SLA starts recruitment drive

[TamilNet, Thursday, 06 May 1999, 23:34 GMT]
The Sri Lanka Army Chief of Staff and the Commander for the Vanni region, Major General Lionel Balagalle, has called for 3000 youths from all communities in the Vanni to join the army and restore law and order in the country by bringing an end to the war.

Major General Ballagalle's spokesman, Major Sam Jeyakody, made the statement at a press conference held at the SLA's Vavuniya office on Kandy Road this evening.

The press conference was organised by Captain Thilak Senanayake, the SLA's media officer in the Vanni, and local reporters said that he was present at the meeting.

Major Jayakody said the SLA has taken necessary steps to recruit 10,000 youths to the army throughout the country.

He said it has been decided to recruit 3000 youths frm Medawachchi, Anuradhapura, Padaviya, Veli Oya, Vavuniya and Mannar, areas of the Vanni that are under the control of the SLA.

He told the local press that Vanni is the main conflict area and it is the Vanni population that are most affected by the ongoing war.

"Therefore, it is the duty of the Vanni population to send their children to the army" he added.

Soldiers are killed and wounded in confrontations with the LTTE. Many are disabled by losing their limbs. At least 3 soldiers stay back when a large number of soldiers are sent on leave and therefore it is a must for the army to recruit time to time, Major Jayakody said.

He added that the recruited youngsters are not sent to the battle fields immediately. They are properly trained in various aspects to be full men to look after their own lives and also to be of professionals in their chosen fields.

If University students decide to join the army they will be allowed to continue with their studies. The recruitment drive is not just for fighters but also to work in engineering, construction and administration, Major Jeyakody said.

He said that the recruitment drive started on May 3 and it will be continued till May 21.


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