09th October 2016 22:00:50 Hours
Sri Lanka Army, the country's most sought service provider and the pride of the Nation that boasts unmatched achievements turns 67th years of age on Monday (Oct 10) which is also regarded as the Army Day.
With its humble beginnings as then 'Ceylon Army' in the year 1949, and later changed to be called the Sri Lanka Army since 1972 after the country became a Republic, its eventful life-span of 67 years records numerous and invaluable milestones unparalleled and unheard in the annals of contemporary military history in Sri Lanka or elsewhere.
Its glory and professional warfare skills reached its zenith in May 2009, sending shock waves across the globe subsequent to its unique eradication of Sri Lanka's long-drawn ruthless terrorism once for all which had by then claimed the precious lives of about 25,000 valiant Army War Heroes, 123 members of the Army civil staff and disabled more than 82,337 Army personnel and 38 civil staff members for the remainder of their lives, in addition to 3425 Army War Heroes who had gone missing in the three-decade long conflict.
The world was taken by surprise over Sri Lanka's success against the most-feared terrorist megalomaniac and restoration of peace. The Army was showered with accolades and laurels from worldwide counterparts as it was the only organization in contemporary times that succeeded in wiping out terrorism from a country.
Today with its 24 Regiments, the Sri Lanka Army has proved to be the most effective and visibly result-oriented organization in the country while performing commendable community services in every corner of the island, majority of which are in the war-affected north and east. Its technical prowess remains a beacon of hope as the country is fast on the road to development and recovery.
Stunning battlefield supremacy of the Army, together with other sister services against the world's most dreaded terrorists, which won the respect and admiration from all walks of life, carved a niche for itself in the military history and qualified it to be not second to any other armed force in the world.
A ceremonial parade to commemorate the Army Day (10), will salute Lieutenant General Crishanthe De Silva, Commander of the Army on Monday (10) at the Army Cantonment in Panagoda in a special Guard of Honour, greeting him as the Chief Guest and the Head of the organization.
The Army, now a full-fledged organization of admiration has devoted its entire weight behind realization of the government’s development roles and tasks in an impressive manner. Army Engineers are into housing, community services, construction industry, national disasters, Dengue eradication programmes, health promotion projects, humanitarian assistance and so many other spheres at the request of various state and private sector requirements.
Its achievements in the field of sports are of national international importance and outstanding. It was evident in many international events too, including the most recent Paralympics. In fact, the Army has become the country’s most leading state organization that produces the most number of sportsmen and women to the national pool.
In his 67th Army Anniversary day message, the Commander says that Sri Lankan soldiers are admired world over for their display of humanity, discipline, professionalism and integrity. These attributes, he says, will without doubt enable the Army to be more efficient.
Here follows the Commander’s Message;
Commemorating 67 years of victorious journey of the Sri Lanka Army in defending the territorial integrity and souvergnity of our motherland, I take the greatest pride and honour in issuing this message of greetings on this very special occasion of Army Day 2016.
Today, every Sri Lankan stands united with the Sri Lanka Army to salute the gallant men and women who discharge their services to ensure the country’s national security. In particular, I wish to pay my profound respect and deep gratitude to all those who made the supreme sacrifice, suffered injuries and are recovering from injuries.
As the Commander of the Army, I am very proud to have witnessed the manner in which the Sri Lanka Army has evolved and the unyielding progress that has been made over the last 67 years. The true owners of this victorious journey; the past Commanders, all Officers, Other Ranks, Civil Staff of the Army and their families are remembered with sincere admiration. Moreover, I pay my respect to serving members for their commitment, dedication and enthusiasm to always go beyond the call of duty. I also salute the families of Officers and Other Ranks for the determined efforts they have made in honour and respect of the Army, being the inspiration and towers of strength behind the men and women in uniform. High standards of selfless commitment and unparalleled bravery consistently displayed by the Army personnel are highly appreciated by Nations across the world.
I wish to place on special record the guidance, leadership and directions extended by His Excellency Maithripala Sirisena, the President of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka and the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, Honourable Ruwan Wijewardene, State Minister of Defence and Eng. Karunasena Hettiarachchi, Secretary to the Ministry of Defence for the forward march of the Army on this occasion of Army Day 2016.
The Sri Lanka Army has been serving the nation with great distinction of professionalism and excellence in ensuring the protection of the territorial integrity of our country whilst providing assistance to fellow citizens in times of natural calamities. Sri Lanka today as one of the most peaceful and stable countries in the world, has embarked on a speedy development process and we should be determined to offer our maximum contribution to the national development projects as well.
Being well convinced of the demands of an information and technological age, the Army has taken appropriate measures to update the knowledge and skills of its members to be on a par with modern-day technological advancements. As the defence preparedness needs to be reviewed periodically, innovative and novel approaches are implemented with the assistance of advanced armies in the world. In addition, participation of our troops in UN Peacekeeping Missions has increased, consequent to that training establishments have been modified to meet international standards.
In order to enhance the morale and contentment of soldiers, many a welfare project, initiated for the benefit of family members of fallen or injured War Heroes as well as for all serving members, are now in progress. It is expected to focus the attention on other diversified fields; education, capacity building, housing and healthcare etc.
The Sri Lanka Army, over the years, has proved that unity, oneness, commitment and spirit of sacrifice if combined together can make a nation invincible and its defence impregnable. In keeping with this noble aspiration; I urge every personnel of the Army to strive and achieve the highest of professional standards in all aspects to meet the national security needs and civil military obligations of the Nation.
I, once again take this opportunity to pay my highest respect to those who made the supreme sacrifice in safeguarding the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the motherland and wish speedy recovery to the injured and disabled war heroes.
In conclusion, I extend my compliments to all Officers, Other Ranks, Civil Staff, ex-service personnel and their families on this remarkable occasion!