Despite continued calls for the de-militarisation of the North-East, Sri Lankan military constructed a new tennis court exclusively for the use of its soldiers inside its military headquarters in Mullaitivu last month.
Mullaitivu, one of the most heavily militarised districts in the North-East, has as many as one soldier for every two civilians, according to a report released last year. Tamils have been calling on the government to de-militarise the region, where the military continues to occupy vast swathes of private land.
Yet, last month, the military announced that instead of demilitarising the region, it had constructed a tennis court, “which remained a need for residents and under command formations” according to an official military website.
At a military ceremony to declare open the court, soldiers from the 18 Vijayabahu Infantry Regiment (VIR) and 14 Sri Lanka Artillery (SLA) played matches.