Terrorists deprived
children of education and human rights – Army Chief

Commander of the Army Lieutenant General Jagath Jayasuriya, speaking at a ceremony held at the BMIC on Tuesday (15) morning, to present scholarship grants for the year 2011 to the Children of Officers and Other Ranks serving the Sri Lanka Army Volunteer Force (SLAVF), said "Terrorists in the past deprived the people in the North and East of their inalienable rights to education and human rights".

The commander said the three-decade-long bitter fight against terrorism lowered the standards in all spheres of the social fabric. "One need not be surprised if one heard that there were men in the North and the East who had-failed to receive an iota of education in the past 30 years due to the cycle of terrorism. The terrorists used force, abducted or forced children to wear cyanide capsules and carry guns, violated their sacred right to education and confined their valuable lives to underground bunkers".

In his brief address, after the awarding of scholarships, the Army Commander said that the unwavering leadership of Commander-in-Chief President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who rose to the occasion firmly and courageously, with the able guidance offered by Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa, enabled the Army to eradicate the military muscle of the Tigers. This paved the way to establish peace and harmony in society to realise the aspirations of the entire citizenry at the opportune time.

The awards presentation, organized for the second consecutive year by the SLAVF, on a proposal made by Major General D. R. A. B. Jayathilaka, Commander, SLAVF, this year offered 461 scholarships to students of Grade 5, Year 11 (GCE O/L) and university entrants who had obtained the highest scores in their respective fields.

The recipients of scholarships were children of families of SLAVF officers and other ranks, both serving or retired from the service.

Mrs. Manjulika Jayasuriya, President of the Seva Vanitha Army Branch, parents of scholarship recipients, invitees and a gathering of senior officers, including Major General R.M.D Rathnayaka, Chief of Staff, Army Headquarters, Major General A. L. R. Wijethunga, Deputy Chief of Staff and Major General A.0 Obeysekara, Deputy Commandant SLAVF, attended the ceremony.

Renowned artistes, Visharada Nanda Malani, Edward Jayakody and a team from the ‘Kopi Kade’ teledrama entertained the audience.

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