it has regularly reviewed the security situation, and accordingly adjusted the troop deployment.
“This is the standard practice followed by any professional Army in the world and it is not a new phenomenon to Sri Lanka, either,” the Army said. Following the practice, a total of 59 small outposts have been closed down in the North after 19 May 2009.
According to the Army, following the end of war, 7 outposts in the North were closed in 2009, 9 in 2010, 4 in 2011, 15 in 2013 and 24 in 2014 bringing the total number of outposts closed down to 59. No outposts were closed in 2015. All 59 outposts were closed before the new government came to power.
“The Army Headquarters will continue to monitor and analyze the security situation in the North and ensure that there will be no compromise on National Security whatsoever,” the Army said.