The Sri Lankan government is stepping up the deployment of the notorious Special Task Force (STF) commandos in all the districts in the Northern and Eastern provinces, according to latest reports in Colombo media. In August, when UN Human Rights High Commissioner Ms Navi Pillay visited the North and East, the Sri Lankan government announced that it was ‘separating’ the administration of SL Police department from the Defence Ministry and that the police was now coming under the ministry of ‘Law and Order’ according to a recommendation of Rajapaksa’s Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC). The STF, trained by the British, is a full-fledged military outfit under the SL Police, which was directly engaged in acts of genocide in the East as well as in Vanni during the war.
STF Commandant DIG R.W.M.C. Ranawaka has told The Island paper that the STF, which was earlier deployed in Batticaloa and Ampaa’rai districts, has now been deployed in all the districts.
The STF was being strengthened as a post-war security measure and that there was provision for a cadre of 10,000, the paper said. Currently, the STF comprises of 7,800 officers and men, the paper said.
The STF was involved in several massacres in the East.
An alleged war-criminal of the STF, H.D.K.S. Kapila Jeyasekera, who rose in ranks as the Superintendent of Police (SP) and who was responsible for the massacre of five Tamil students in Trincomalee in 2006 as well as the ACF-17 killings, was earlier appointed as the Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) to Ki’linochchi and Mullaiththeevu districts.
In a classified memo written by US’s Sri Lanka Ambassador Robert Blake in October 2006 to Washington, ten months after the massacre of five students, SL presidential sibling Basil Rajapakse had admitted that Special Task Force (STF) was responsible for the killings, according a WikiLeaks document.