July 23, Colombo: Sri Lanka Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe addressing a function in Jaffna on Sunday (22) said that no decision had been made to remove army camps in the North.
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said there is no basis for a news report published by two weekend newspapers that army camps in the North are being removed and he requests not to spread these rumors and "set the country on fire."
The Prime Minister recalled that the State Minister of Defense Ruwan Wijewardene and he, himself had previously stated in parliament that military camps in the North would not be removed.
"This morning I read the weekend newspapers. Divaina reports that "Order to remove army camps in North in 45 days". I also questioned whether the Chief Minister of the Northern Province has given the order. He has not given such an order. I asked the Army Commander about this. They haven't either. So who has given this order? Divaina Editor?"
The Premier said the army is reorganizing the battalions and during the process some officers are given administrative posts.
He said the terrorism is gradually being eliminated and with the economic development of the country the Army will leave. "We are not hiding anything. We will inform when the Army is to leave," he said.
Earlier the Sri Lanka Army clarifying its position on alleged removal of military camps in the north said the Army is rightsizing regularly and during the process the troops mainly deployed for administrative duties are relieved and mobilized for field duties to gain better productivity increase efficiency.
The Army said it certainly is not a disbanding of battalions, but is only a restructuring with the intention of distributing human and material resources equally among other battalions.