Army recruitment deadline extended

[TamilNet, Sunday, 23 May 1999, 12:02 GMT]
The Sri Lanka Army extended the deadline for the recruitment of Jaffna youths in to its ranks as no one had turned up for the walk-in interviews until yesterday evening.

In an advertisement placed in the Jaffna daily, 'Uthayan', the SLA called for prospective applicants to walk in interviews at its camps at Ariyaalai and Chavakachcheri, during the period between May 3 and 22.

This is the first time the army has sought recruits in Jaffna. The SLA attempted to recruit Tamil youth from the east last year. The effort yielded no recruits according to Tamil paramilitary groups operating with the SLA in Batticaloa.

Last year the Sri Lankan Government attempted to recruit Jaffna girls into its Reserve Police Force. Only one girl appeared for the interview, according to the sources.

There has been a mixed reaction from the Tamil para militaries who are operating with the SLA in its operations.

Leaders of the groups say that if their cadres are incorporated into the formal structure of the army they will be directly identified with the SLA who have been blamed for several atrocities against the Tamils.

However, some junior level cadres have welcomed the move as they might now be entitled to salary and other allowances that the SLA soldiers receive.

In a hard hitting editorial, the 'Uthayan' said "It is strange that (government) is recruiting Tamil youth to the army that is waging a war against the Tamil people. This is a plan to make only the Tamil youth cannon fodder in the war front".

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