"There is a great civilian support to the army. The Army and the public is working together to maintain peace in the peninsular. Public is clearly against LTTE terrorism. We have done a great deal for the public through maintaining law and order to assisting them on humanitarian basis. The recent huge turnout for Jaffna Mela is a clear evidence for the phenomenon."
by Udara Soysa and Nilantha Illangamuwa exclusively reporting from Jaffna
(July 17, Jaffna, Sri Lanka Guardain) A team of journalists from Sri Lanka Guardian visited Jaffna peninsular this week. These journalists met with Maj General G.A. Chandrasiri, commander of security forces in Jaffna and conducted an exclusive interview with him. The team of journalists also attended a security presentation conducted by SF-J. Below is the interview:
Sri Lanka Guardian: What is the present security situation in Jaffna?
Maj. General Chandrasiri:The situation is very positive. The environment in Jaffna is very conducive to a peaceful livelihood. The situation had improved extremely from how it was in December 2005.
Sri Lanka Guardian: Are there any LTTE infiltration at the moment?
Maj. General Chandrasiri: The LTTE numbers in Jaffna are extremely low. Earlier the numbers were much higher and the present numbers can be even deemed as below fifty. We have successfully cleared Jaffna from LTTE elements. Public is clearly with us in this juncture. People do not want LTTE to return and disrupt their livelihood.
Sri Lanka Guardian: What really happened during the CFA regarding LTTE infiltration in Jaffna?
Maj. General Chandrasiri: The LTTE infiltrated in Jaffna disguised themselves as political cadres and etc. There were many safe houses that were maintained in Jaffna under LTTE. LTTE slowly turned violent in Jaffna creating havoc and destroying the civilian administrative. However, this was halted after December 2005.
Sri Lanka Guardian: What is the secret behind the high morale of the troops?
Maj. General Chandrasiri: It is definitely the leadership. When soldiers see dedication coming from the top from their supervisors, it becomes infectious. Today, the Army is under a brilliant leadership and we are seeing the results from such great leadership. Soldiers are motivated better than ever in the war fronts.
Sri Lanka Guardian: Would the troops make any plans to take over elephant pass in near future?
Maj. General Chandrasiri:It all depends on the ground situation. Our aim is to inflict heavy casualties to our enemy.
Sri Lanka Guardian: What happened during previous Muhamalai attacks? Were they debacles?
Maj. General Chandrasiri: Indeed they were not debacles. We made strategic gains through these battles while inflicted heavy casualties on enemy. However, there are some casualties from our side but there are much higher casualties from the side of Tiger terrorists. We can not wait for tigers to attack us so we took the first steps to attack them. We had tremendous successes in these attacks. These attacks were not debacles at all.
Sri Lanka Guardian: How is the civilian support towards the Army?
Maj. General Chandrasiri: There is a great civilian support to the army. The Army and the public is working together to maintain peace in the peninsular. Public is clearly against LTTE terrorism. We have done a great deal for the public through maintaining law and order to assisting them on humanitarian basis. The recent huge turnout for Jaffna Mela is a clear evidence for the phenomenon.
Sri Lanka Guardian: What is happening in Jaffna Forward Defence Lines?
Maj. General Chandrasiri: We are daily inflicting casualties to the Tigers. We are on offence and we are highly successful.
Sri Lanka Guardian: Do you think that Army can end the war this year?
Maj. General Chandrasiri: Yes, most likely.
Sri Lanka Guardian: What difference did it make in this Eelam war with usage of Special Forces?
Maj. General Chandrasiri: Well, there were Special Forces for sometime. The difference is the utilization of Special Forces. We have utilized them to get the best result and now we are seeing successful results.
Sri Lanka Guardian: Are there any army involvements in white van killings in peninsular?
Maj. General Chandrasiri: We are a professional army and we are not involved in any underhand killings. Whenever we have any complains of any misdeeds, we take appropriate action through laws and regulations. I can avouch for the fact that Army is no way involved with any killings in Jaffna. We are not involved with any groups. We are here to maintain law and order and serve people in Jaffna.
Sri Lanka Guardian: What is your appeal to Sri Lanka diaspora ?
Maj. General Chandrasiri: My message to our people is that we are here to help the people of Jaffna. I assure you that we would continue to serve the people by ensuring the safety of people. We are doing this for all communities in Sri Lanka. We have done this and will continue to do so in future.
- Sri Lanka Guardian
Published On:Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Posted by Sri Lanka Guardian