Sunday, November 11, 2007

92,648 new recruits to SL security forces since Mahinda came to power

The government's newest MP Basil Rajapaksa yesterday said a large number of youth had joined the security forces since President Mahinda Rajapaksa came to power and sought the support of all political parties including the main opposition UNP, the TNA and the JVP to crush terrorism and bring peace to the country.

In his maiden address in Parliament during the emergency debate, Rajapaksa said the TNA should support the government because the Tamils were those who suffered most as a result of the conflict.

Rajapaksa said the UNP was the party that suffered most due to LTTE terrorism, losing several great leaders like R. Premadasa, Gamini Dissanayake, Lalith Athulathmudali and Ranjan Wijeratne.

He said, therefore, the UNP should help the government to wipe out terrorism."We can indulge in politics after defeating terrorism. Even during the Second World War the political leaders were united to face the war," he said. Rajapaksa also thanked the JVP for supporting the government while criticizing it at the same time.

He also told the House that India had assisted the government in an unprecedented manner in the fight against terrorism. He said that the government had not deviated from its stand to work out a political solution to the problem while negotiating matters with democratic Tamil leaders.

Meanwhile speaking during the debate on the extension of the emergency MP Rajapaksa said that the government had also recruited 34,900 persons to the Civil Defence Force (CDF) to be deployed to provide security to villages identified as vulnerable to terrorist threats. He said that 10,548 youths had been recruited to the police and another over 1000 to the Special Task Force while procuring modern arms and ammunition to replenish the arsenal of the security forces which had been depleted at that time.

The MP said that 31,588 youths had joined the army during the last two years, while 10,891 joined the navy and 4621 the air force after President Mahinda Rajapaksa ascended to power.

Mr. Rajapaksa pointed out that the government identified 566 villages in the districts of Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Trincomalee, Batticaloa, , Vavuniya and Ampara, as being in the danger of being attacked by the LTTE."Home guards who are now attached to the CDF have been stationed at these villages for the security of the people. Every month the government spends Rs. 400 million as salaries to these persons. These moneys are now in ciculation in these villages," he said.

Of this amount, Rs.137 million is spent on a monthly basis for 147 villages in Anuradhapura, Rs.60 million for 93 villages in Polonnaruwa and Rs. 10 million for 49 villages in Trincomalee.