Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena says that the army camps in the North have not been removed or will not be removed in a way which will weaken the national security or have an impact on the security forces but lands acquitted by the armed forces during the war will be released to people.
The President said the government has taken steps to release the lands, which were acquired during the war period for army camps. The lands not needed for the three Armed forces at present have already been returned to the people in the North and East, and in the future also more lands under those conditions will be released to the people.
President Sirisena made these remarks addressing the officers of the Sri Lanka Army at the auditorium of Army Hospital in Narahenpita recently.
It is significant that the President as the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces addressed a representative gathering of more than 350 Commanding Officers (COs), Adjutants and Regimental Sergeant Majors (RSMs) of the Army, for the first time in the annals of the history of army.
Speaking further, the President said the government has not conducted any type of investigation regarding any of the war heroes who have been involved in the war and no such investigation has been initiated in a way which will dishonor the war heroes.
The President clarified that currently investigations are being carried out regarding allegations made after concluding the war, against certain army officers about some incidents taken place according to the needs of some politicians and on some incidents occurred as a result of personal relations.
He also said that not a single allegation was leveled against the war heroes for defending the country, and emphasized that he will not allow any room to level allegations against the war heroes.
President Sirisena further said that if the allegations against the officers, who are in custody regarding the incidents occurred as for the needs of the politicians going against the law of the country, moral values, freedom and democracy, proven before the court that they are not involved in those incidents they will be released by the courts.
The President vehemently rejecting the allegation made by some section of the society in the political stage that there is a witch hunt on war heroes, said that such war hero hunting will never be done in the country.
The President appreciated the great service rendered by the Security Forces in the process of building reconciliation in the country and commended all the members of the Security Forces for their unlimited service in national disasters, even endangering their lives.
He also pointed out the importance of national reconciliation policy in taking the country to prosperity under the concept of sustainable development. The President said he expects the support of everybody to develop the country.
Similarly, the government worked with commitment during the past two and half years to provide all the benefits and facilities to the members of the security forces. Further, the government in the future too will work with commitment to provide benefits and ensure the welfare of the members of the security forces as well as the family members of the retired and disabled war heroes.
An Army live telecast of the President’s speech was transmitted to all Security Force Headquarters, Divisions and other formations simultaneously covering more than 30,000 members of the Army across the country.
Secretary of Defense Kapila Waidyaratne, and the Commander of the Army Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake were among those participated in this occasion.