With establishment of the Overall Operations Command (OOC) on Monday (29) evening, security operations, being conducted by all Army, Navy, Air Force troops and Police areas within the Western Province and Puttalam District came under the OOC for operational purposes, as additional troops with sister services and the Police in the past 24 hours intensified their emergency search and clear operations under the command of the OOC, commanded by Major General Sathyapriya Liyanage, Overall Operational Commander who is also the Commander Security Forces - West.
Rear Admiral W.A.S.S Perera of the Navy, Air Vice Marshal W.L.R.P Rodrigo of the Air Force and Superintendent of Police L.K.D Anil Priyantha function as Coordinating Officers of Navy, Air Force and the Police in the OOC respectively and the OOC functions under the Chief of Defence Staff.
In the past 24 hours, those troops and Policemen enforced road blocks, mobile patrols and conducted search operations in the general areas of Colombo, Matara, Dickwella, Bandarawela and several other areas.
Meanwhile, as violence-hit part of the eastern region has returned to near normalcy and the general public reinforcing their full confidence in the Army, Major General Aruna Jayasekara Tuesday (30) visited several major areas in the East and supervised the status quo.
In Batticaloa, Thannamunai, security provided by the Army enabled St Joseph’s Church to go ahead with its annual feast and divine Pooja as planned with hundreds of devotees attending it. More than 800 devotees and 125 Catholic priests were present at this feast. Bishop of Batticaloa Rt Rev Joseph Ponniah and Bishop of Trincomalee Diocese had brief exchange of views with the visiting Major General Jayasekara and commended the Army for its ongoing security arrangements as well as the security provided to the Church feast amid existing threats.
Likewise, he visited Ampara areas and met several religious leaders, Naval Commander for the East, civil society leaders, tri-service and Police senior Officers serving those areas and evaluated security developments in the presence of Major General Mahinda Mudalige, General Officer Commanding, 24 Division of the SFHQ-East and respective Brigade Commanders under the 24 Division.
Similarly, Army troops prioritized the provision of security to the South Eastern University in Oluvil, Ampara, the main seat of learning in the East. Likewise, Major General Jayasekara in the past 24 hours had separate meetings with Buddhist, Catholic and Islamic religious dignitaries in Batticaloa, Ampara, Polonnaruwa and Trincomalee and discussed measures that could be applied to maintain law and order and apprehend suspicious violent elements in specific areas.
In addition, Security Forces strengthened their searches in Kalmunai, Nintavur, Saindamaradu, Samanthurai, Kaththankudy, Nappatthumunai, Potuvil, Batticaloa and Ampara areas and handed over several suspects to the Police in respective areas, including 1 suspect with ISIS literature, swords and knives. At the time this report was pasted, Security Forces are continuing their operations in the Eastern region.
Photos by - Sri Lanka Army