Gothabaya visits Jaffna, confers with Jaffna SLA commanders

[TamilNet, Sunday, 16 July 2006, 08:56 GMT]
The Sri Lankan Defence Secretary and the brother of the SL President, Gothabaya Rajapakse, on Sunday, paid a visit to the 51-2 Brigade Head Quarters in Jaffna town amid high security. Civilian traffic was blocked on the road when Mr. Rajapakse landed in the old Dutch Fort area of the town in a Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) helicopter and transported in an armoured vehicle towards the 51-2 HQ. Top officials of the SL Navy, Air Force and Army from Colombo were in Jaffna to confer future course of military actions, SLA sources said. The officials visited Forward Defence Lines in several locations in Jaffna Peninsula to give morale boost to the troopers.

Major General GA Chandrasiri, the Sri Lankan Commander of the Security Forces Headquarters Jaffna SF HQ (J), received the delegation at Palaly military complex on Saturday.

Mr. Gothabaya Rajapakse
The delegation toured SL Forward Defence Lines (FDL) in Nagarkovil and Muhamalai that border Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) controlled territory. The team inspected the Sri Lankan naval base at Kililai.

The delegation also toured the Kankesanthurai port and Karainagar sea bases of the Sri Lanka Navy.

A special conference, where all commanders of the Sri Lankan brigades in Jaffna were summoned, was called on to brief the future course of actions in Jaffna, the sources added. The security of the coastal areas was the special focus of the conference, informed sources said.

Gothabaya Rajapakse was appointed as defence secretary by his brother, Mahinda Rajapakse, who is the Sri Lankan President and the Commander-in-Chief of the SL forces.

Gothabaya's visit to Jaffna comes after the attack on Sri Lanka Army commander, Lieutenant General G. S. C Fonseka, who had visited his former theatre of war at the end of March, 2006, before he was attacked.

Mr Gothabaya Rajapakse served under Fonseka in Jaffna at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel when Fonseka was a Colonel, when both were forced to rescue the Sri Lankan troopers from the fort of Jaffna that was captured by the Tigers.

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