Despite the killings of top LTTE leaders, including its chief Velupillai Prabhakaran, and the decimation of the rebels, the concept of Tamil Eelam has not died out amongst those harbouring it, the Sri Lankan Army chief has warned.
"Even at present those who had connections with terrorists and the Tamil Diaspora overseas are still discussing the possibility of establishing a state of Eelam according to information we received," Lt Gen Jagath Jayasuriya has said.
During his separate interactions with troops at Kallady, Thoppigala, Vakarai and Punani in eastern Sri Lanka, Lt Gen Jayasuriya recalled the numerous sacrifices made by War
Heroes at the risk of their own "lives, blood, sweat, legs and limbs", the army said in a statement.
This is despite the fact that the Tigers' military wing was defeated in May last year, he said during his maiden visits to the Brigades in the Eastern Province last week.
Stating that the Army has the responsibility to protect the country, Jayasuriya said a large number of troops in Northern and Eastern areas were deployed not for offensive duties but for observations or intelligence duties.
"Specially, if any group takes up arms again as terrorists we must be ready to face such a situation," Jayasuriya said.
He said the Army has the duty to help the police maintaining law and order during election time.
"I believe that the Army troops would continue their normal duties better in the North and East establishing security in the area during election times," he said.
Jayasuriya said that for the convenience of the armed forces, the authorities are planning to establish holiday resorts in the areas where they are not available at present.
He said the land has already been allocated in Nilaveli (East) and Yala (South-east) areas for this purpose.
Jayasuriya said the salaries and perks for the army had been increased recently.
The army chief said special attention would be given to training in 2010 since the newly recruited soldiers during the last two years did not get proper training as they were engaged in Wanni humanitarian operations.