Colombo & Jaffna Media Educated on Release of Land to Civilians

2015_06_10_6A team of media personnel representing 44 electronic and print media based in Colombo and Jaffna visited lands newly released from the Palaly Military Cantonment in order to get firsthand experience on the process on June 10, 2015. They were initially educated on release of lands in different stages since the end of the Humanitarian Operation in 2009 during briefing conducted at Headquarters Security Force – Jaffna (SF-J), Palaly.

Responding to questions raised by journalists during briefing, Commander SF-J Major General Nandana Udawatta revealed that 99.44% of contaminated areas have been cleared of mines and humanitarian demining is being continued by the Army Engineers and foreign demining agencies in the remaining area.

He further added that Jaffna is safe in the aspect of security and no terrorist activity has disturbed the Jaffna life after the war ended. Journalists from both government and private media firms joined the visit organized by the Media Centre, Ministry of Defence.

The delegation was headed by Military Spokesman Brigadier Jayanath Jayaweera. Senior officers of the SF – J were also present on the media briefing.

http://www.cimicjaffna.lk/Cimicnews_2015_06_10.php

Mine Awareness Programme by Army Engineers Continues

classroom

Nearly 250 students and teachers and over 100 adults took part in two mine awareness programmes organized by the 10 Field Sri Lanka Engineers of the Sri Lanka Army early this month. To educate the children and villagers of respective areas and prevention of hazardous incidents occurred due to explosion of mines and UXOs (Unexploded Explosive Ordnance) was the purpose of those programmes.

The first was organized on 04th at Iyakkachchi and the second was at Nagarkovil with assistance of the Halo Trust. Participants were educated to keep the closest security authority informed if one such item was seen without trying to test it.

Army is continuously organizing these programmes in affected areas and getting positive response from the civilians.

mines

http://www.cimicjaffna.lk/Cimicnews_2014_04_27.php

Our preparations for Geneva

946826684glBy K. Godage

Former Ambassador

I was happy to read that Mr. Lalith Weeratunge and Dr. G.L. Peiris would be going out to Geneva to brief missions of countries in the HRC, whatever briefing/ publicity we can give to what we have achieved so far and what we intend to do will not be a waste of time.

This approach is certainly what is called for, not sending a large delegation during the Sessions to lobby delegates as we did a few years ago; most countries decide on their positions on Resolutions such as those relating to countries such as ours, before the Session commences. Former Ambassadors such as Jayantha Dhanapala. Pallihakkara, Nihal Rodrigo {who is an Advisor to His Excellency] and Bernard Goonetilleke would bear me out.

I have often wondered as to what the government’s strategy is to counter these anti-Sri Lanka Resolutions. In the first instance, as the government is already doing, we need to continue to reach out to the Tamil people in a meaningful manner and encourage the Tamil people to reach out to the Sinhalese and Muslim communities. The Tamil community in particular, along with all other communities of our country must continue to enjoy the hard won freedom in every sense of that word; they also need to feel secure and have opportunities to pursue livelihoods of their choice; another important value for the Tamil people in particular is Education, in this regard I am, aware that those who take the trouble to find out about the progress within the country are more than happy with what the government has done since the war ended, to improve the education facilities in the region. In this regard I would urge the government to continue its good work in spite of attempts by pro LTTE elements to divert its attention and create a rift between minor communities and the government.

The government, I presume, has prepared Documentaries that can be shown to the international community. Such Documentaries, perhaps prepared by foreign companies under our supervision of course, would have greater credence and acceptance. We should also establish a Reconciliation Commission which should be headed by a committed person such as Professor Rajiva Wijesinha, the Advisor on Reconciliation to the President, who is well informed and has worked tirelessly to challenge the baseless accusations made by the pro LTTE individuals and organizations. We should without further delay also establish a local commission with three retired judges of the Supreme Court to inquire into what happened in the last days of the conflict, when we saved the lives of over three hundred thousand civilians.

We could then without doubt, give the lie to the horrendous charge that 40,000 were killed in the closing stages of the war on terrorism. Let us call upon those who are making this wild accusation to come up with proof before the Commission, giving the names of those whom they claim were killed. We could also commission an independent body, comprising respected Sri Lankans from a range of professional fields, to document the history of the war and record the deaths that have resulted from targeted terrorist activity – this needs to include the support lent by any organisations and certain countries to the terrorists, which has enabled them to continue their war against the State. Continue reading