SLA will relocate 152 military units in NE - Marapone

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 07 May 2003, 16:56 GMT]
Sri Lanka's defence minister Mr.Tilak Marapone Wednesday said his government has decided to relocate about one hundred fifty two Sri Lanka Army (SLA) units in the northeast province and the relocation would take place in a manner that will not endanger the national security of the country, sources said.

The Minister was addressing a press conference along with the former Indian lieutenant general Satish Nambiar Wednesday afternoon held at the office of the defence ministry, which was attended by the heads of three armed forces, sources said.

Mr.Marapone further said the government has decided to reduce the size of the high security zones in the northeast to ease civilian lives. "I along with Peoples Alliance parliamentarian Mr.Lakshman Kadirgamar would hold talks with Lieutenant General Satish Nambiar Thursday on the high security zone issue," Mr.Marapone said.

Minister pointed out that no one has asked the government to remove the HSZ in the northeast. But request has been made to the government to reduce the size of the HSZ. to allow resettlement of the internally displaced, he said.

"The Sri Lanka military has been instructed not to enter into any confrontation with the LTTE in areas under its control. The Sri Lanka government has not recognized the Sea Tigers as a legitimate naval unit. However we should accept the fact that the LTTE has naval unit and an army under its control. It will be foolish to say that the LTTE has no army or navy," said Defence Minister Mr.Tilak Marapone.

Lieutenant General Satish Nambiar said he has prepared the report on the high security zone issues with a view to take forward the present peace process. "My suggestions and proposals regarding the activities of the Sri Lanka Army should be based on supporting the present peace process. I have prepared my report on HSZ issue giving more importance to this objective," he added.

However Lieutenant General Nambiar declined to divulge the contents of his report, sources said.

The Nambiar report on HSZ issue will be submitted to the Prime Minister Mr.Ranil Wickremasinghe Thursday, defence ministry sources said.

 

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