Army assists Batticaloa church to hold feast | Daily News

EP returns to normalcy

Army assists Batticaloa church to hold feast

OOC Commander Major General Sathyapriya Liyanage speaks with Islamic religious leaders in Ampara on Tuesday. Inset: Troops stepped up security in the Eastern Province, as it returned to normalcy.
OOC Commander Major General Sathyapriya Liyanage speaks with Islamic religious leaders in Ampara on Tuesday. Inset: Troops stepped up security in the Eastern Province, as it returned to normalcy.

With the establishment of the Overall Operations Command (OOC) on Monday (29) evening, security operations conducted by Army, Navy, and Air Force troops and Police in the Western Province and Puttalam district came under the OOC for operational purposes.

Soon after the OOC was set up, additional troops with sister services and the Police intensified their emergency search and clear operations under the direction of the OOC Commander Major General Sathyapriya Liyanage, who is also Western Commander.

Rear Admiral W.A.S.S. Perera of the Navy, Air Vice Marshal W.L.R.P. Rodrigo of the Air Force and SP L.K.D. Anil Priyantha function as OOC Coordinating Officers of the Navy, Air Force and Police respectively and the OOC functions under the Chief of Defence Staff.

Troops and police enforced roadblocks, mobile patrols and conducted search operations in the general areas of Colombo, Matara, Dickwella, Bandarawela and several other areas.

Meanwhile, as the Eastern Province returned to near normalcy and the public reinforced their confidence in the Army, Major General Aruna Jayasekara on Tuesday (30) visited several major areas in the province and supervised the status quo.

In Thannamunai, Batticaloa, security provided by the Army enabled St Joseph’s Church to go ahead with its annual feast as planned, with more than 800 devotees and 125 Catholic priests attending the feast.

Bishop of Batticaloa Rt. Rev. Joseph Ponniah and the Bishop of Trincomalee met Major General Jayasekara and commended the Army for its ongoing security arrangements, as well as the security provided for the church feast amid existing threats.

Major General Jayasekara also visited Ampara and met several religious leaders, the Navy’s Eastern Commander, civil society leaders, senior Tri-Service and Police officers serving those areas and evaluated security developments in the presence of 24 Division General Officer Commanding Major General Mahinda Mudalige and respective Brigade Commanders under the 24 Division.

Similarly, Army troops prioritised the provision of security to the South Eastern University in Oluvil, Ampara, the main higher education institution in the East.

Major General Jayasekara also had separate meetings with Buddhist, Catholic and Islamic religious leaders in Batticaloa, Ampara, Polonnaruwa and Trincomalee and discussed measures that could be applied to maintain law and order and apprehend extremist elements in specific areas. In addition, Security Forces strengthened their searches in Kalmunai, Nintavur, Sainthamaruthu, Samanthurai, Kattankudy, Nappatthumunai, Pottuvil, Batticaloa and Ampara and handed over several suspects to the police in the respective areas, including one suspect with ISIS literature, swords and knives.

As of yesterday (1), Security Forces were continuing their operations in the Eastern region.


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