By Ajith Siriwardana and Yohan Perera
Former Army Commander Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka said yesterday the security forces should be strengthened whether there was a war or not and that due attention was not paid to upgrade and strengthen the security forces at present.
He told parliament that other countries such as Singapore was allocating a huge share of its budget for security forces and added that a country’s national security should be given prominence even before the economy. Mr. Fonseka pointed out that security forces had not been provided with modern equipment and facilities to upgrade to suite the new technological advancement.
“We are still using fighter jets used during world war 2. We have only one fighter jet right now. We should provide the modern fighter jets with air force. Navy also should be given modern vessels,” he said.
He said steps should be taken to improve welfare facilities of security forces including their lodgings, salaries, allowances, meals, uniforms and pensions.
“I gave them a cheese tin, an apple during my tenure. We need to ensure that they are physically and mentally fit,” he said. The MP said no one can guarantee that we are free of external security risks and that continuous training should be given to security forces.
“I learnt that the security forces had not received required ammunition for training for the last three years. Security forces should be free of political intervention,” he said.