The Sri Lankan army presence is still massive in Nort. Travelling across northern Sri Lanka is like criss-crossing from garrison to garrison.
In fact the number of soldiers on patrol has fallen sharply. They have been asked to reduce their visibility. And many places like the army-run cafes and shops which had sprung up, have now been closed.
But the government says it still fears a resurgence of the Tamil Tigers and it is not loosening its grip.
In one place an officer told us the army’s intelligence network had actually expanded. “We’ve been asked to keep a register of what people do and where they go,” he said. “We even monitor schoolchildren’s activities. We know what people eat for their lunch,” further added.