(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) –Fifty unemployed youths in the Jaffna peninsula including rehabilitated former LTTE combatants who have now joined the Sri Lanka Army under the militarized category, reported for non-military duties on Thursday (15) at the Security Force Headquarters-Jaffna (SFHQ-J), adding a new chapter of goodwill, understanding and reconciliation between civilians and members of the Security Forces.
The new initiative was launched by Major General Darshana Hettiarachchi, Commander, Security Forces-Jaffna (SF-J) in close coordination with the Bureau of the Commissioner General of Rehabilitation and other state officials in the peninsula with the blessings of the Commander of the Army who pioneered the project in the peninsula when he was the Jaffna Commander.
The 50 recruits are entitled to a monthly salary of Rs. 40,000 in addition to many other privileges. They are provided with meals, transport, medicine and pension rights in the Army on retirement.
Their family members including parents have access to Army medical facilities depending on their marital status.
They were deployed basically on the Army farm in the Palaly Army Cantonment where a massive coconut cultivation project is now underway to grow 100,000 coconut trees to be in parallel with the ongoing national drive for tree planting. By early this week, the SFHQ-J has planted 8,000 coconut saplings inside the farm.
On Thursday (15), a simple ceremony welcomed the 50 new recruits at the SFHQ-J Headquarters on the first day of working. The SF-J Commander underlined the importance of the employments and the service expected of them to the Army during their eight hours of stay on the farm.
He also appealed the young men and women to work with commitment as Sri Lankan nationals of one family while taking care of their own future. Commander, SF-J, Colonel General Staff, SFHQ-J and the Officer in Charge of the Army Farm, Palaly were present.