Military scale down necessary in Sri Lanka North and East

In its ‘Ask the High Commissioner’, series presented on May 23, 2012 by the High Commission of United Kingdom in Sri Lanka, H.E . John Rankin commented on the Human Rights and Democracy (HRD) Annual Report released by UK Foreign Office on 30 April, 2012 and the human rights situation in Sri Lanka with reference to LLRC report.

High Commissioner H.E . John Rankin

In this, the ninth edition of ‘Ask the High Commissioner’ series, High Commissioner H.E . John Rankin also responded to the question, “if there is a need of scale down of military presence in Northern SriLanka”, and pointed out that, “there needs to be a scaling down of the military presence in the North and East of Sri Lanka.”

Relevant excerpt from of the responses by High Commissioner H.E . John Rankin:

“The questioner notes that in his victory day speech, President Rajapaksa indicated that, there would not be a scaling down, whilst the, what he described as – the pro LTTE diaspora overseas continues their activities abroad, and were asked what our responses to that;

The first thing to reiterate is that it is a good thing that the LTTE are no longer carrying their terrorist activities. And LTTE remains a proscribed organization in many countries of the world, including the United Kingdom.

The second point also I would note that the President also said in his victory day speech is that the military are no longer involved in civil administration in the North and East of the country.

It is very important that it should be case and we would continue to monitor the situation, because it is important that people have a say in the day to day decisions affect them and the normal civil administration is restored to the greatest extent possible.

We also recognize that there will be normal military camps throughout the country, as it is the case in the United Kingdom but we will hope that military presence in the North and East of the country can resemble that other parts of Sri Lanka, rather than a very large military presence which we continue to have in the area of Jaffna and in the Vanni”.

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