Minister queries Jaffna Commander over security measures

‘Is current situation exploited to impose restrictions on Tamils?’


Mano Ganesan

By Shamindra Ferdinando 

Minister of National Integration, Official Languages, Social Progress and Hindu Religious Affairs Mano Ganesan has raised concerns with Jaffna Security Forces Commander Maj. Gen. Dharshana Hettiarachchi regarding stepped-up security measures in the North following the Easter Sunday carnage.

Earlier, Vanni District MP and the leader of All Ceylon Makkal Congress (ACMC) Rishad Bathiudeen was accused of speaking to Army Commander Lt. Gen. Mahesh Senanayake regarding the arrest of a terrorist suspect in connection with the Easter attacks.

Minister Ganesan has told Maj. Gen. Hettiarachchi that some believed current situation was being used to impose restrictions on the Tamil people, according to a Facebook post in Tamil. Ganesan has claimed that he received complaints regarding checks and restrictions on public transport. The Colombo District MP queried whether there were far more checkpoints in place up North when compared with Southern districts.

The Jaffna Commander was quoted as having told Minister Ganesan that their concern was IS (Islamic State) shouldn’t move into North. The Jaffna Commander was further quoted as having said that as the situation was becoming better, he could reduce the number of checkpoints.

Countrywide deployment of the armed forces took place in the wake of the re-imposition of Emergency Regulations unanimously within days after the Easter Sunday carnage though the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) called for a division when it was to be extended in the last week of May 2019.

President Maithripala Sirisena, too, has inquired about current status of security arrangements in the northern region and the possibility of easing restrictions with Army headquarters.

The Island learns that the military was in the process of gradually decreasing security measures. Responding to a query, authoritative sources asserted that security measures were adopted in the Northern and Eastern districts on the basis of devastating attack on Zion church in Batticaloa. There had been still unconfirmed assertion the National Thowheed Jamaat (NTJ) planned to attack St. Theresa’s church in Kilinochchi, sources said. However, they hadn’t been able to verify, sources said, adding that the country couldn’t afford to lower its guard.


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