A 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.
The first English Language Course – 2014 for officers serving in Jaffna ended on Thursday (11) with award of certificates in Multi Facility Complex auditorium at Headquarters Security Force Jaffna. Thirty one commissioned officers representing all military formations in Jaffna received credentials of language proficiency in a grand ceremony.
Student officers conducted the whole programme consisted of an End of Course Concert and the award ceremony. They displayed their talents and language skills acquired from the course during the concert which included varieties of entertainment with Shakespearean drama.
Officers with excellent performance received their certificates and awards from Major General Nandana Udawatta, Maser General Ordnance at Army Headquarters, Chief Guest of the event. Manager British Council Jaffna Ms Manda Brown and Commander Security Force Major General Udaya Perera also gave away certificates. Arrangements were made by the Headquarters Security Force (Jaffna) for parents and family members of officers of the course to witness the event.
The English course was a part of academic and military training programme organized by the Headquarters Security Force Jaffna on the concept of transforming the SF (J) to a learning organization. Chief Guest impressed with the presentation of student officers thanked Maj. Gen. Udaya Perera for his initiative to make his officers competent in effective communication. Using instructors from Jaffna education field to conduct the language teaching was praised by the Chief Guest who stated that it would strengthen the relationship between Army and civilians. Mr. Sri Rajkumar Kanapathipillai and Mr. Aravinthan Vadivel assisted Army English instructors to improve the language skill of officers during the period of three months.
Commander SF (J) citing examples from different learning situations highlighted the importance of English as a key to professional development and the enhancement of knowledge.
Member of British Council academic and coordinating staff, Senior officers of Army, Navy and Air Force, Jaffna university students and representatives from education and media sector were also present.
The 3rd and 4th batches of soldiers who followed an intensive Tamil language course in Jaffna received certificates at a pompous ceremony held on Friday (29) evening at Kakesanthurai with participation of educationists, distinguished guests and well wishers in Jaffna.
A total of 1815 Army members serving under Security Force Jaffna (SF-J) attended the one month course conducted by Army and civilian instructors at Brigade and battalion level. Tamil language programme for SF-J officers and men commenced early this year on concept of Commander SF-J Major General Udaya Perera with intention of enabling soldiers to communicate effectively with local population so that mutual relationship could be improved. Establishing the identity of the Army as a national organization is another motive of organizing this language course. A plan is underway to make each and every soldier serving in Jaffna competent in communicating in Tamil by September 2015 through such Tamil language courses.
Prof. Vasanthi Arsaratnam, Vice Chancellor University of Jaffna graced the occasion as Chief Guest. Appreciating the genuine effort of teaching Tamil to soldiers, the VC said it would pave the way to effective communication between Security Force personnel and civilians. She further said that all universities are planning to start Tamil language courses for Sinhalese students and Sinhala for Tamil students.
Earlier, 1476 officers and other ranks were given similar training in Batch number 1 and 2. Batch number 5 is presently undergoing language training at respective places. Reverend members of clergy, Commander SF-J Major General Udaya Perera and Distinguished gusts such as former VC of University of Jaffna Prof. Balasundaram Pillai and Senior DIG Northern Province Mr. Poojith Jayasundara also distributed certificates to course participants and awards to those with higher performance.
Course participants presented a short Tamil play exhibiting the knowledge they gained.
General Officer Commanding 52 Division Major General Priyantha Jayasundara coordinated the training programme.
To mark the World Nature Conservation Day, soldiers of the Security Force Jaffna conducted many echo-friendly projects encompassing the whole peninsula on Monday (28). Removing plastics and polythene wastes on the beach and land by the soldiers serving in respective areas took place with the help of civilians and different organizations.
Meanwhile, the 523 Brigade of Kachchai organized a campaign to plant herbal plants in the premises of Kaithady Ayurvedic Teaching hospital on Monday.At the same time, a number of tree planting programmes were conducted by the soldiers throughout the island.
Director of the Ayurvedic hospital Dr. Mrs. Prema Sivasanmugaraja, Dean Faculty of Indigenous Medicine Dr. S. Sivasanmugaraja and Commander 523 Brigade Brigadier Athula Marasinghe also attended the herbal tree planting campaign.
Making a history in the field of football in Jaffna, a team of experienced coaches and players from the USA arrived in Jaffna to conduct coaching camps for youths and schoolchildren this week.
With coordination of Security Force Jaffna (SF – J), Mr. Gregg Davis, Mr. Evan Davis, Charles Johnson and Rodney Petersheim with their team leader Mr. Mathew Billman of Soccer Outreach Association, Pennsylvania conducted a three day coaching camp at Durayappah Stadium on 21st, 22nd and 23rd of July. Commander Security Force Jaffna Major General Udaya Pererra attended the inauguration ceremony on Monday (21).
About 375 youths from different leagues in Jaffna, Valikamam and Islands administrative divisions and schoolchildren took part in the programme. One motive of organizing this sports camp is to inculcate qualities such as patience, equality, courage and acceptance of victory and defeat alike. It helps eradicate war mentality and assist the process of reconciliation.
A similar programme which gives training to players in Thenmaratchci and Vadamaratchi administrative divisions will be held at St. Michael’s grounds in Nelliady from 25th to 27th instant.
President Sri Lanka Football Federation Mr. Ranjith Rodrigo assisted the Army to organize the coaching camp. Commander 553 Brigade Colonel Vijith Subasinghe coordinated it on behalf of the Security Force Jaffna.
The six day training programme organized by Security Force Jaffna (SF – J) for senior Army officers serving in Jaffna on Mass Communication and Mass Media successfully ended on 19th July with award ceremony at Kankesanthurai Thalsevana Holiday Resort.
Brigade Commanders, Battalion Commanders and senior staff officers attended the course organized on concept of Commander SF – J Major General Udaya Perera. Jaffna intellectuals such as Rev. Fr. Ruban Mariyampillai, Lecturer in mass communication and mass media of Jaffna University and former Vice Chancellor of Jaffna University Prof. S. Balasundarampillai, Military Spokesman Brigadier Ruwan Wanigasooriya and journalists from Colombo conducted lectures and practical sessions during the course.
Maj. Gen. Udaya Perera and senior officers handed over certificates to participants and awards to student officers who showed best performance.
Commander Security Force Jaffna (SF – J) Major General Udaya Perera said that language has the power to build unity among the communities. So Sinhalese must learn Tamil and Tamils must learn Sinhalese.
He expressed these ideas attending a ceremony to distribute awards and certificates to 1122 soldiers who successfully completed a Tamil Language Course conducted by the Headquarters Security Force Jaffna (SF – J). During ceremony organized at Kankesanthurai on Thursday (05) evening, 12 officers and 1110 other ranks received certificates and awards according to their order of merit obtained in the tests conducted at the end of the course.
Exhibiting their language proficiency, students of Course No. 1 and Course No 2 presented playlet for the entertainment of the audience comprising distinguished guests.
To facilitate easy and uninterrupted communication with civilians in performing duties, Security Force Jaffna, on concept of the Commander SF – J Major General Udaya Perera, has planned to give Tamil language training to all officers and men serving in Jaffna.
Professional in the field of language teaching in Jaffna and soldiers who were trained at the Army Tamil Language Training school, Kotmale conducted lectures.
Rev. D.S. Rathnasabapathipillai Kurukkal of Maviddapuram Sri Skantha Temple, Vicar General Jaffna Rev. Fr. Dr. Justin P. Gnanaprakasam, Government Agent Jaffna Mr. S. Arumainayagam and Ms Agnes Asekenye Oonyu, Head, UN Office for Coordinating Humanitarian Affairs also joined Maj. Gen. Udaya Perera in awarding certificates.
Sri Lanka was able to complete demining in human settlement areas in the shortest period of time on record, said Ministry of Defence Spokesman and MOD Media Centre Director Brigadier Ruwan Wanigasuriya .
He made these observations at a press conference held at the MOD Media Centre, Kollupitiya, yesterday. “Sri Lanka heads the list of countries which had completed demining in areas earmarked for human settlement, and farming lands, within the shortest period of time under international standards in the aftermath of the elimination of terrorism,” Brigadier Wanigasuriya said.
He added that 1.1 million landmines and explosives that were strewn by the LTTE terrorists have been recovered by the Security Forces and other groups that were engaged in the demining program. Countries such as Vietnam and Cambodia have not yet been completely demined after several decades since the end of conflict in those countries.
Brigadier Wanigasooriya said Sri Lanka was able to demine areas for human settlement and their farming lands a hundred percent and there is only 82 square kilometers to be demined out of the 2,064 square kilometres that was strewn with landmines, claymores, high explosives etc by the LTTE before terrorism was eliminated. He added the area that has to be demined is in the thick jungles and the demining program is in progress. Brigadier Wanigasuriya stated that the demining is conducted not as per Sri Lankan standards but under UN Demining Program standards.
He added that when demining was completed, such areas were inspected and guaranteed by UNDP officials before lands were handed over to the civilians. He also added that of the demined lands, more than 70 percent was demined by the Security Forces. The rest was deminded by local and foreign NGOs. He further said that Sri Lanka could humbly be proud of its success in the demining program within a short period of time as none of the countries have been able to achieve such a degree of success in demining after a conflict was ended. He added that mines in countries such as Vietnam, Cambodia etc have not yet been completely removed, though years after conflict.
Celebrating the birth of the Prince of Peace, Security Forces – Jaffna (SF-J) organized Christmas Carol on 27th evening with participation of catholic priests, distinguished guests and a gathering of civilians.
The event was organized for the fourth consecutive year on directives of Commander Security Forces Jaffna Major General Mahinda Hathurusinghe at Civil Affairs and Public Relations Office on hospital road. Opening prayer was conducted by Rev. Fr. Reggie Rajeswaran of the church of Our Lady of Refuge, Jaffna. It was followed by reciting of hymns by children of Iruppalai Canaan Prayer Centre, Kondavil Assembly of God Church and the soldiers of SF-J.
During the carol service, Santa Claus distributed Christmas gifts among children present to witness the event.
Later, the choir on board a gaily decorated vehicle toured to many areas including Passiyur, Gurunagar, Navanthurai and city centre till midnight.
Celebrating “Deevali” festival that fell on Saturday (02), Security Forces Headquarters –Jaffna (SF-J) decorated and illuminated roads in the Jaffna town. Commander 512 Brigade, based in Jaffna town Colonel Ajith Pallawala and senior officers illuminated the Hospital road at auspicious time. Soldiers then lit up either side of the roads with coconut oil lamps.
Security Forces Headquarters –Jaffna annually celebrates this festival with assistance of people in the town.