Civil Defence Force to assist with the military successes
President Mahinda Rajapaksa on his surprise visit to
Kilinochchi inspects the arms and explosives captured from
The Civil Defence Force (CDF) being an auxiliary force to the Armed
Forces have taken serious effort in protecting the lives and properties
of people in the threatened villages during the course of humanitarian
operations which began with the closure of sluice gates of Mavilaru
anicut in 2006.
Since then, the CDF played a key role in removing the fear psychosis
from the minds of people in such villages by providing maximum security
to their dwellings and properties. The villagers showed reluctance to
leave their homes and properties due to the security arrangement
launched by the CDF in threatened villages.
According to Civil Defence Force Chief Rear Admiral Sarath
Weerasekera, the CDF was made into one of the most viable and competent
paramilitary forces to save the rural people of all communities in the
North and the East.
Rear Admiral Weerasekera said young blood was infused to the force
after the former Home Guard Service was renamed as the Civil Defence
Force with the establishment of Department of Civil Defence on January
The CDF with the strength of over 41,500 personnel has made their
contribution to all the fields of activities during the humanitarian
operation that was launched to free the country from terrorism that has
devastated the country’s progress for over two decades. Weerasekera said
his personnel were on duty at the threatened villages, police stations
and Forward Defence Lines in the North.
“Our personnel are teaching in schools in such villages as the
teachers posted by the Government to such schools show reluctance to
come to the village. According to Weerasekera, more than 50% of school
teachers in Welioya are CDF personnel.
They teach in rural schools in Anuradhapura, Ampara, Trincomalee and
Polonnaruwa districts during the day time and guard the villages at
night. They have tremendously helped boost the children’s education in
“We were also tasked to protect the main supply routes to Forward
Defence Lines, man checkpoints in collaboration with the Armed Forces
and the Police and help Sri Lankans in times of natural disasters,” he
The threatened villages in the North and the East provinces
experienced a number of ruthless terrorists activities such as
Kebettigollewa, Gonagala massacres which resulted in mass exodus of
innocent civilians to the south.
“It is the Civil Defence Force that came to the rescue of these
innocent civilians. We were able to convince these civilians to remain
in the areas where they have lived for centuries as the CDF is capable
of providing security to these civilians, he said.
The Civil Defence Force consists of over 40,000 personnel from
threatened villages and we were able to convince them that they are
protected under the CDF”, he said.
He said the CDF erected a human fence to prevent the terrorists being
infiltrated to the south. The CDF personnel averted major disasters by
early detecting explosive devices hidden in public places and left no
room for the terrorist activities to take place in the south.
Our personnel made their presence in all places of public importance
such rural hospital. Weekly fair, government offices and schools. The
villagers continued their agricultural activities under the protection
of CDF personnel whose dedication and commitment to protect their own
village is unimaginable, Weerasekera said.
He said the CDF personnel have themselves experienced the violence
unleashed by the LTTE. Most of their family members or villagers have
been affected by terrorist atrocities and the desire to protect the area
where they were born and bred were from the bottom of heart.
Rear Admiral Weerasekera took the challenge of converting the CDF as
a respected and viable Defence Force in the country by introducing
various programs. The CDF personnel who showed exceptional performances
in the North and the South to save civilians from terrorists were
Rear Admiral Weerasekera effected many changes in the Civil Defence
Force after he became the Director General of the Civil Defence Force.
He changed the uniforms and gave a complete training to the CDF
personnel on the handling of weapons and working with civilians alike.
The most talented personnel in the CDF were singled out and given a
special training and were recruited to a special unit namely Nandamitra
Force which was tasked to protect the villages close to the Forward
Rear Admiral Weerasekera said the role played by his men of all rank
and file is not finished and they are bound to develop the country. The
CDF will be integrated into a productive force that could revive the war
affected country’s economy. The Civil Defence Force will uplift the
country’s economy by promoting agricultural and industrial production in
the future, he said.