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Sri Lanka Army

Defenders of the Nation

13th November 2018 22:28:51 Hours

Commander Stresses Need for the Army to be Geared to ‘Invisible Enemy’ in Cyber Domain

Communicators in the Army, the Sri Lanka Signal Corps (SLSC), responsible for providing communication and Information Technological support to the Command and Administration of the Army as the Army’s prime apparatus for Cyber Security is to stage a mega Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Exhibition and an international Symposium on account of its 75th Anniversary during 28-29 November at BMICH, a Media Briefing presided by the Commander of the Army, Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake this afternoon (13) at Hotel Hilton was told.

The Exhibition with more than 160 stalls at the BMICH would showcase most modern and sophisticated electronic gadgetry associated with the cyber domain that has been invented by Army IT experts as well as other private sector inventors, including universities and companies.

The full-day ‘Wave’ symposium, themed ‘Cyber Space; Perpetual Battlefront for Future’ on 28 November 2018 as the climax of the 75th SLSC Anniversary is to be attended by local, regional and global IT professionals at the invitation of the SLSC. Among the invitees are experts from India, China, Russia, Pakistan and several other countries.

After a brief introduction made by Major General Ajith Wijesinghe, Colonel Commandant, SLSC and Military Secretary, Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake, Commander of the Army underlined the significance of elevating the ICT standards, cyber domains and technical aspects of the Army to be in parallel with future global requirements as the conventional three-dimension (land, sea, air) forces are not adequate enough to challenge fast developing cyber threats in future.

“We see the weaponization of the outer space as the fourth dimension while the cyber space threat is the 5th challenge. Of course, the battle of the mind stands the 6th dimension. So, the future enemies are not visible and the Army may have to fight against this invisible enemy. We need to improve our cyber space capabilities to match with the advancements, being made by foreign nations, elsewhere. It is your Army who would have the capacity to face those new challenges, contrary to what we fought in the battlefield and the support for its propagation through Media is requested. I am pretty sure that the SLSC has the capacity to deal with those new threats and counter them in the future.”

“As you know battlefield concepts and requirements in the whole world are always changing and we need to understand them in correct perspective and cope with them. These changes are largely due to improvisation of technical improvements. In the 21st century unlike during the World War I or II warfare tactics and strategies have been changed.”

“In that context, this Exhibition and the Symposium is a timely project, useful not only to the Army but to the whole country in general since we all have to be aware of this aspect of cyber technology which would enable transmission of vital information to the enemy and also to the own troops. This must be used to our advantage as the need for intelligence gathering is changing all the time. Cyber space has been used to exert hard power via kinetic power through soft power models and the Army is interested in finding ways out against these threats. Cyber operations are done through battle of mind and such propagation is hard to encounter,” the Commander pointed out.

“With the enormous expansion of transmission of information and data in the cyber space, the Army has to consider cyber security as a precautionary measure. Extraction of information from the enemy as well as transmission of the same to the own troops is therefore a must in future warfare. This Exhibition and the Symposium will make the public as well as all stakeholders be aware of the Army capacity and the need to be in touch with cyber related concerns.”

The Commander in response to a query said that the Army has spread its wings to various vital areas of national concern in the field of research and analysis with the motive of being prepared for future challenges.

Major General Renuka Rowel (Retd), Director, Research Analysis, Projection and Development Branch told the gathering that his branch has already embarked on a number of researches, pertaining to elephant-human conflict, etc although they are still on experimental basis. He also gave a comprehensive account of developments, taking place around the world in relation to cyber space and its operations, manipulations, hacking, etc.

Major General Ajith Wijesinghe, Colonel Commandant, SLSC and Military Secretary, Major General Nilantha Hettiarachchi, Chief Signal Officer, Major General Prabhath Dematanpitiya, General Officer Commanding, 56 Division (Chief Organizer), Major General Puraka Seneviratne, Director General Quality Assurance & Inspections, Brigadier Rasika Karunathilake, Operations Officer, Symposium, Brigadier Sumith Atapattu, Director Media, Brigadier Ranjith Dharmasiri, Operation Officer, ICT Exhibition and Brigadier Thilak Waidyaratne, Administration Officer, ICT Exhibition were among those seated in the head table.

Sri Lanka Signal Corps inaugurated in the year 1943 under the Royal British Army as a small unit has now developed to be an organization in charge of Communication, Electronic Warfare, Information Technology and Cyber Security of the Sri Lanka Army.

During the Army was fighting an anti-terrorist campaign against the LTTE, Sri Lanka Signal Corps played an indispensable role, not only providing ICT and EW support, but also performing an infantry role, having formed Reinforcement (RFT) Battalions.