Defence Secretary answers critics
NO LTTE SURRENDEE WENT MISSING
All 11,800 surendees integrated into society
Army submits recommendations to LLRC
No LTTE cardre that surrendered to the Security Forces during the final
stage of the humanitarian mission went missing, Defence and Urban
Development Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa said.
Commenting on allegations levelled by certain foreign elements that some
of the LTTE fighters that surrendered to the Security Forces during the
last phase of the humanitarian mission had gone missing, the Defence
Secretary said all allegations are baseless and every since LTTEer who
surrendered was rehabilitated and reintegrated to society.
The Defence Secretary was addressing media at the Defence Ministry
yesterday. Recommendations of the Sri Lanka Army report as prescribed in
the National Action Plan were handed over to the Defence Secretary by
Army Commander Lt. General Jagath Jayasuriya. The recommendations were
made by a six member board of Army officers appointed by the Army
The Defence Secretary said when the three-decade long war ended in May
2009, around 11,800 LTTE cadres surrendered to the Security Forces. All
surrendees underwent a proper rehabilitation programme under the
guidance of the Defence Ministry. After the successful rehabilitation
programme, all surrendees were reintegrated to society. Prior to the
reintegration, those who surrendered received vocational training during
their rehabilitation to learn skills that could find them employment
once they are reintegrated into society, the Secretary said.
He further added, of the over 11,600 former rebel cadres that
surrendered to the military at the end of war in 2009, almost all have
been reintegrated into society and are playing a fruitful role in
society. The Sri Lanka military forces are highly professional and well
“No war can be won without professional and disciplined military forces.
During the humanitarian mission, we fought professionally and in a
disciplined manner. No unprofessional army has ever won a battle
anywhere in the world. We have proved that the the humanitarian mission
was carried out by a highly professional and disciplined force”
Secretary Rajapaksa noted.
He said after the humanitarian mission, the forces are immensely engaged
in bringing normalcy to the war affected areas. Over 75 percentage of
the de-mining activities were carried out by the Security Forces.
Displaced persons have been settled even in the area where final battle
Speaking further on rehabilitation, the secretary said as an index how
successful the rehabilitation and reintegrated process had been, the
Security Forces were now engaged in assisting the war affected to resume
their normal lifestyle. Accordingly, the Security Forces are in the
process of developing infrastructure and other facilities, including
housing, health, farming, etc while wining harts and minds of the
Answering a question raised by a journalist, the Defence Secretary said
security was the prime concern of the countery. All the troops cannot be
vacated from the areas where terrorism once thrived.
The board has at the very outset observed that most of the
recommendations made by the LLRC such as resettlement of IDPs,
rehabilitation of ex LTTE cardres, disarming militant groups, de-mining
etc have already been implemented. With regard to the presence of
military bases in the North and East, the board observes that the
government has an absolute right to maintain its armed forces anywhere
in the country according to the country’s strategic and security needs.
However, the board notes that military bases are located causing minimum
inconvenience to the public and in the aftermath of the humanitarian
operation, all high security zones and many lands previously occupied by
the armed forces have been released to the public. Moreover, only lands
that are vitally required for security purposes are to be retained and
such lands legally acquired at the market value and in addition owners
will be given alternative lands.