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50,000 soldiers deployed to Restore Normal civilian life

Twelve Service Centres will be set up to provide relief to people in 12 Grama Niladhari Divisions affected by the Salawa Armoury explosion and fire and 50,000 soldiers would be deployed if necessary to restore normal civilian life in the region, Army Commander Lt.Gen. 

Crishantha de Silvasaid. He was addressing a disaster relief meeting at the Seethawaka Divisional Secretariat presided by Science Technology and Research Minister Susil Premajayantha yesterday.

The Army Commander at the outset set he wished to apologise to the affected people on behalf of the Army for this unforeseen incident.

He said as much as civilians, Army personnel and troubled War Heroes too faced the disaster. People affected may be concerned about the restoration of their business and other vocations and the schooling of them children. They need not entertain any fears about these issues as the Army would step into assist them to restore their lives.

Fielding a question the Army Commander said they had no desire or need to hide the death toll. Only one soldier was killed and another soldier injured.

Minister Susil Premajayantha said they visited the scene on the day of the incident but had no occasion to meet the people. That was why they had visited the area yesterday.

He said all people affected by the incident would be provided with relief without any political or other bias. Those who lost moveable and immovable properties will be compensated but it would take sometimes. Those who lost their commercial establishments would be paid or monthly allowance of Rs 50,000 until their properties were restored valuation officers would visit the area from today.

He said interests of employees of business ventures who lost employment would also be looked into. He said 125 out of 750 places destroyed were business places. The needs of school children including books stationery and uniforms would also be provided.

The government would keep a close observation until civilian life was fully restored in the area.