71ST ANNIVERSARY OF THE SRI LANKA ARMY
The contributions made by the Army in the face of danger are valued
The Army personnel need to acquire further tactical and technical competencies
The Sri Lanka Army, the ‘Defender of the Nation and its People’, today passes the 71stmilestone in its victorious journey in safeguarding the unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity of our motherland. In this historical moment, I, as the 23rd Commander of the Army, take pride in passing this congratulatory message.
I pay my respect to the past Army Commanders, serving and retired, all Ranks and Civil Staff for their relentless contribution during the legendary journey of the Army since October 10, 1949. In addition, my tribute goes to their beloved family members for the great scarification at the home fronts.
In this memorable moment I extend my profound gratitude to His Excellency Gotabaya Rajapaksa, the 7th Executive President of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka and the Commander-in-Chief of Armed Forces, Honourable Mahinda Rajapaksa who is the present Prime Minister and Major General (Retd) G D H Kamal Gunaratne WWV RWP RSP USP ndc psc MPhil, the Secretary Defence, for the leadership, direction and insight rendered for the advancement of the Army. Since its inception the Army has been the frontier force in safeguarding the motherland from multifaceted threats, challenges, and vulnerabilities. I place my gratitude upon the commitment of the Army during the recent mishaps, especially during the novel threat posed by the COVID 19 pandemic. The selfless contributions made by the Army personnel in the face of danger to their own lives are valued by the entire nation as well as the Sri Lankans abroad. Our great people who endured the difficulties in support of the Army to curb the deadly pandemic also deserve sincere appreciation.
The Army personnel need to acquire further tactical and technical competencies in every relevant field and develop a positive attitude in the future journeys. In order to abreast with modern technologies, necessary transformations in systems, concepts and training are underway to make the members effective, efficient, and competent.
As a responsible Armed Force it is our prime duty to partner and create a conducive environment for economic, social and cultural advancement as a nation. Therefore, I expect all members of the Sri Lanka Army to actively and effectively contribute to the Army initiated projects and programmes including ‘Thuru Mithuru Nawa Ratak’ which is aimed at prospering the nation through agriculture. The Army has been a legend in the field of sports with the victories achieved during the past 71 years, and new initiatives are underway to uplift the sports facilities and provide the necessary backing by sharing sports facilities of the Army with all sportsmen and women including civilians and schoolchildren.
As at today, the Sri Lanka Army has taken a new approach focusing on ‘Protection and Development of the Country, Protection of Citizenry of the Country, Development of Sri Lanka Army and Wellbeing of the Member Community.’ Further, under the direction of His Excellency the President and abreast with the government’s policies, programmes and initiatives are in place to uplift the basic needs of the serving members and to ensure the wellbeing of the differently-abled war heroes, retired members and families of Fallen War Heroes. Further, coinciding with the 71st Anniversary of the Sri Lanka Army, 514 Officers and 14140 Other Ranks have received their promotions. Accordingly, 1984 Officers and 41910 Other Ranks have been promoted to their subsequent ranks since I assumed the office as the Commander of the Army.
I pray for all Great Fallen War Heroes of the Army and wish they would attain the supreme bliss of Nibbana. I wish a quick recovery for the members injured during the tour of duty. I extend my best wishes to the serving and retired All Ranks, troops deployed in UN Peacekeeping Missions and Civil Staff, and may all their family members prosper with good health, wealth, and happiness in future.
Finally, I once again pay my profound gratitude to the exemplary efforts taken by all members to promote coexistence and harmony among the communities, with an earnest aspiration that All Ranks and Civil Staff of the Army would continue to render their service as the ‘Defender of the Nation and its People’ in future endeavours.
LIEUTENANT GENERAL SHAVENDRA SILVA WWV RWP RSP VSV USP ndc psc CHIEF OF DEFENCE STAFF & COMMANDER OF THE ARMY