General Shavendra Silva, Chief of Defence Staff and Commander of the Army said that Army personnel on patrol atop Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs) and rider teams have been utilized for practical and economical purposes in the midst of the fuel crisis as those troop carrying vehicles have enough capacity to accommodate more personnel unlike in many other vehicles, rented by the Army on payment basis.
“Peaceful civilians need not at all be concerned or worried about the deployment of those vehicles on roads, and no incident related to those troops on troop carrier vehicles whatsoever has been reported to this hour as it is purely a mobile patrol for military purposes. Let me thank all law-abiding civilians for the support they have lent to our troops in the past 24 hours towards restoration of peace and facilitation of essentials in the country,” Gen. Silva said responding to quations from Journalists on Wednesday.
Referring to Wednesday’s meeting at Human Rights Commission (HRC), General Shavendra Silva said that he explained to the HRC as regards security developments that occurred Monday (9) after unruly mobs arrived at Galle Face esplanade. “The IGP sought the Army assistance in order to control the situation. We managed to send our troops there to prevent further escalation of the situation, but the mobs had by then left the location. This was all what I had to tell,” he added.
We all urge you to extend your maximum support to heroic members of our Armed Forces to maintain peace and normalcy in the country and help facilitate the transport of essentials, needed for civilians across the island. We are now observing a considerable decline of violent acts and certain attempts to incite two communities in Negombo area were also defused after deploying troops and bringing the situation under control, he added.
He said instructions have been given to the tri-services to stop vehicles without proper movement approvals. “Likewise, we appeal all of you to remain in your homes without disturbing our duties and not to move out to the roads as groups for any purposes,” he appealed.
In response to a question of a journalist, General Shavendra Silva said that the Armed Forces cannot allow more and more people to follow suit and resort to violence.
“We are a well experienced force and we are fully capable of managing with our own security and defence of the country, so we do not want any foreign forces to arrive here to restore law and order. We are fully capable of managing our own security affairs as professionally-qualified tri-servicemen,” General Shavendra Silva added.