Here is the full text of the Commander’s New Year message:
At a time the whole of Sri Lanka celebrates Sinhala and Hindu New Year, it is with great pleasure I extend my New Year greetings to all ranks in the Army and members of their families.
Sinhala and Hindu New Year since time immemorial has symbolized the country’s prosperity, and that is why it continues to remain the most important of all other festivals and events in the calendar. All Sri Lankans including those living overseas, compared to previous years, mark this year’s event with enormous interest and enthusiasm. As members who brought peace to the country, you all can be humbly proud of it.
Our next challenge in this peaceful and unitary country is development. You, as disciplined members in an exemplary Army, undertook the challenge of unifying the country, and you should be able to be the guiding light for that challenge of development too. This is a fitting tribute as well as a source of strength, reposed in us by HE, the President, the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces and the Secretary Defence and Urban Development.
Countless unsuccessful efforts at international level, adopted by different groups with vested interests to tarnish the image of the government as well as the armed forces, are heard since of recent times. We must face such challenges tirelessly and stand by the country’s sovereignty at all times. Since our Army is recognized world-wide as a fearless and a highly disciplined organization, you must take pride in it and work all the time to sustain that standard and the Army’s image.
At this auspicious festive period, I recall the memories and invaluable services of our fallen War Heroes with dignity and honour. Let me also wish speedy recovery to all injured War Heroes, still recovering and extend my best wishes to all War Hero families. Likewise, my New Year greetings go to all members of the civil staff serving the Army and their family members.
Unlike gunfire heard in the past we, now hear burst of crackers. Today, we, instead of flames of war, enjoy the happiness of boiling the milk pot. That was our wish. Everybody in the North and the South perform New Year rites and rituals together at the same auspicious minute. You, I am sure, as the one who brought that peace to the country, should be feeling very much delighted over this achievement at this occasion.
Let me wish all of you a prosperous, peaceful and happy New Year !