The Sri Lanka Army has expanded the sole intelligence battalion of the Military Intelligence Corps into six battalions to face future threats and to make sure that a situation similar to what the country underwent in the recent past would not take place again.
“If we have a stable and a strong intelligence network facing internal or external threats it will not be a difficult task. It can be from anybody but when our network is strong, we are more secure,” Military spokesman Brigadier Nihal Hapuarachchi said.
He said that the Army is not 100 percent certain of some elements in the Tamil Diaspora as well as former LTTE cadres so therefore the threat comes from them also remain large.
“We do not want to have the same situation we faced and dealt with in the past. The regiment commander is authorised to communicate with the intelligence officers under the directions of the head of the Military Intelligence Directorate,” he said.
“We have placed these battalions in Security Forces Headquarters that we have covering the country,” Brigadier Hapuarachchi said.
When asked about the strength of the newly formed battalions he said that he cannot give a specific number. The battalions are represented by personnel from all the regiments.
Recently, Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa also speaking at the opening ceremony of the new Security Forces Headquarters Complex in Kilinochchi said the military intelligence apparatus has been expanded for external and internal threats.
“Some LTTE cadres escaped capture in Sri Lanka. Those LTTE members as well as the Diaspora have teamed up together and are working to destabilise the country and resurrect their ruthless organisation,” he said.
“Because of these concerns, Military Intelligence Corps had to be increased to six battalions from the original one to two battalions. The surveillance therefore has to be sustained at all times,” the Defence Secretary noted. (Supun Dias)