Over 6,000 Tamil youths were interviewed in the Jaffna peninsula on Monday for 1,000 posts of men and women police constables and drivers.

Police spokesperson Nimal Mediwake, DIG, said nearly 1,000 young Tamil women queued up for the interview along with their male counterparts.

The second and third rounds of the interviews will be conducted on Tuesday and Wednesday; to be followed by medical tests and other procedures.

The government proposes to open police stations in parts of the North and the East that were earlier under the control of the LTTE so that law and order issues are addressed by the police and the civil administration rather than by the Army.

For this purpose, the police need more Tamil-speaking police constables and officers. The police spokesperson said the recruitment drive was being conducted in most districts of the North and the East.

Earlier, the police undertook a similar exercise in Batticaloa district.

According to the police spokesperson, the last major recruitment drive in Jaffna was done in 1979 and subsequent drives did not elicit much response from the public. LTTE considered anyone associated with the security forces as not being loyal to the community.

The Defence Ministry website said interviews were called by word of mouth, without any media advertisements, and the applicants were interviewed by a panel of senior officials.

The issue of representation in the security forces is one of the grievances of the Tamil community and observers see the latest move as an effort by the government to redress it.

Meanwhile, the government received a donation of $5 million from the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees to enable it to purchase 10 machines to accelerate the de-mining programme in the North.

U.N. warning

Failure to rapidly resettle the nearly 2.5 lakh war displaced in northern Sri Lanka and their further suffering under harsh conditions in the government-run camps could result in growing bitterness, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon warned Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickramanayake on Tuesday.

In his meeting with Mr. Wickramanayake in New York on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly, Mr. Ban stressed the need to resolve the problem particularly in view of the approaching monsoons, while acknowledging the government’s efforts to address post-conflict challenges.

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