02nd January 2017 15:15:47 Hours
Protection of the territorial integrity of the country, commitment to support the ‘Year of Poverty Alleviation’ programme of HE the President, allegiance to the continued commitment and dedication for the country’s prosperity, determination to maintain the highest degree of discipline at all levels and to reach the best of professional standards should be among the prioritized concerns in the Army for the year 2017, so specified the Commander of the Army, Lieutenant General Crishanthe De Silva, speaking to a cross section of the officers and other rankers at the Army Headquarters during a brief ceremony, held this morning (2) to mark the first working day in the New Year.
Lieutenant General Crishanthe De Silva, gracing the ceremony as the Chief Guest gave the pride of prominence to the country and hoisted the National Flag while Major General Channa Goonetilleke, Chief of Staff, concurrently, raised the Army Flag to be in line with military formalities before the National Anthem and the rhythmic Army Song ‘Sagarayen Wata - Me Mage Mawu Rata’, reverberated.
Observance of a two-minute silence afterwards honoured the memory of all those War Heroes who made the supreme sacrifice for the sake of the country as the clock struck 9.15 a.m.
The formal State Service Allegiance pledge that reminds state officials’ unfailing duty to serve the public and the State under One country, One nation and One flag was then read out by Major General A.S De Z Wickramaratne, Adjutant General of the Army as is the practice in all other island-wide state institutions on the first working day of the New Year. All Army formations across the country also simultaneously coincided with the programme to be in line with the formalities at the Army Headquarters.
Continuing his address to the occasion, the Army Chief emphasized the importance of strict compliance with guidelines and instructions, being issued from the Army Headquarters to peripheral formations since all of us are responsible for the correct expenditure of public funds.
He also reminded the attendees of performing their duties to the best of their capabilities for the best interest of the public who are footing the cost of our salaries. “We are a different organization, dedicated for the protection of the country at all times and our services of multi-faceted nature are most sought, for which we can be proud of,” the Commander pointed out.
An all rank tea table afterwards culminated the first leg of the day’s agenda where the Commander took time off to freely move and speak to the attendees for the customary tea table.
Meanwhile, the Commander of the Army, Lieutenant General Crishanthe De Silva in his formal message on the dawn of the New Year 2017 emphasized the need for the Army to render their service with utmost dedication, commitment and loyalty to the nation while promoting mutuality, oneness and unity. (Here follows his message on account of the New Year)