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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 921

Army Commander Handed over Report on LLRC Recommendations to Secretary Defence

Colombo, 25 January, (Asiantribune.com):

The report on recommendations of the Board of Officers appointed by the commander of the army, on implementation of the recommendations made by the the LLRC was yesterday officially handed over to the Secretary of Defence and Urban Development Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

The LLRC, in its Final Report made a number of recommendations with regard to the institutional, administrative and legislative measures that need to be taken in order to prevent any recurrence of terrorism and to promote national unity and reconciliation among all the communities.

Taking note of the recommendations made by the LLRC, the Army commander appointed a Board of Officers to study the LLRC report and identify areas which are relevant to the field of Army, and to formulate a viable action plan to address the specific areas as depicted said an army press release.

Responding to the questions Secretary of Defence reiterated that "We have a professional military, and we fought in a very professional manner. He also emphasized that, professional military applies Principle of War in a battle and also professional troops are always well disciplined. The defeat of the ruthless LTTE terrorists was carried out in a professional and transparent way.

Defence Secretary responding to another question said that many countries have expressed interest to strengthen military cooperation with Sri Lanka and vice versa. Secretary Defence said that, anyone is free to visit the liberated former theatre of conflict and get a first hand idea of the present situation.
Another report prepared by a Court of Inquiry to look in to the LLRC observations on casualties and deaths due to the activities of the armed forces would also be handed over to the Secretary Defence in the near future.

Given below the full text of the press release issued regarding the Army Report on LLRC Recommendations Handed Over to Secretary Defence

Commander of the Army Lieutenant General Jagath Jayasuriya on Thursday (24) handed over the Report of the Board of Officers on the Implementation of the Recommendations made by the LLRC to Mr Gotabaya Rajapakasa, Secretary Defence and Urban Development during a media briefing at Ministry of Defence auditorium.

The LLRC, in its Final Report made a number of recommendations with regard to the institutional, administrative and legislative measures that need to be taken in order to prevent any recurrence of terrorism and to promote national unity and reconciliation among all the communities.

Taking cognizance of the recommendations, made by the LLRC, the Commander of the Army appointed a Board of officers, comprised of Major General Kamal Gunarathne, Brigadier Senaka Wickramarathne, Brigadier Aruna Wanniarachchi, Brigadier Vijitha Ravipriya, Brigadier Suraj Bansajaya and Lieutenant Colonel Piyal Wijesiriwardhane to study the LLRC report and identify areas that are relevant to the Army and formulate a viable Action Plan to address the specific areas, so identified.

The aforesaid Board of Officers took areas such as education of members of the armed forces in Human Rights Law and International Humanitarian Law, safeguard of civilians, promotion of tri-lingual use, raising standards of quality of soldiers and LLRC recommendations on specific investigations and allegations into consideration inter alia.

The Board has at the very outset observed that most of the recommendations made by the LLRC such as re-settlement of IDPs, rehabilitation of ex LTTE cadres, disarming of militant groups, de-mining, etc have already been implemented and such recommendations are no longer relevant.

Here follows the summary of recommendations, made by the Board which was tabled by Brigadier Ranjith Rajapathirana, Director, Directorate of Legal Services at Army Headquarters.

a. The Board concludes that the Army had taken all the precautions to avoid civilian casualties during the Humanitarian Operation. However, in order to eliminate/minimize collateral damage in future operations, the Board has recommended to re-evaluate all military disciplines, such as infantry tactics, special operations, artillery fire, armour employment, joint operations, etc in relation to Military Operations in Urban Terrain (MOUT) and to formulate new doctrines covering these disciplines.

b. The Board also recommends to formulate Joint Operation military doctrines, incorporating new tactical methodologies and utilization of high tech equipment.

c. The Board observes that at present, International Humanitarian Law (IHL) principles, applicable to internal war situations have not adequately addressed various complex issues and the existing rules are seemingly applied to state actors only. Further, there are no specific guidelines with regard to the role of international humanitarian agencies in internal war situations. Hence, the Board recommends to formulate new domestic rules, covering internal war situations.

d. During the 30-year old war, non-proficiency in Tamil and English languages had placed the Sri Lanka Army members at a great disadvantage. Therefore, the Board recommends that in line with the Government’s Tri-lingual policy, members of the armed forces should develop proficiency in two or more languages and Tamil and English language teaching programmes should be given priority and incentives to be given for those acquiring two or more languages.

e. The Board notes that even at present there is a well-coordinated mechanism in place to ensure the welfare of war heroes’ families and the disabled war heroes. The Board recommends to establish a separate Directorate at the Army Headquarters, called the Directorate of Veteran Affairs (DVA), along the lines of the Veteran Affairs programme in the US, to coordinate civil-military agencies handling welfare of war hero families, disabled war heroes, and administration of Ranaviru Villages.

f The Board agrees that in many countries the Police do come under the Home Ministry or Provincial Administration. However, the Board notes that such countries do not face widespread internal disorders. Conversely, the Police in some countries that face internal threats have proved to be total failures. Therefore the Board recommends that the Sri Lanka Police be placed under the Ministry of Defence at all times and it proposes that a Ministry of Defence Board should study and make recommendations with regard to the Role of the Police in insurgencies and terrorism.

g. With regard to the presence of Military bases in the North and East, the Board observes that the Government has an absolute right to maintain its armed forces anywhere in the Island, according to the country’s strategic and security needs. The Board also notes that military bases are located causing minimum inconvenience to the public and in the aftermath of the Humanitarian Operation, all High Security Zones and many lands previously occupied by the armed forces have been released to the public. However, the Board recommends that the Army should appoint special boards, covering the 4 Security Forces Headquarters that are located in the North and East (Jaffna, Kilinochchi, Mullaittivu, Wanni and East) to examine in detail with regard to the lands, presently occupied by the Army and only those lands that are vitally required for security purposes to be retained and such lands be legally acquired at the market value and in addition, owners should be given alternative lands.

Brigadier R.Wanigasuriya, Military Spokesman conducted the event’s proceedings.

For Full Report: http://www.army.lk/docimages/image/LLRC_2013.pdf

- Asian Tribune -

Army Commander Handed over Report on LLRC Recommendations to Secretary Defence
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