24th April 2018 00:07:30 Hours
Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake, Commander of the Army, in what could be regarded as a landmark milestone of the friendship that prevails between Sri Lanka and Pakistan, had the rare privilege of extending courtesies and having a very cordial and fruitful bilateral discussion with Hon. Prime Minister of Pakistan, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on defence cooperation on Monday (23) afternoon at the Prime Minister's Secretariat, Red Zone, Islamabad Capital Territory during a visit Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake has undertaken to Pakistan at the invitation of his Pakistan’s counterpart, Chief of Army Staff (COAS).
Pakistan’s Hon. Prime Minister who warmly received the visiting Commander of the Sri Lanka Army Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake on arrival, in a wide-ranging discussion that ensued touched on a broad spectrum of defence issues and other related concerns, such as the Prevention of Drug-trafficking, Countering of non-traditional threats, Sri Lanka Army’s 5R Concept (Rehabilitation, Reconstruction, Reintegration, Resettlement and Reconciliation), Transformation of Sri Lanka Army to be that of a capacity-based one to suit modern needs, Measures in effect to win hearts and minds of the public in the North and East, Army’s engagement with civilians and its contribution to their well-being, Resettlement of IDPs in their own plots of land, Maintenance of high standards of discipline among troops in the North and East, Promotion of confidence-building among the troops serving the North and East and also strengthening of sound relations between the civil community of all ethnicities and military personnel, Sri Lanka Army contribution to Nation-building tasks and improvement of living and economic standards of underprivileged civil communities in the North and East, Construction of Road networks, New schools, Lakes, etc, by the Army, Distribution of school accessories for improvement of children’s education, etc. He elaborated on these projects in a presentation.
Pakistan’s Premier visibly impressed with roles being played by the Sri Lanka Army after its historic win over terrorism a few years ago, pledged his government’s full cooperation towards the multitude of public services, being carried out by the Army as well as by the government for the greater benefit of all Sri Lankans as one of good neighbours in the region.
The visiting Commander of the Army Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake towards the end of their cordial talks presented a memento to the Pakistan’s Premier as a symbol of appreciation and goodwill. The gesture was reciprocated.
Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake’s delegation to Pakistan included Mrs Chandrika Senanayake, President, Army Seva Vanitha Unit, Brigadier Hemantha Bandara, Defence Attaché at Sri Lanka High Commission in Pakistan, Colonel Udaya Kumara, Military Assistant and the Commander’s Aide-De-Camp.