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Another militarised Tamil New Year across the North-East

The Sri Lankan military held a series of events across the North-East once again this week, to mark the start of the Tamil New Year.

Events were held in Kilinochchi, Mullaitivu and Vanni at Sri Lankan army bases, with Tamil civilians, including children invited to take part. Sri Lankan commanders oversaw events, which involved soldiers taking part in activities and games.

The commander of the Sri Lankan army, Lieutenant General A W J C De Silva, marked the occasion with the release of a statement praising Sri Lankan soldiers and stating “it is the prime responsibility of all members of the Army to protect our motherland, its citizenry, to assist in developing the country and to strive to make 2016 the year of achievement”.

“Let me pay my tribute to all the war heroes who made the supreme sacrifice, suffered injuries and are recovering from injuries as well as to the serving members of the Army for their commitment and perseverance,” he said.

“I once again, thank all the Officers, Other Ranks and Civilian Staff for the innumerable contributions they have made in the interest of sustaining peace and security in our Motherland. In conclusion, I wish you all continued strength and wisdom in performing your duties and bringing together all Sri Lankans in the interest of a unitary nation.”

The Sri Lankan military held similar events last year, which continued to draw criticism from Tamil leaders.

See our earlier posts:

Pray for life without militarisation at this Tamil new year says Wigneswaran (14 Apr 2015)

Tamil New Year in the militarised Vanni (14 Apr 2015)