Reduction in army in Tamil areas, says Ranil

ranilCOLOMBO: Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe has indicated reduction of army presence in Tamil areas “as time goes on”.

He, however, ruled out any immediate reduction in troops unless there is improvement in the situation.

Wickramasinghe did not elaborate on what improvement meant.

In an interview to Tamil Thanthi TV, he also conceded that there is lots of land under the state’s control that can be released in different parts of the country.

Asserting that army is in all parts of Sri Lanka, Wickramasinghe said: “I don’t find any reason why the army should go out of any district in Sri Lanka, there are district head quarters in every part of Sri Lanka, and actually their structure is based on the India one.”

Asked about the army civilian ratio in the North being appalling, Wickramasinghe said: “I know that…What we have said is — as far as we are concerned we are not pulling the security forces out of any place unless we see improvements.”

However, specifically commenting on the army civilian ratio, he said: “Army civilian ratio will be adjusted as time goes on.

“No one has said it is going to be that high all the time.” He acknowledged that there is lot of land under state’s control that can be given back to the public. – From The Asian Age

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