While asserting the right of the government to station its military anywhere in Sri Lanka, an Army Board has told its government that “military bases should be located in such a manner so as to cause minimum inconvenience to the public”.
This is part of the recommendations Board has made, acting on the the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) report. A major problem pointed by civilians in the north was that Armed forces had taken over large chunks of their land, and that the Army was present in all aspects of daily life.
No function could be held without a representative from the local detachment present, Tamil political parties had alleged.
It wanted the activities of voluntary organisations monitored by the Defence Ministry for security reasons. “It must be noted that throughout the three decades of war, the LTTE was supported by certain IOs/INGOs/NGOs. Therefore for security reasons it is imperative to monitor their activities…The committee recommends that screening and control of all IOs/INGOs/NGOs should be done under the supervision of the Ministry of Defence to ensure that undesirable elements will not jeopardise the national security,” it said.
While wanting liaison officers to be appointed to keep in touch with civilian government, since the Armed Forces were still involved in development work, it recommended a gradual withdrawal of armed forces from all public security duties. It also wanted the Armed Forces to implement programmes to foster communal harmony. In a far reaching suggestion, it wanted to develop a separate doctrine for internal war situations and wanted a Tri Service Board to formulate new rules of engagement.