No deliberate attempt is being made to militarise the Tamil-dominated Northern Sri Lanka which saw the worst fighting between government troops and rebels during the protracted civil war, foreign minister, GL Peiris said on Wednesday.
Military personnel, he said were actually helping to rebuild the war-ravaged area and also aiding people to rebuild their lives.
“There were 65000 soldiers in the North during the war. Now, there are only 15000. They (the soldiers) are providing development. Helping the people to build houses. They have a symbiotic role with the community,” Peiris said.
When asked about human rights abuses allegedly committed by government troop, Peiris said very substantive action has been taken. “That is why the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meet will be held in Sri Lanka in November.”
He said post-conflict progress was being made though changes cannot happen overnight.
“The displaced have been resettled, demining has been done and more than 11600 detainees have been reintegrated in society after vocational training,” Peiris said.
He said the political solution to the issues that led to the civil war has to be “home grown, home spun.”
Peiris said provincial elections in the North will be held later this year and a Parliamentary selection committee is also looking into the possibility of changing the Constitution.