During last 48 hours until yesterday, nearly 15,000 troops from the tri-forces had been deployed throughout the country. The Army had deployed over 10,000 soldiers for the search operations. During the daily situation update, Military Spokesman Brigadier Sumith Atapattu said measures had been taken for the security of the public considering the social activities due to happen next week. He said security will be further beefed up.
“Meanwhile, during the last 24 hours, special operations were conducted by the Army in Vavuniya Puttalam and Kurunegala Districts in the North Western Province. Akurana, Katugastota, Peradeniya, Gampola and Nawalapitiya in the Central Province, Ragama, Aluthgama, Kalutara and Moratuwa in the Western Province, Weligama, Galle, Matara and Hambantota in the Southern Province and Moneragala. During those operations, 120 suspects were arrested and detonators, explosives, warlike items, ammunition were taken into custody.”
He said special security arrangements have been made to provide security to schools, religious places and tourist hotels etc. Responding to reports that 20 vehicles with explosives was heading towards the Northern Province, he said, “We are not in favour of the reports that spoke of 20 vehicles laden with explosives entering the North. No one should panic about such information since all security measures have already been taken.”
Navy Spokesman Lieutenant Commander Isuru Sooriyabandara said three suspicious persons were arrested during a special raid carried out in the suburbs of Colombo. “Accordingly, one suspect in possession of seven mobile phones, another person in possession of two bank accounts into which Rs. 30 million had been transferred from Saudi Arabia had been found. The other person had 45 DVD/CDs, two blank cartridge cases, and 13 SIM cards.”
He further stated that three mobile phones, 19 Islamic books, two SIMs, 10 nos. of various bank pass books, 18 bank receipts, 4 ATM cards and a suspicious letter written in Tamil were found by the Navy during another raid and all these items were handed over to the respective Police stations.
“A suspicious person travelling on a motorcycle in possession of an STF uniform was taken into naval custody in Kotahena and later handed over to Kotahena Police for further investigations. Another suspect with 609 lead balls and a number plate of a motorcycle in the Fort area in Galle was also taken into custody and handed over to the Galle Police,” the Navy Spokesman said.
Twelve Pakistan nationals arrested by the Navy in Ja-E1a were handed over to the Ja-Ela Police. Among them only two persons had visas,” he added. Continuous security duties are conducted at religious places, hospitals and other public places by the Navy, Army, Air Force and Police to ensure national security.
Air Force spokesman Group Captain Gihan Seneviratne in his update of the Sri Lanka Air Force operations said the SLAF Ekala conducted a raid on Melbourne Metal Melting Factory in Ekala on Thursday on information received by the police. “There a store full of war materials was found. During the raid one person was taken into custody and handed over to the Negombo Police for further investigations.The rest is under the protection of the police at the same location.”
A cordon and search operation conducted by SLAF Base Katunayake in the Negambo area, resulted in the arrest of 32 suspects who were later handed over to Negambo Police for further investigations.In a cordon and search operation conducted in Periyappadu Mundalama, the SLAF in Palavi arrested two suspects who were handed over to the Udappuwa Police for further investigations. The SLAF conducted a search and clear operation at the Colombo Fort and Kalutara Railway Stations.Additional security measures were implemented islandwide by the Sri Lanka Air Force to further facilitate the return to normalcy.
The previously established hotline 116 can be used by airline passengers to obtain information with regard to special security measures at BIA as well as to report security related information to the authorities. A hotline to inform air defence/aerial threats has also been established under number 115, the Air Force Spokesman said.