SriLanka raises muslim battalion

In what appears to be a tactical move, the SriLankan army has raised a Muslim battalion to counter the LTTE. The LTTE has had bitter relations with the muslims in the villages to the east of the country. This comes when the SriLankan army is desperately trying to maintain its strength, with 50,000 soldiers already having deserted the military.

The official line goes like this:

“We are recruiting some Muslims for a new regiment,” said military spokesman Brigadier Prasad Samarasinghe, adding that a name for the new unit had not yet been chosen.

“This recruitment is also to give Muslims a chance in the army and at the same time to safeguard the Muslim community and Muslim villages in the east,” he added. Reuters

What remains to be seen is how this development is going to be taken back home in India. There were strong protests against a recent Muslim headcount in the Indian Army, as religion based reservations and recruitment is a touchy issue in India. I hope vote bank politicians don’t use this plank to push for a religion based battalion in the armed forces.

Cynical Nerd, shows us some more facets to this new development.