Committee to study problems of security forces

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 07 March 2000, 14:03 GMT]
The Sri Lankan President appointed a special committee today to investigate and report on the problems troubling the Sri Lankan security forces. The move comes in the wake of a poor response to a concerted drive to recruit fifteen thousand soldiers and the continuing failure to rope in more than fifteen thousand deserters who are still at large.

dharmasiri_senanayake-p.gifThe committee has been mandated to examine all aspects of problems currently faced by the Sri Lankan security forces and also to look into issues concerning the welfare of the rank and file. It has been directed by the President to submit its report in two months.

Gen. Anuruddha Ratwatte, the deputy Minister of Defence who was personally involved in the day to day running of the war against the Liberation Tigers since 1995 is not on the committee. However, the secretary to the Ministry of Defence or a representative of his will co-ordinate with the committee according to the Presidential secretariat.

lankan_mil_parade.jpgThe chairman of the committee is minister for Civil Aviation and Tourism Mr.Dharmasiri Senanayaka. The other members are Minister for Labour Mr.John Seneviratne and Minister for Mahaweli Development Maithripala Sirisena.

The Sri Lankan security forces, particularly the army, has steadily been losing its attraction as an employer due to complaints about lack of any R and R, due leave and transfers etc., despite the higher than average salaries and incentives on offer.

A Sri Lankan government source said this afternoon that it was important to rectify these problems as they seem to be at root of the general perception unemployed youth have of the army that makes them reluctant to join up. Once these matters are addressed adequately the Sri Lankan army would be able to draw more youth to its ranks he added.


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