10th October 2022 00:09:11 Hours
Lieutenant General Vikum Liyange, Commander of the Army in his Army Day Message (October 10) aka 73rd Anniversary Day says the prime responsibility of the Sri Lanka Army is to identify the threats to national security and protect the Constitution and democracy in the country and our unity as one would help to overcome any challenge that may pose in the future. " I encourage you to avoid procrastination and discharge your duties effectively to reach the goals of the organization and serve the best interests of the Nation, " Here follows the full text of his message;
MESSAGE FROM THE COMMANDER OF THE ARMY ON THE OCCASION OF 73RD ANNIVERSARY OF THE SRI LANKA ARMY
Today, the Sri Lanka Army marks its 73 years of illustrious forward-march since its inception as the proud “Protector of the State” that continues to render an unparalleled service for safeguarding sovereignty, territorial integrity and unity of our beloved motherland. I, as the Commander of the Army, take great pride and pleasure in extending my warmest wishes on the occasion of the 73rd Anniversary of the Sri Lanka Army.
I fervently consider this is the most apt moment to retrospect on the successful journey of the Sri Lanka Army spanned more than seven decades since its founding on 10 October 1949. The Army has become what it is today owing to the exceptional services rendered by former Commanders, Officers, Other Ranks and civil employees who served and retired. Thus, I honour their selfless commitment and dedication on this remarkable day. I also consider it is our prime duty to pay our utmost tribute and respect to the war heroes who made the supreme sacrifice while safeguarding our motherland and bringing peace and harmony to our country to create a better future for the Nation, and I wish a speedy recovery to those who were wounded and are under therapeutics up to this date.
On this special occasion, I wish to place on record my sincere gratitude to Honourable Ranil Wickremesinghe, the President of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, Minister of Defence and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces for the visionary leadership and guidance, extended to the Sri Lanka Army to march forward as a professional entity. I also pay my respected tribute to Honourable Premitha Bandara Tennakoon, State Minister of Defence and General G D H Kamal Gunaratne (Rtd) WWV RWP RSP USP ndc psc MPhil, Secretary to the Ministry of Defence for the able guidance given to the Army.
The Sri Lanka Army that has been steadfastly in the forefront as the leading guarantor of national security efficiently contributed to the controlling all past insurgencies, mitigating disastrous natural catastrophes, and most importantly during the most recent COVID-19 outbreak in the country by assuring the wellbeing of the whole citizenry. Among all these achievements, the eradication of the three-decade prolonged separatist terrorism in 2009 bringing freedom to the Sri Lankan people has been goldenly penned in the glorious history of the Sri Lanka Army as the most notable triumph. Following the victorious path that we have been marching on as members of this proud organization, it is our responsibility to maintain combat readiness at the highest to address the challenges which may pose threats to national security, may it be our primary combat role or the secondary non-combat duties such as providing assistance to the government activities during natural calamities and maintenance of essential services. Most importantly, I wish to commend you for your exceptional level of discipline and professionalism exhibited in planning and executing missions during the recent upheavals in the country to bring the public lives back to normalcy and to ensure the overall security of the country.
Every member of this organization should thoroughly understand that the prime responsibility of the Sri Lanka Army is to identify the threats to national security and act against those concerns; to protect the Constitution and democracy in the country and secure national interests. Further, we should pioneer the accomplishment of reconciliation and desired development goals in economic, social and cultural aspects and provide a maximum contribution towards those initiatives. Besides, the Army’s involvement in restoring the agricultural sector has been significant in overcoming the current economic crisis in the country. It is my main objective to lead you to be exemplary to the public in selflessly committing to duty, economical usage of the existing limited resources and supporting the recovery from the prevailing condition where the country needs financial stability to move forward.
It should be noted that plans are underway to develop the fields that are necessary to uphold the pride of the Sri Lanka Army. As I always highlight that training and education have been the foundation of the success and professional development of members of the Sri Lanka Army. Being guided by this concept, we all should endeavour to elevate the capability, capacity and professionalism of the Army. To meet this end, Commanders at all levels ought to contribute their maximum to ensure that their under-commands are adequately groomed in every available opportunity.
I wish to particularly mention that programmes and initiatives are in place to uplift the welfare and basic needs of the members of the Army. The special welfare programmes that have been initiated to ensure the well-being of the families of fallen war heroes, retired and injured members of the Sri Lanka Army and their family members will be continued to facilitate every one of them. It is my firm belief that the novel concept introduced under my directions to award Commendation Badges in recognition of your talents and commitments will certainly be a motivation for you. In addition, computerized systems have been introduced to discharge the services more effectively and these projects intend to create a workable environment for you to render productive and efficient service to the nation.
The Army possesses a legacy in the field of sports with the victories achieved by the members during the past 73 years. It is well-known to us that our members have made the Sri Lanka Army and the country proud by securing medals at the recent Commonwealth Games and representing the teams that vied to win the Asian Netball Championship and Asian Cricket Championship. New initiatives are underway to uplift the sports facilities and provide necessary backing by sharing sports facilities of the Army with all sportsmen and women including civilians and school children.
It is my earnest expectation to further uphold the dignity of the Sri Lanka Army which completes 73 years while rendering an honourable service to the Nation and I believe officers at all levels, other ranks and civil employees would provide the fullest support and cooperation to this noble cause. By uniting as one, we would be able to overcome any challenge that may pose in the future and maintain the image of the Army. I encourage you to avoid procrastination and discharge your duties effectively to reach the goals of the organization and serve the best interests of the Nation. The only sure way to achieve this prime aim is to execute our plans as per a well-established goal-based strategy.
I take this opportunity to express my sincere appreciation and best wishes to all officers, other ranks and civil employees who are presently serving and their family members and also I wish all of them a prosperous future.
I earnestly believe you will execute the entrusted duties and responsibilities in maintaining the dignity and honour of the Army and protecting your respect as a proud member of the Sri Lanka Army. I wish that may you be blessed with the strength and courage to discharge your duties with the highest degree of professionalism, discipline and integrity as the “Protectors of the State”.
H L V M LIYANAGE RWP RSP ndu
Commander of the Army