Commanding Officers (COs) of all battalions of the Sri Lanka Army around the country met with the Commander of the Army, Lieutenant General Jagath Jayasuriya on two separate days and received commendations and assessment of their ongoing roles and tasks.
Early this week, all 274 Commanding Officers on staggered basis for two days listened to the Commander who extolled continuing ‘good work’ of all the field commanders. “You all during the period of transformation from wartime to peacetime did an excellent job without creating any major incident. I am happy to be associated with you all, most of you being my students when I was at the Military Academy. Now, I am twice lucky because I manage the Army as the Commander with those students of mine.”
“Our responsibilities towards post-conflict peacetime roles after operations in war, continue to remain the same and no one of us could do away with that responsibility. We need to revert to old ‘gentlemen’s Army’ as His Excellency, the President told me soon after I took over the reins of the Army. That wish is now fast moving forward. Therefore, we all should strive hard to be an Army of the highest professional standards in the near future. Professionalism in your career therefore plays a vital role for your future prospects. An unwarranted action of a member in peacetime would bring a more adverse impact than in war time”
“Though our priorities had to be adjusted to meet with ground realities during the war, the Army is back on the path of reverting to well-laid down procedures as in the past. This process has already commenced. No officer in the Army is expected to take part in politics but it is our bounden duty to protect the government in power,” the Commander revealed.
As you know, Sri Lanka Army has now carved a name for itself in the international arena and ours is getting recognition world-wide due to your commitment and unfailing dedication, the Commander said.
Spelling out his views on the aspects of training, the Commander said his future intention is to conduct training to suit present environment, facilitating the officers to plan their own career progressions. The need to be professionally qualified was emphasized by the Commander.
Lieutenant General Jayasuriya told the officers of the need to look after the disabled, families of those killed in action and those went on retirement on medical grounds and also stressed the need to further popularize the Defence Services School.
“All of you should strictly maintain and preserve the regimental identity at all times as credit of all your good work goes to your regiment. In the future, plans are afoot to restructure the Army for national development projects, security and logistics and administration. Under this arrangement, combat units are to be deployed for security alone,” the Commander remarked.
“The Army after its historic win over terrorism is fully behind infrastructure building in affected areas as projected and requested by the government. It is you who shoulder the burden of this recovery process, bringing credit to the organization like how you performed in the past when the war was on. It is you who carry the message down to the grass root level, although I issue directions in my capacity as the Commander of the Army. We have now been entrusted with the arduous task of rebuilding the nation, which you have to fully understand and act accordingly. I am sure, you Commanding Officers with your troops are now more dedicated than ever before to face this challenge,” the Commander outlined.
This was the first time in the Army history that so many Commanding Officers at field formation levels assembled together to listen to their Commander under one roof.
Towards the end of each session, the attendees had the rare chance of exchanging views with the Commander of the Army on matters of concern to them.