Sri Lanka Army role in Jaffna minimal: Army chief

July 13, 2012 (LBO) –Sri Lanka Army’s involvement in civilian affairs in the former war zone has become ‘very minimal’ three years after it crushed the separatist Tamil Tigers and helped restore normalcy in the region, a top military officer said. Army chief Lieutenant General Jagath Jayasuriya told reporters that the Army is confined to barracks in Jaffna and will only play an active role if its help is needed for post conflict development.

“The Army is already in the barracks. When we are called upon we go,” Army chief Lieutenant General Jagath Jayasuriya said in a briefing in Colombo.

“Like any other army we were engaged in post conflict action to help the government machinery to restore everything back to normal, we are glad to say we have done that in three years.”

Sri Lanka Army is heavily involved in post war reconstruction, rehabilitation and resettlement efforts in the North and East where thousands of civilians were displaced due to heavy fighting between government forces and the Tamil Tigers.

“Reconstruction work we do it beyond civilian capacity. We do it faster and I m sure people appreciate it,” Jayasuriya said.

The Army says military strength in Jaffna has reduced to ten thousand troops from about forty five