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“Army Troops will ensure safety to all communities,” assures Army Commander in Kandy

(UTV|COLOMBO) – Army Commander Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake visited Kandy last morning and took stock of developments taking place in the aftermath of the recent violence that sparked in the Digana, Galaha, Katugastota, Menikhinna, Ambetenna, Akurana, Poojapitiya and a few other areas.

At the outset, he paid obeisance to the Malwatta Chapter Maha Nayake Thera and met with Defence State Minister Ruwan Wijeywardene, before meeting with the Central Province Governor, Chief Minister, Security Forces Commander, Division 11 Commanding General Officer, senior Navy and Air Force Officers and a cross-section of civil administrators and moulavis in the upcountry.

In a separate meeting held at the Pallekele Security Force Headquarters – Central (SFHQ-C) Division 11 Headquarters, the Army Commander received a comprehensive briefing about the spate of incidents that led to ethnic tension and subsequent acts of violence. He underlined the importance of maintaining security surveillance in the affected areas, with the participation of tri-service personnel, while supporting the police to restore normalcy. He also made inquiries from both SF-C Commander Major General Rukmal Dias and Division 11 Commanding General Officer Major General Nissanka Ranawana, with regard to the deployment of troops in vulnerable areas and precautionary measures that have been adopted.

Afterwards, he also had separate meetings with the Central Province Governor and the Central Province Chief Minister Sarath Ekanayake, before visiting the central mosque (Maha Palliya).

More than 15 chief moulavis expressed their concerns on the prevailing developments in their respective areas and the need to strengthen security. They also insisted the continued presence of Army personnel in those areas. Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake said that he would provide full security to mosques and villages where Muslim communities reside.

“Troops would ensure the safety of all civilians and property and do everything possible to bring normalcy to affected areas soon. Army personnel would neither vacate those areas until security is guaranteed for all ethnic groups nor allow anyone to cause any further damage. I assure you the best of protection, since it is the duty of the Army to maintain peace in the country and guarantee the safety of all races. All ethnic groups have co-existed peacefully in this country for generations, in the spirit of brotherhood and understanding. We should understand that our mutual bonds of friendship should not be disturbed due to anti-social acts of a handful of saboteurs,” the Commander added.

“It is unfortunate to find that some outside elements who had come to Senkadagala, had created this situation. Senkadagala has a peaceful population and they would not resort to such actions,” the Commander said.

During his meeting with the Governor, Commander Senanayake, referring to a Presidential directive in this connection, told the Governor that the Army would be able to complete the reconstruction work of damaged buildings before the Vesak festival.

Commander Senanayake also visited a school where certain displaced civilians had sought temporary refuge.

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