Army presence in the North has been reduced considerably with the end to the conflict and the number of military camps have come down to below 10, President Mahinda Rajapaksa said yesterday.
President Rajapaksa added that the strength of military personnel in the province has been reduced from 70,000 to 12,000 by the end of the war.
He said that there was an era when military camps were established in every corner of the region when the country was fighting the terrorists.
The President added that the number of military camps has been reduced to below 10 in the entire Northern province with the guns falling silent.
He stressed the importance of the presence of military personnel in all parts of the country.
President Rajapaksa emphasized that no community is allowed to overrun another community in the country.
The President was speaking at the opening of the Tellippalai Trail Cancer Hospital equipped with state of the art facilities to treat cancer patients. This Cancer Hospital has an Iodine Treatment Unit, Ultra Sound Scanner, Mobile Xray Unit, Counselling Service, Emergency Treatment Unit etc. The project was implemented by the Trail and Colors of Courage Organization.
Trail is a 27 day journey embarked upon in July 2011 which saw over 30,000 Sri Lankans joining hands to walk for a cause with a further 250,000 people contributing to give hope to those afflicted by cancer in the Northern Province.
All proceeds of this event were channelled for the construction of this hospital.
It is a brain child of co-founders of Trail Sarinda Unamboowe and Nathan Sivagananathan.
President Rajapaksa added that the government succeeded in restoring the lives of people in the Northern province within a very short time.
He added that the government was able to resettle thousand of civilians displaced by terrorist atrocities within a very short span of time.
"We cleared the areas dotted with mines and restored all infrastructure facilities," he said.
President Rajapaksa added that the government provided all basic facilities such as electricity, water and transport to the entire Northern province within a very short time.
"Over 14,000 ex-Tamil combatants were rehabilitated and reintegrated into society by the government," he added.
The President added that the government is committed to develop the Northern province.
"We provided our fullest assistance for the development of the Northern province and will render all assistance to ensure its development in the future too."
President Rajapaksa also presented awards to the co-founders of Trail Sarinda Unamboowe and Nathan Sivagananthan.
He also recognised the 10 persons who completed the 670 km walk from Dondra to Point Pedro successfully.
Ministers Maithripala Sirisena and Douglas Devananda, Governor G.A. Chandrasiri and Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswara were also present.