12th April 2018 13:19:50 Hours
Mr Kapila Waidyaratne PC, Secretary to the Ministry of Defence gracing the landmark inauguration of the first-ever Directorate of Overseas Operations (DOO) of the Army in Colombo 3 as the Chief Guest underlined that the Sri Lanka Army need not be concerned about 'labels' since it had already proved to the world that what is left for them was only to 'better' it since no task would be 'daunting' to it after restoration of peace in the country.
Mr Waidyaratne told the attendees that the Army would not be disheartened to undergo any 'vetting' or rather any 'screening' process as deemed necessary for UN peacekeeping assignments through the Human Rights Commission. "For our Army, what is needed is to better it since we all believe the rule of law, no matter where you are deployed. Even if we are to go abroad, there exists a screening process in embassies and what is needed is to maintain the highest levels of discipline without causing any offence or breach of law. We know that this process is time consuming and we should find an interim mechanism to accelerate the process. Sri Lanka Army is an honourable and a credible outfit from which the globe could learn a lot. Conduct of this new Directorate effectively and resolution of all challenges and issues that crop up in the sphere of human rights therefore is not a daunting task to overcome at all for the Sri Lanka Army," he added.
Even as regards procurement of supplies to the Army, a mechanism which is transparent and credible is now in place and everyone is liable to course of legal action if found guilty. The Army is fast getting better and better, so would the UN peacekeeping missions, too in the future, he added.
We are always there to support you to take you to the next level. You have served well and the world has much to share with you and your unmatched experiences. Let us make our contingents better and better and I assure you the best of my support in that direction with the blessings of HE the President, he quipped.
Major General Mervyn Perera, Director General, Directorate of Overseas Operations (DOO), welcomed the attendees and made a brief presentation on the deployment of Sri Lankan peacekeepers since the beginning of 1960s.
Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake, Commander of the Army, Ms Claire Meytraud, Head of International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC), US Embassy diplomat, Major General Dampath Fernando, Chief of Staff, Major General Dananjith Karunaratne, Director General General Staff, Major General Shavendra Silva, Adjutant General and a host of Senior Officers, invitees and Officers were present at the occasion.