CSD in agricultural resurgence
Maize harvest and cultivation in the background
Director General Rear Admiral Ananda
Peiris plucking maize
Maize processing machine
CSD personnel bring sacks full of maize
CSD personnel peel maize making it ready for sale
It was during the war against terrorism that the people who were
peasants were called upon to protect the motherland. They belonged to
the Civil Security Department (CSD). They are now contributing their
share to develop the country. They are toiling hard to cultivate
thousands of acres of land in Anuradhapura, Ampara and Batticaloa
districts. Most of them were farmers before they joined the CSD.
Today they are a happy lot because they have returned to their former
During a recently conducted tour to these areas, journalists saw the
heroic personnel of the CSD actively contributing to the agricultural
resurgence. Their involvement has led to social and agricultural revival
in these areas.
Around 2,354 CSD personnel attached to the Maha-Oya Force
Headquarters, in Ampara are engaged in various cultivations such as
maize, paddy, millet, green gram, kurakkan and undu, vegetables and
Nearly 1,000 acres of land which were grabbed by force by the LTTE
mainly in Ampara, Mahaoya, Bogamuyaya, Unuwathurabubula and Mangalagama
areas had successfully been cultivated by CSD personnel under the
instructions and close supervision of Commanding Officer, Maha Oya Force
Headquarters in Ampara, Major Kamal Jayaweera.The CSD personnel reaped
the maize harvest in Bogamuyaya where nearly 800 acres and 240 acres
were cultivated for the Maha season. It is expected that a bumper maize
harvest amounting to 1,038,700 kilos of maize and 400,000 kilos of paddy
will be obtained for the Yala season.
Most of the places were border villages during the conflict and have
now been converted to fertile farm lands with the CSD initiative of
cultivating abandoned lands.
Those who had firearms in their hands with the view of protecting
their villages those days are now seen with mammoties and machetes
toiling to cultivate lands. They are working hard in unity to get their
objectives without wasting a single minute.
At the beginning they had faced many difficultites to commence
cultivation and spent their own wealth to buy tractors, fertiliser and
Now, they have three tractors after reaping a bumper harvest of maize
and paddy. They receive best prices for their harvest from byers who
reach the site once the harvest is reaped.
CSD Director General Rear Admiral Ananda Peiris participating in the
reaping of the maize harvest recently in Bogamuyaya area, said that CSD
members are successfully engaged in reviving once abandoned lands in
"The CSD is transforming itself as a battalion shouldering the task
of developing Sri Lanka and cultivation ventures in the country," he
"Earlier CSD personnel made maximum contribution to eliminate
terrorism and now they are engaged in winning the development war", he
said. This would be a good example for Sri Lankans who want to rebuild
the nation." he said.
Paying tribute to CSD personnel, President Mahinda Rajapaksa pledged
a pension for members of the Civil Security Force who contributed to the
humanitarian operation that liberated the country from terrorism.
The CSD was first known as the Home Guard Service providing security
to villages, A.W. Karunaratne, who joined the CSD in 1986 said.
"We were also deployed in town and cities to assist the police to
maintain law and order, rendered yeoman service to liberate the country
from terrorism, we even did not have our necessities when we fought with
terrorists during the war.
Only after re-structuring we as the Department under the purview of
the Defence Ministry, have been provided all facilities. Not only
uniforms, boots, but also due social recognition has been granted after
the CSD was established.
A.P. Jayaweera joined the CSD in 1994 with the view to protecting his
village from terrorists. He said he is happy today that he has returned
to his former livelihood of farming.
The Bogamuyaya village was attacked by LTTE terrorists thrice and
hacked and shot to death 53 innocent villagers. After that Authorities
realised the importance of formulating special unit to protect border
villages from terrorists. That is why the government took measures to
set up Home Guard Service. Many volunteers deployed in their home towns
and villages, to protect the civilian population from attacks by the
LTTE. It was later re-designated to the Department of Civil Security and
came under the purview of the Ministry of Defence.
Sophisticated arms and training were given to them instead of shot
guns that they had been familiar with. Cadre strength had been increased
to 41,500 and Army trained them properly.
Maha-Oya Force Headquarters Commanding Officer, Major Kamal Jayaweera
said that all CSD members have been granted with one acre of abandoned
land to cultivate crops they like. Basically, they earn around Rs.45,000
from one acre of maize.
"Today they are living standards have gone up. They are engaged in
cultivation very happily," he said.
The CSD men engaged in reviving the abandoned 120 acre Mangalagama
farm in the Batticaloa district. Subsidiary food crops and vegetable
varieties are cultivated. Around 900 CSD personnel are engaged in
cultivating paddy, maize, vegetables and fruits in the farm.
The conflict is over, and these people who were the real heroes who
saved the country along with other security forces personnel now happy
and contended because their sacrifices have served their aims.
The peasant soldiers have now found a meaningful means to return to
their former lands. Those who once toiled and shed their sweat to fight
valiantly now engage in a similar task. This time their war is against
poverty, the weapons are the mammoty and not the machete, the enemy is
the earth and the target is a bountiful harvest!