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No need of military to contain Aava group - Minister

Law and Order Minister Ranjith Maddumabandara said he was confident the situation in Jaffna can be brought under control shortly and saw no reason to obtain military assistance.

Expressing his views on the recent statements made by the Army Commander regarding the Aava gangs in the North, the minister said there is no need for military assistance to control the Aava gang.

“Recently, I went to the North to find out details about this situation first hand and in fact these boys are between 16,18 and 20 years. They are trying to imitate South Indian films. However, the situation in the North is not as bad as the South portrays it to be. This situation only exists in the Chunnakam, Manipay, Kopay and Jaffna police divisions out of 53 police divisions in the North. Of these areas too the most significant gang activities are restricted to the Inuvill and Kokkuvil areas”.

These groups that began around 2011 have so far not committed any murders but have engaged in attacks using swords and knives.

However, we will not take these incidents lightly and we will take every measure possible to bring this situation under control.”

“The government is making a great effort to establish law and order in the country. As a government we have taken many steps to establish freedom and democracy in the country. Great efforts have also been taken to establish law and order in the country. These underworld activities are not those that commenced during our government. These underworld gang activities have a long history. However, most of these gang violence is among these underworld gang members. But, having said that we cannot keep our eyes closed. Most of these gunmen are those who had fled the army, but the police is taking every possible measure to bring these offenders to book.”

He noted that there are some who allege that the crime rate in the country has risen. “However, as the subject minister I must emphasize that based on facts and figures available, it clearly shows a decline in the number of murders, rape, theft etc. However, I have instructed the police to continue with their efforts and increase their operations. The Special task Force too plays a big role in this effort. We also need to strengthen the intelligence service further.

If we are to safeguard the government and the police from these accusations, then we must act accordingly,”Minister Maddumabandara said.

Minister Maddumabandara assured that the situation in the North is still within our control and the government will not allow it to escalate out of control at any cost. As the minister in charge of the police he gave this assurance adding that for various reasons these children have gone in the wrong path due to various social factors and if the military is used to control them, it will send a wrong message to the world. “On the other hand, we don’t need to establish military rule in the country. Hence, I see the statement by the Army Commander as a very inappropriate statement.

I will hold discussions with the President and Prime Minister regarding obtaining the assistance of the military in controlling the underworld and the drug menace in the country,” he said.