Concerns have been raised by the Army over the increase in minor crimes carried out by groups linked to drug rackets in the north.

Commander of the Security Forces in Jaffna, Major General Mahesh Senanayake declared that there was a dire need to take an aggressive approach to tackle the very serious issue of Kerala ganja (cannabis sativa smuggled from Kerala in India) in the north.

Speaking to Nation, Senanayake pointed out that alcohol and drug use among youth were on the rise and the incidence of minor crime was increasing.

“Police are taking action, however there are certain areas that require improvement in which we must work out ways to prevent the situation from escalating further”, he said.
Senanayake said that although the people in the north were happy with military patrols conducted in the area, there remained some displeasure over the presence of army camps where soldiers are mostly confined to their barracks.

According to Senanayake, the army exchanged information and intelligence with the police but that was still a long way to go to fight crime in the areas in question.

In addition, Major Gen. Senanayake said there was also concern over a shadowy group called Awa whose members consume liquor and kick up rows with the people.

He said members of this group often carried concealed knives and swords.